Indian Team announced

The Indian Team for the first two Tests against the South Africans has been announced. It is:

Anil Kumble (Captain), Wasim Jaffer, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Murali Kartik, Sreesanth, RP Singh, Piyush Chawla (back-up)

It is along expected lines given the post-Australia-tour injury-list! However, I am rather surprised to see as many as 4 spinners in the 15-member line-up! Ishant Sharma has not recovered from his injury yet and it looks like Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh have yet to prove their fitness.

I expect that the Final XI will be:

Wasim Jaffer
Virender Sehwag
Rahul Dravid
Sachin Tendulkar
Sourav Ganguly
VVS Laxman
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk)
Irfan Pathan
Anil Kumble (Captain)
Harbhajan Singh
RP Singh

Extras: Yuvraj Singh, Sreesanth, Murali Kartik, Piyush Chawla (back-up)

— Mohan

29 responses to “Indian Team announced

  1. No Dinesh Karthik?

  2. @ Harinee .
    DK is a reserve player, he will continue to do so for ever :), till Mr. Dhoni decides to take rest someday. I think he should work on his bowling skills now, so that he can get in as a utility player someday :).. or May be he can do a course in Sports psychology or something. Never Mind he at least gets paid even if he is a reserve player.

    Contrast :
    Yuvraj, Boy.. Only he can be persisted in the team after so many failures. In the placid tracks in India he will score a couple of hundreds here and continue to be in the team for ever.
    The Board is bent upon making a good test player out of him..
    I agree he is a good talent, But unless he gets the axe and some shabby treatment from selectors ( what Greggy did to Ganguly) he will continue to flaunt his attitude and remain an inconsistent player who has been touted as the next sachin for the last 7 -8 years.

    I thought Gambhir would get picked instead of him.
    And for players like Chopra,Parthiv, Badhri they should better start practising for their IPL games. They might not make it to the team till they are in their late 30’s .

    These fringe players atleast have an options of ICL or IPL these days, to atleast make some money.

    Imagine the plight of some players from the past who were as good as many in the current international team but always travelled 2nd class, shared dorms and always played to those empty stands and who may be lead very Ordinary lives today.

  3. Mumbai Mafia domination is very clear

    Jaffer after so many failures in Australia is selected. Gambhir should have been selected instead. Based on history, DK should have known that for TN players the number of chances is limited and if there is an opportunity, he will be dropped.

    Yuvraj’s failures in test matches is also obvious – He did not do much in one-days in Australia also. Yuvraj’s fielding was average. But he is the golden boy. If Lakshman were to fail in the first test, immediately there will be cries to replace Lakshman with Yuvraj.

  4. @gnbmdr: Only Jaffer and Tendulkar are from Mumbai. So where is the Mumbai Mafia Domination? Are you suggesting that Tendulkar be dropped to accommodate Karthik?

  5. @gnbmdr
    Its not Mumbai domination or anything. Its Just whims and fancies of the selection commitee.

    I’m completely fine with the team selection, But for the following things.

    1. Why is Yuvi not axed ? 8 years should be more than enough to gauge if someone is matured enough to be permanent member of the test team. he might have the talent, But why not try others , is there a shortage oof quality players.

    2. why there is no strategy around grooming players like Chopra, Badhri and Patel into next levels?

    3. While they say that they are thinking ahead for a good future team, do they mean only the ODI team, Because ODI is more marketable than the longer version.

    4. What Value is someone like Jaffar going to add to the team. he is already 30. We are very clear about skill levels. He cannot succeed only against bowling attacks in difficult conditions.

    While I don’t have a problem having him this squad for this SA series, I don’t see any futurustic thinking in this move.

    If Karthick is incompetent, why not try Gambhir,why still persist with Jaffar.

  6. @Mohan

    I asked you for some info in Bring on
    The Proteas post,did you not see it.
    Would appreciate a reply.

    Thanks & Rgds

  7. @Karthik

    Why do you say it is the “whims and fancies of the selection committee”?

    Nothing about this selection suggests a random choice to me. This is a careful and good selection just as the ODI team to Australia was. Several people did not like that. India won the CB Championship.

    Why should Yuvraj be axed? Apart from satiating a whim, I can’t see a reason for axing him or burning him or doing anything else to him. At the end of 8 years, it is likely that the selection committee has decided that he is matured enough to be permanent member of the Test team. Why should you “try others” other than for a whim?

