Bring on the Proteas

Now that the Australian tour is over, we can start looking forward to cricket with another challenging team – South Africa. Here is the fixture:

  Venue Dates
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.

Middle Order

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 –

  • Sehwag
  • Jaffer/Pathan
  • Dravid
  • Tendulkar
  • Ganguly/Yuvraj Singh
  • Laxman
  • Dhoni
  • Kumble
  • 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 🙂 )


26 responses to “Bring on the Proteas

  1. Karthik didn’t play in Australia, when did he fail?
    he played a couple of innings against ACT XI, in one of which he scored a century by a whisker.

  2. True…It was the failure against Pakistan I was thinking about. I am not writing off Karthik, though – he has in him to make it back to the playing XI …Not sure whether it will be against South Africa, though…

  3. karthick… are you karthick? 🙂

  4. No Sreesanth???

  5. Madras being Badri’s homeground, there is a possibility that he might open. If Dhoni’s back / hand trouble needs extra care, we may see DK open and keep wickets with Badri coming into the middle order.

    I don’t see how WJ will open with his massive failures in Australia. But you never know…

  6. read “open” in the previous post as “play”

  7. Why is Harbhajan a certainty? I am 100% sure he will make the final XI but all the brouhaha over the monkey gate controversy should not overshadow the fact that he has been poor in test cricket over the last couple of years! I would really like to see Chawla in the squad. He can learn so much from Kumble.

    As for Badrinath, I really feel for him. 😦 Hope he does make the squad.

  8. As Prashanth says, Bhajji should be shown the door in test cricket and Murali Kartik should be brought in (Mohan will kill me for this). Piyush is not up there yet but that being said, even I can take wickets against SAf with my off-spin I think.

  9. Three points.

    1. I was impressed with Gambhir as one of the best players of Spin bowling, esp. when handling Muralitharan. Mind you, not many players (other than Brian Lara) were able to dominate Murali’s bowling well. I would suggest that Gambhir play in the already crowded middle order.

    Yuvraj is not a good player of spin.

    2. Let us not experiment with Pathan as opener. I think it would be Jaffer or Gambhir. Karthick will not be considered since he is from TN 🙂

    3. For Indian conditions – 4 bowlers (2 pace + 2 spin) or 5 bowlers ( 2 pace + 3 spinners) .

  10. H L Cadambi (Cad)

    I notice that not much is being said specifically about team balance in Indian conditions. I feel 5 bowlers is the way to go, 2 medium pacers and 3 spinners is probably more likely than 3 medium pacers and 2 spinners – though the way Sehwag has been bowling, the latter may well be a good option. Its noticeable recently that when we have gone with 5 bowlers, the batsmen (including the lower order / tail enders) have shown more responsibility. Worth pursuing that strategy!

  11. Mohank,

    I wish I were karthick. I’m Just another cricket crazy Indian S/W engineer.

    I’m a Karthick fan and feel that he is a captain material. While he has the talent, its his attitude which impresses me the most.


    Jaffer/Pathan – I will prefer Karthick here, or Even Akash Chopra will be great here. Or Try some one young who is among lot of runs in Ranji.

    Dravid — If we win the first two tests, we can play Rohit sharma/Yuvraj here.

    Tendulkar — If we win the first two tests, we can play sharma/Yuvraj here.

    Ganguly — – – Rest Him for one of the tests and play Gambhir instead . Preferably First test . I think he should be groomed to take over from Ganguly.

    Laxman — Rest Him for one of the tests and play Badhri instead . Preferably First test . I think he should be groomed to take over from Laxman.



    Harbhajan Singh – This Guy needs to Improve, he doesnt seem to be at his best.

    RP Singh/Chawla

    Ishant Sharma

    Why is Zaheer not being considered? Is he still Injured?

  12. Indian selection committee should recognize the value of stints in domestic season as a grooming requirement for the highest level. Indian team should not follow the path of Pakistan in picking inexperienced youth. It would be both detrimental for the player and the Indian team in the long run. I agree that many young players in the current one day team have excelled in the last 12 months. Only time will tell how they shape up in the future. To be honest, among batsmen, only Gambhir looks like test match material. In my evaluation, Dhoni earns a spot for his grit and potential captaincy, not for his batting skills. Rohit Sharma looks the most promising for test level, but I feel that he needs a few big stints in domestic cricket prior to earning a test spot. On the bowling side, other than Irfan Pathan, every other bowler has test match potential.
    If we need flamboyance, esp in Indian conditions, Yuvraj will be our man. A 15 minute trailer, with the fans craving for the full movie forever.

  13. Srikanth Mangalam

    It seems like Tendulkar, Ishant Sharma, Yuvraj, and Harbajan will miss the SA series due to injuries. Jaffer has been in amazing domestic form of late, I doubt if they will drop him from the side, not that I am particularly in favor. Based on the injuries my 14 would be more like this:

    Sehwag, Jaffer/Gambhir, Dravid, Laxman, Ganguly, Rohit Sharma/Irfan Pathan, Dhoni, Kumble, Sreesanth, RP Singh, Piyush Chawla, Powar/Murali Karthik.

  14. Wow. Really? Where did you read this Srikanth? Would be great if you could provide URL links to articles… Thanks.


    Seems like John Gloster wants separate test and ODI teams!

  16. Srikanth Mangalam

    Sorry about that, Mohan! Will do so from next time around.

  17. My Team would be as Follows.

    Rohit Sharma
    Rp Singh
    Ishant Sharma
    Uthappa 12th man

  18. Vandy

    I reckon you’re on the money

    Three fast/fast mediums Seam & swing, left & right handed

    Kumble as the spin option backed up by Sehwag’s not inconsiderable offies and Tendulkar should never be discounted

    With Kumble at 8 the batting is deep.

    The opening partnership has both solidity & agression

    Dravid & Laxman are where they should be

    Good balance of age & experience with the bias slightly towards the older player

  19. Any idea about the TV coverage in Australia???

  20. foxtel……unfortunately

  21. The standard Foxtel won’t be covering the India-SA series. It will be available on Setanta Sports.

    If you already have pay tv in Australia you can purchase a month’s subscription to Setanta Sports (for about $15) and get to see the tests. You are able to terminate the subscription before the month ends.

  22. Mohan,

    How does one go about getting the
    Setanta Sports Subscription.

    Is it handled through Fox or what.

    I am Pretty Keen to watch this series.

    Thanks & rgds


  23. I see the Indian hockey team lost 2-0 to Great Britain & failed to qualify for the Olympics.

    Perhaps the IHF should get a few tips on referee/umpire management from the BCCI.
    Quote in the HT “The coach also took a jibe at the refereeing and accused them of not being up to the mark and booked the players unnecessarily without reasoning.

    “We played with ten players for 25 minutes and got cards, which was not deserving and reprimanded even those players who did not get a card.”

    Must be the Bucknor effect

  24. My team would be

    Dinesh Karthik
    Piyush Chawla
    RP Singh
    munaf patel

  25. hi rp i m a big fan of urs i have send a lot of messages to u in dc website but there was no reply plz reply me

  26. rp ur my fav of all the players best of luck for ur coming tournament

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