Vijay and Kulkarni in good outings

M. Vijay scored 93 and Kulkarni has taken 3 wickets so far in a successful outing for Central Districts in the NZ domestic tournament. Add Dravid’s century and Laxman’s brief stays at the crease, the test certains and test hopefuls have had an opportunity to acclimatize to conditions as well. Amit Mishra and L. Balaji, however, had medicore start to this tour in the domestic game. My suggested line up for the 1st test would be:

1. V. Sehwag

2. G. Gambhir

3. M. Vijay

4. Sachin Tendulkar

5. Rahul Dravid

6. VVS Laxman

7. M. S. Dhoni

8. Harbhajan Singh

9. Zaheer Khan

10. D. Kulkarni

11. Ishant Sharma


While it would be tempting to play Yuvraj Singh in the lineup, I would prefer to go with M. Vijay instead and possibly move Dravid to playing in the middle. Dhaval Kulkarni has to play considering the form he is in and terrible form that Munaf Patel is in would make him an unlikely candidate. I do not think India will play Amit Mishra, at least not in the first test as I expect to the pitches for the test matches will be similiar to the one used yesterday at Eden Park. Gautam Gambhir has been in sublime form but this would be his real test on foreign pitches as a test opener and, going by his performance yesterday, he should be expecting a challenging time early on in the innings countering the swing and bounce. Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma have been taken to the cleaners by the NZ openers in the one day series but they should bounce back in this version though. The first hour of the game would again be crucial to the start of the series. Sehwag’s approach would be key if India bats first, India close in catching would be critical if we bowl first. 

Waiting for the fun to begin..


5 responses to “Vijay and Kulkarni in good outings

  1. How do you say Balaji had a mediocre game?

    Balaji’s cumulative bowling card for his game reads – 38 overs 15 maidens 94 runs 3 wkts

    So far Kulkarni’s numbers are – 19 overs 2 maidens 62 runs 3 wkts

    Unless Kulkarni’s going to bowl his heart out and run through the Central Dists batting in his second outing, he is going to end up with the same kinda “mediocre” numbers as Balaji.

  2. Srikanth Mangalam

    Maybe “mediocre” was a strong word but, it seems from the reports that I have read so far, Kulkarni was reasonably impressive in the first innings. Amit Mishra, though ended up taking three wickets, struggled for the most part and Balaji, while tidy, did take only three wickets in both innings combined. In any case, between Balaji, Munaf, and Kulkarni, I would go for the last one in the first test.

  3. Cant argue with much of that. But it is easy to see that Yuvraj WILL be selected. Gambhir will be given atleast 2 tests, if not 3 even if he fails in all 6 innings. Hard to see Vijay breaking into the team, unless Laxman/Dravid fails in first 2 tests.

    I’d also go with Kulkarni rather than Balaji. But truth is for all the recent fast bowling riches of India, we seem to have not too many options in this tour which is sad. Sreesanth, RP Singh, Irfan Pathan, Praveen Kumar, VRV, Pankaj, Siddarth Trivedi, Ashish Nehra, Yo Mahesh, Sangwan – how many have fallen by the wayside in last few months. Sad that on the one tour where you need your medium pacers to be at their best, an area where India seemeed to have riches, fate has it that we dont even have 3 decent options in the one tour that needs them.

  4. I never liked him for Tests in the past, but now I think Yuvraj adds a lot to this side with his fielding and part-time spin. He has really matured in his batting and I think he is a legitimate test player nowadays.
    I don’t know how Balaji is doing, but I don’t see what’s wrong with Praveen or Munaf. I think they are very solid bowlers, certainly good enough to be a third seamer at this level. Munaf doesn’t seem to be able to bowl long spells but that isn’t a problem for this team as they have many part-time options and the other bowlers have great stamina.

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