    Jaffer and Yuvraj had ONE bad series. This is no reason for an axe.

    You ask what value Jaffer is going to bring at age 30. Let us not forget that Hayden is 37. Jaffer has done well in South Africa in RSA and England in England. So it is not as if he is only good in India.

    A revolving-door-rotation-policy (a whim, in my view) will only give you dizzy selectors and even dizzier fans.

    It ain’t broken. Don’t fix it.

    — Mohan

  8. mohankaus,

    I wish your logic “Jaffer and Yuvraj had ONE bad series. This is no reason for an axe.” is also applied to other players like Dinesh Karthik – who had one bad series against Pak in India. Forgotten that Karthik was the highest scorer in the Eng series in England.

    Yuvraj has been the “potential” for a long, long time.

  9. @gnbmdr

    Fair point. I accept that.

    If Yuvraj is not given more opportunities at the Test level, he will remain a “potential”.

  10. @Mohank

    Yuvi is more like Sir Agarkar, who was always inconsistent no matter how many ever chances he was given at the Test level.

    Agarkar offcourse was inconsistent in all forms of the game. It still remains a surprise as to how he made it to the XI consistently.

    One thing I notice in Yuvi is his tendency to throw his wicket. The reason this happens is the fact that he doesn’t know to respect quality bowling. He gets carried away once he looks to be in fine touch and thinks that he continue to attack any bowler no matter how ever well a bowler is bowling .

    This might work well in ODI or T20 where the bowler is constrained by the limited number of overs he gets to get him out. But in test cricket the bowlers always have the time to Plan and get the ever impatient Yuvi Out.

    I feel there is no dearth of talent in this country, Just because one Yuvi seems to have potential doesn’t mean that hundered other domestic players during the same reign who might be better players than him don’t even get the opportunity to test their mettle at the international level.

    At the end of the day India should win, and one will have to choose the best XI on form. Just because some one has the potential doesn;t mean that he should be persisted with in the team continously.

    Right now Yuvi is so certain about his place in the team that, there is no impetus for him to perform. I’m sure he needs a Greg-Ganguly like treatment so that he can introspect and come out as a better player. If he really deserves a place in the test team, he should challenge the likes of the TOP5 performers in Ranji who have shown a consistent hunger for runs..

    This guy has hardly played any Ranji and that shows up in his weakness against spin.

  11. So Karthik. You do not rate Yuvraj’s excellent 100 made after India were in trouble at 61-4 against Pakistan?

    He doesn’t need any Greg-Ganguly-like treatment in my view. What he needs is opportunities.

    I think we have to get out of the mindset that the only thing that will ever work is a stick and a backside to whack it on. 🙂

  12. I think that the team selection has been fair and consistent. No surprises – and that is a good thing.

    Dinesh Karthik has been named as a backup for Dhoni and that is fine – there is probably no need to name 2 WKs for a home series and if any of the openers (or Dhoni) gets injured, then he stands another chance of making it into the team. But don’t be surprised if Pathan opens the innings with Sehwag to accomodate 3 spinners!

    Like Karthik, Chawla was only named as a backup for Harbhajan Singh, but Murali Karthik’s injury means he is now in the XIV. So, Mohan – there were only 3 spinners selected.

    There is all this argument about including Yuvraj in the team. I have no problems with him being in the XIV. Obviously, he is part of India’s long term plans and one bad series in Australia shouldn’t affect that. Remember that although he is in the XIV, he may still not get to play in the final XI…

    The thing is that only eleven players will eventually be selected. I, for one like Dinesh Karthik…and Gambhir…and Yuvraj (yes, Yuvraj)…and Badrinath…and the list goes on – But to accommodate all these players, we may have to replace the entire XI!

    So, let us be practical about it…

  13. @Mohan
    Opportunities yes, I agree, But i think its not just Yuvi who needs opportunities.

    Did SS Das get so many opportunities? for that matter did Jadeja get his due? So why only Yuvi?

    Given the compettion today, I think People should not be getting so many opportunities to prove themselves.

    Chopra, Badhri, Gambhir ??? Chopra did a wonderful Job of what he was told to do in Aus in 2004. He was rated more as a grafter, But then this time in the domestic season, he proved everybody wrong by scoring at a phenomenal Strike Rate. Badhri scored a Quality Double century against a touring SA XI team which had the likes of Albie Morkel and Steyn in it.

    I’m afraid these players will spend their entire lives in IPL/ICL inspite of having scored so consistently. What else can they do to prove themselves.

