Now that the Australian tour is over, we can start looking forward to cricket with another challenging team – South Africa. Here is the fixture:
|1st Test||Chennai||Mar 26 to 30|
|2nd Test||Ahmedabad||Apr 3 to 7|
|3rd Test||Kanpur||Apr 11 to 15|
The last test series between the two countries was a very close one that India eventually lost 1-2, but this time India have the home advantage and SA have to reckon with a team high on confidence. India also have a good mix of experience and youth to pull it off.
So, should we start speculating what the Indian team make up would be?
I think Sehwag should be an automatic choice and we shouldn’t let his ODI form affect his test chances. Jaffer and Karthik both failed in Australia, but I would imagine that Jaffer being a regular opener would get the nod ahead of Karthik. Chopra and Gambhir would probably also be in the selectors radar, while Dravid and Pathan have an outside chance of being considered as an opener.
Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman are probably automatic choices. Ganguly would probably get the nod too. If Dravid opens the innings, then there is an opening for Yuvraj Singh or Rohit Sharma in the middle order. Gambhir could also be considered. A lot of our readers have expressed an opinion that Badrinath should be considered. I would be very surprised if the selectors made such a bold move (although it wouldn’t be a bad one!) Dhoni will of course don the gloves and come in to bat at No.7
Kumble is an automatic selection and if you are playing in India, Harbhajan Singh is another automatic selection for the second spinner spot. Zaheer Khan is still injured and the other two bowling spots would probably end up going to Ishant Sharma and RP Singh. If the track does take a lot of spin, then including a 3rd spinner (Piyush Chawla) may not be a bad idea, with Pathan opening the batting and also sharing the new ball with Ishant Sharma.
So, here is the final team –
- Ganguly/Yuvraj Singh
- Harbhajan Singh
- RP Singh/Chawla
- Ishant Sharma
That makes up the 14. Not much different from the team that toured Australia, but why should it be?
(I know, I know! – I will probably get a lot of flak for including Yuvraj Singh in the test team 🙂 )