India play a 3-day game starting Saturday 19th July, ahead of their first Test against Sri Lanka, which commences on Wed 23 July 2008.
India’s last Test match was in April against the South Africans. Since then the Indian players have played a few Twenty20 games and quite a few meaningless one-dayers!
India will want to test out a full-strength side for the game — if nothing else, to help players like Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, V. V. S. Laxman, Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble, Dinesh Karthik and Zaheer Khan shake off some of the rust that may have collected over the last few months of cricket-inactivity.
It may be a good idea to give Virender Sehwag a bit of a break and get Gautam Gambhir to open with Dinesh Karthik! This will allow India an opprtunity to tes out a Sehwag-Karthik opening opportunity. In my view this combination is required in this team to develop a better balance to the side.
With that in mind, my India team for the Board Presidents XI game would be:
Anil Kumble (captain)
Pragyan Ojha / RP Singh
This could well be the Test team too, if the opening combination with Karthik works well. If not, Karthik may have to drop down the order to #7 with the team losing a bowler (the Ojha / RP.Singh spot).
The Sri Lankan Board team is a strong one. It will be led by Jehan Mubarak and includes Dilhara Fernando, Chamara Silva and Upul Tharanga.