    Some How I love to see people who fight their way into the team overcoming their weaknesses rather than people who always get a prince like treatment just because they have the potential.

    Its a bad sign that none of the top 5 performers in Ranji are in the XI.

    Why should someone play domestic cricket at all?

    When ever Sachin Plays Ranji, he still doesn’t miss an opportunity to show why he is still the best batsmen in the country. There are some of his Ranji innings where he has outbatted the oppositions single handedly.

    For that Matter even RD responded with back to back centruries in Ranji after he got dropped from the ODI team, he scored a century again in Duleep Trophy yesterday..

    Thats what great Players do !! They show consistency every where, they let their bat do the talking..

    Not like the arrogant Yuvi is Aus — who after failing the entire summer told the reporters “I was never unsure about my place in the team” after just one 50 in the game against Srilanka.

  14. @ Mohank,

    Good Day Mohan, I have requested on
    2 Ocassions for a Reply of some sought
    from you for some info you gave in a recent post rgds a certain TV coverage of the India V Sth Africa series.

    On both ocassions you have NOT replied, which begs the Question?

    Either You are not confident in the Accuracy of Information you supplied OR your NON REPLIES is just a Matter of being Discourteous towards myself for Reasons unbeknown to me.

    Have a Good Day


  15. @Vandy

    It is also possible that the Mohan that posted was not me.

    Indeed, it wasn’t me!

    Have a good day.


  16. Well Yuvrajs selection is not something I am critical about. However, we need to look at the future and build a team accordingly. I dont see Ganguly, Kumble playing for more than an year from now (unless Dada decides to continue on till his next gen). Dravid and Tendulkar are also approaching their retirement. What the selectors must have done at this point is give a chance to players like Badri, Chopra etc. Check their value in the middle order. If India leads this series 2-0, then there must be emphasis on giving these guys a chance. Otherwise, the incentive of playing in Ranji trophies stands lost. These chaps have been scoring tremendously in the domestic circuit, and its time that we get to see how they fare in the international circuit. We are looking at replacements for around 4 players over the next two years, certainly Yuvi could have waited in such a case (for he has “potential” and can make it to the team “anyday”).

  17. @ Mohank,

    In that case please accept my apologies


    As to not have to Repeat myself, see my
    Message to Mohank as it should have
    been Directed to you. I would have thought you would have worked that
    out by Now Mohan as I did use your name on a couple of ocassions.



  18. @ghurram:
    “I dont see Ganguly, Kumble playing for more than an year from now (unless Dada decides to continue on till his next gen). Dravid and Tendulkar are also approaching their retirement.”

    In that case there is nothing to worry about, is there? These players have to wait only about another year or so before many vacancies come up in the team!

  19. ghurram says ” dont see Ganguly, Kumble playing for more than an year from now (unless Dada decides to continue on till his next gen). Dravid and Tendulkar are also approaching their retirement. ”

    So how can we try the the new players, ie, new middle order batsmen?

    Would you please name your six batsmen and give reason for dropping the players that you will have to from the existing XI, to try out new players ?

    As far as I can see, no one can drop Sehwag, Dravid, Sachin, Ganguly and Laxman. If you do want to, please give your reasons!

  20. @Karthik

    In my view Yuvraj Singh does not need opportunities to prove himself. That part is already done. He needs opportunities to play and in my view, he is a natural successor to Ganguly’s mantle.

    It is not at all surprising that the top 5 performers in Ranji are not in the India XI. If the entire Indian team was playing Ranjis instead of Test Matches adn ODIs for India, those top-5 will perhaps not be the top-5!

    The top-5 performers in the Australian domestic comp are not in Team Australia. Simon Katich just broke Darren Lehman’s record for the maximum number of runs in the season. He is not even in contention for a Test spot.

    — Mohan

  21. Do you think close to 40 test innings is not enough opportunity for someone.

    Anyways the time will tell us how good he his, Unfortunately this time also means some one else is denied a chance.

    Simon Katich is an already tested player. He is Some one like our Ajay Sharma or Sridharan Sriram who were prolific scorers in domestic circuit and when tested they were not found to be good.

    its not a question of having all top5 performers into the team. its a question of using at least one of them to replace a non performing player.
    How do you think Phil Jaques made it to the team when langer went, his domestic records.

  22. @Karthick

    I am not sure what you are arguing about frankly.

    After 40 innings, I am convinced he is here to stay! He does not need opportunities to prove himself. He has already done that.

