India has announced its XII for the second Test against Bangladesh.
India’s XII for the Test is:
Wasim Jaffer, Dinesh Karthik, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Mahendra Dhoni, Anil Kumble, Rajesh Pawar, Zaheer Khan, RP Singh, Ishant Sharma, Ramesh Powar
No Yuvraj Singh. No VVS Laxman and no VRV Singh! Clearly, one of Inshant Sharma or Rajesh Pawar will get a game here (unless someone gets injured match-day)!
It is likely that Rajesh Pawar will sit this one out.
In Software Engineering, at the end of a project (or an iteration), the team gets together to discuss/review the project and to reflect on what worked, what didn’t; what the team learnt and what the team is still trying to learn. The review process is called Retrospective and it is something the Indian team would benefit from if they ran one at the end of every test and series.
Here is my version of the Retrospective for the first test –
- Karthik as an opener
- The batting of Dravid, Tendulkar and Ganguly (although they gave their wickets away at the wrong time)
What didn’t work?
- Timing of the series! Bad conditions, bad weather, bad pitch.
- The Indian fast bowling attack lacked penetration, particularly in the second innings. Zaheer was very ordinary in both innings and he is supposed to be the most experienced fast bowler in the match.
- Ability to dismiss the tail (If India had forced Bangladesh to follow-on, the results could well have been different)
- Dravid’s rotation of his bowlers (For instance, I couldn’t figure out why Sachin was brought on so late in the first innings, or why the opening bowlers were persisted with for so long in the second innings)
- Jaffar! Zeros in both innings? Not good. Not good at all. He is also the only specialist opener in the team.
What did the team learn?
- How important Kumble is to this team in sub-continent pitches! But we didn’t need this match to tell us that.
What are we still trying to learn?
- Is the 5+1+5 batsmen-wk-bowler combination the right one? We ended up playing a 4+2+5 combination, which sounds a bit ridiculous. And, with Kumble sick, we still bowled with just 4 bowlers. Not sure whether we’ve worked this one out yet.
- We still haven’t figured out what the right make up of the batting. Do we keep Laxman and Yuvraj out of the team? Surely, you can’t drop Rahul, Sachin and Saurav – they all batted well, plus Dravid is the captain. Dropping anyone from the middle order is basically out of question. Karthik cannot be dropped after his good performance and Jaffar is the only specialist opener. Again, not sure what the right solution is.
I am sure there are a lot more. Please feel free to add them in the comments section.
As Mohan suggested earlier, India should have declared at the overnight score of 384. It makes more sense considering the fact that we lost another day to rain. Instead, they decided to bat on…and after two quick wickets and the addition of 3 runs, declared at 387 for 8!
Not a great move, I guess. They’ve handed the psychological advantage back to Bangladesh.
I feel India should declare on their overnight score of 384 for 6 and try and get stuck into the Bangladesh batsmen on a fresh pitch. With 2 days gone and 3 more to play — probably rain-marred — this may be the best (perhaps only?) result-oriented solution. If nothing, it will be a declaration of intent.
At the end of the first days’ play in the 1st Test between India and Bangladesh, India sits pretty. The batsmen have done their job, one may feel. But, given the incongruous team selection (despite Vish’s comments to the contrary) I feel that Bangladesh is still very much in the game. As Mortaza commented at the end of the days’ play, a few early wickets — even one early wicket, in my view — will expose India’s tail (which would make Hanuman proud!).
I am happy to be proved wrong, but I still do not rate Dhoni as a Test batsman. He hasn’t done anything special to convice me of his standing as a genuine ‘keeper-batsman in Tests — which is the main reason why I am miffed at the Yuvraj-Laxman combine warming the benches in this Test! Dhoni is not quite in the Gilchrist-Sangakkara-Boucher mode in Tests, in my view. And now we have Matt Prior joining the ranks of genuine ‘keeper-batsmen!
So, in my view, the job that Ganguly and Tendulkar have commenced is only half done. India need at least another 100 from this pair. The combine batted sensibly to first gauge the wicket, blunt the attack and then cut loose for a while. They certainly moved into 1st gear, as I had predicted. However, the difference between past occassions (notably the 3rd Test against South Africa) and yesterday was that the two batsman did not stay in 1st gear! While the quality of the Bangladesh bowling and the pitch certainly had a role to play, Ganguly and tendulkar certainly seemed to be batting to a plan.
And it worked.
However, their job is only half complete. They need to work on this foundation, bat out the first hour and score runs at pace to cement this foundation. A distaster scenario would see India lose a few quick early wickets. This could see India all out for 350 or so. I know this is sheer pessimism but surely we’ve all been there, done that!
On a flat, slow track where the ball occasionally kept low, India won the toss and decided to bat first (which was a no brainer, really). Taking the hot, humid conditions and the pitch into consideration, India went with five bowlers and a long tail that even Hanuman would have been proud of.
The Indian batsman had to deliver and in spite of a golden duck from Jaffar of the first ball of the innings, the batsmen did deliver. Dravid and Karthik scored half centuries, but threw away their wickets. With three wickets back in the Pavilion and only Dhoni to follow, both Sachin and Saurav batted cautiously at the start, but eventually opened up to remain unbeaten on 80 and 82 respectively.
The job is only half done though – India need to put a 500+ on this flat track playing first and both players in the middle will have to score well above 100 to put India in command.
Here are some links to reports on the day’s play –
I do not believe this Indian team that’s been selected for the 1st Test against Bangladesh! I do not believe that this is the right one at all… Surely!
With Munaf Patel injured, I agree they had no choice but to go in with 5 bowlers. With a “fit and searching” Munaf Patel, questions may have been asked of the Bangladeshi players. However, the moment he was injured, the team was perhaps right in opting for a 5-bowler strategy — especially given the hot and humid conditions that the team will, no doubt, face in this Test match. Given the personnel that the team had to chose from, the choice of Zaheer Khan, RP Singh, VRV Singh, Anil Kumble and R. Powar was perhaps right.
What I cannot, however, fathom is the batting. It just lacks depth. And the presence of two wicketkeepers in the team — especially given the five-bowler scenario — is befuddling, to say the least!
Given the hands-tied-behind-back scenario the team had opted for by going in with only one specialist opener, I’d have taken Karthik as opener and ‘keeper and gone in with an additional batsman — either Yuvraj Singh or VVS. Laxman. Currently, this batting lacks depth.
I predict that this will put Tendulkar and Ganguly into 1st gear mode especially if 2-3 wickets wickets fall early (a la the 3rd Test against South Africa).
Expect the worst guys!
Posted in Cricket
Tagged Bangladesh, Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Dravid, Ganguly, India, Kumble, Munaf, Powar, RP Singh, Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Wasim Jaffer, Yuvraj, Zaheer