    And in my view, he is the replacement for Ganguly.

  23. After 40 innings, I am convinced he is not here to stay! He has to go battle it out in front of empty stands again to desrvingly reserve his place in the test side.
    In the pursuit of waiting for him to replace Ganguly, I’m afraid we will not see the face of a few other Vivians or Sachins

  24. @Karthick

    Averages of Yuvraj Singh, Simon Katich.

    Mat, Runs, HS, Ave, 100s, Wkts, BestBowl, BowlAv
    YS: 22, 1018, 169, 32.83, 3, 3, 2/9, 40.33
    SK: 23, 1260, 125, 36.00, 2, 12, 6/65, 33.83

    Comparison is favorable.

    OK, you may say that Simon Katich is a waste of time and so, any comparison with him is also wasted.

    Let’s compare Yuvraj’s chart with that of Michael Clarke at a similar time in Clarke’s journey — he is, today, a well-established member of the Australia team.

    MC: 23, 1179, 151, 36.84, 2, 8, 6/9, 9.37

    Not much there in my view.

    Ok. Now let’s compare his stats with another classy left-hander, David Gower. Indeed, they have a similar languid style too. You may call it lazy and arrogant. I call it elegant. At the same time in his career, Gower’s stats read:

    DG: 21, 1336, 200*, 44.53, 3

    The 200 not out against India in Birmingham (12 Jul 1979) helped boost his aggregate as well as his average.

    Of course, there is always that classic comeback-cliche that can be used to dismiss stats.

    The point I am making is, if we keep looking for alternatives (especially when there is one staring us in the face) just because we don’t like the shape of a person’s nose or the color of their hair or the swagger in their walk, my view is that all we will achieve is get our knickers in a horrible twist.

    Yuvraj Singh is a proven performer. While he hasn’t set the world on fire, to me the 169 he scored against Pakistan — coming in at 61 for 4 — proved that he had what it takes. Persistence is what is needed now even though he had a bad series against Australia.

    He does not need to be sidelined just so that Badrinath and others be given opportunities.

  25. @Mohan
    I think its a question of perspective, He might still score a 2o0 against SA and make us wait for the next 20 games for a fifty..

    Its simple, you think he is a long term test prospect and I don’t think so..

    and time will tell us who is right.. :),

    Patience, choosing the ball on the merit and playing according the situation are key things in Test Cricket. and these things have to be done consistently.
    I don’t think he has these things in him, But yes he can improve.. So lets wait and see..

    Lets also wait to see people like Badhri fade away after spending years on the fringes.

  26. In his innings against Pakistan, he did play the kind of Test cricket innings that we expect from a player of his experience. Players like him and Sehwag are match-winners. We need them. We can’t stuff a team full of Dravids. If Yuvraj fires like he did in the Twenty20, we have that ability in the middle-order to explode off the tracks.

    Badri, like Katich, has to keep plugging away. There are no free breakfasts here.

  27. Your assesment is Biassed , How do you compare Badhri with Katich even when he has not played a single international match..

    I’m sure you have never watched him play. Go watch him in a Ranji Game or get a footage and then you will understand what I’m talking about. I have been watching him since his under-13 days..

    . And unfortunately its not about Just Badhri, I rate even Gambhir very High in terms of improvements he has made to his game in the recent past. And so there are 10os of such Badhri s who waiting and never made it to the team because of bad selection policies , or let me say because of “No Selection Policies in place”

  28. I have made NO assessment on Badri. So I am surprised to hear that my assessment is “Biassed”… or biased even!

    And for your information, I have watched him play. So instead of saying “I am sure you have never watched him play”, it would have better if you had asked rather than pronounced!

    For the record, I do rate Badri highly — read my writings on this blog carefully. So also Gambhir although I was initially skeptical. But you can’t have a stream of 30 people rotating in and out of the team! For every Badri and Gambhir there is a Pujara and a Chopra. There is a 30-member India-A Team. They can’t all play!

    Them’s the breaks and them’s how the cookie crumbles.

    These guys just need to keep making their cases stronger and stronger.

  29. @mohank
    I apologise for assuming that you have never watched Badhri Play.

    What do you think Yuvi is doing to make his case stronger and Stronger,

    There is also this age factor which comes into play after a particular amount of time.

    Give Badhri 40 odd innings which Yuvi has played, I’m sure he will outshine him.

    Thanks of correcting my spelleeieng.

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