Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Series About The Future For India

India left England smashed into oblivion by the mauling they received in all forms of the game. Then left humiliated by how meekly they surrendered in the face of real skill and fire. To the point that by the end of the tour they were even being held up to ridicule by their own fervent fans

Truly stung by the insipid performance, we arrive at the 5 ODI series with the hysterically passionate Indian supporter base not only wanting revenge, but quite literally baying for English blood.

The need for the fans to feel retribution for England cannot be denied, and duly it sets up real meaning in what is essentially a meaningless ODI series

So lets run the rule over the Indian Team


Squad (First two ODI's)

It must be said that this Indian squad obviously has been chosen in the wake of the England debacle, and with a transition process being put in place in mind. It is an excellent squad full of young Indian players, that are going to form the back bone of India's future. There are many vacancies in the Indian line up in all regards, so a player that excels in this series. Might see their name in the Indian 11 for the West Indies Test series

Players To Look For

Ajinkya Rahane

Aside from the cursed Tamil Nadu batsman Subramaniam Badrinath, Rahane is arguably the unluckiest batsman in the Indian game. This in regards to having dominated in the First Class competition in India, as well as on A Tours, but never being picked for the full Indian until recently.

He has the technique and temperament to be a very fine International player for India in all forms of the game. This embodied in this analysis of his game

Broad started with a perfect bouncer, but Rahane swivelled to pull over the deep square-leg boundary for a six. When Jade Dernbach bowled a slower delivery, Rahane waited patiently before glancing to the fine-leg boundary. Against full deliveries, he would move a step back, clear his left foot out of the way before chipping the ball over the in-field.

This when he was cast into a situation, where India was totally demoralised, and with England being ruthless in their continued mauling of India. Then, Rahane was surrounded by little support because of the glut of injuries to senior players. Despite this, the way he played, made you know he is a batsman of real International calibre

They say real men are seen in crisis, so expect Rahane to really put his stamp on this series.

To the point that we will see his name somewhere in the Indian Test top 6 for the First Test against the West Indies

Ravi Ashwin

India are notorious for being a Nation that is very conservative in its mannerisms. So you can see that Harbhajan Singh despite having his used by date as an International spinner well and truly expired being put back in the Team when he is fit.

If India were smart, they would seriously run the rule over this very fine and big hearted Tamil Nadu off spinner Ravi Ashwin. Who has been constantly viewed as solely a player suited for the shorter forms of the game because of his mastery of economical bowling.

Though in an era where temperaments of International batsmen are more and more compromised through money cricket. Ashwin's intelligent and subtle varieties coupled with his strangling accuracy could see him become a very decent Test bowler

Lets hope he gets that chance in the Test series against the West Indies prompted by a fine ODI series here.

Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron

Umesh Yadav- Great potential
Like with India being wise to look at life in their spin department without Harbhajan, the same wisdom should be in starting to look for options post Zaheer Khan. This due to the fragility of his body

These two young fast bowlers are raw as raw can be, but are both quick and have talent. The major question mark over both is whether they have developed enough bowling smarts to be able to perform on the International arena. This said, for it is ok to get the ball through at 150 kms, but if you do nothing with it through seam, swing or variations. It is a dead set certainty, that you will get whip lash from turning your head violently to bemoan the ball racing past you to the boundary.

If they show any sign of these 'bowling smarts' in this series, one or both must be selected for the Indian Test Team. Just by the fact of the dearth of any bowlers of quality in India at present

Rahul Sharma

The tall lanky leg spin bowler has evoked many memories of Anil Kumble in his style. He gained notoriety in the IPL, where it was widely thought that he outfoxed the Master batsman Sachin Tendulkar.

Which is always a great measure of any spin bowlers calibre

Sadly, his progress was stifled by Bells Palsy paralysing part of his face, but his comeback from that and continued fine performances show his heart. If he can show his ability on the International scene in this series. He might be an unexpected replacement for one of his mentors Harbhajan Singh in the Indian Test Team.

Future Talk- What should be the Squad for Australia?

The focus for India since the English series ruthlessly exposed the gaping flaws in their line up has been on finding International standard bowlers. Then also the problematic number 6 position in its batting line up

Keeping this in mind, this 5 ODI series should be used to run the rule over the International calibre of all the young players in the line up. This as a precursor for injecting new blood in the Test Team for the three Test series against the West Indies. As well as giving some veterans a rest.

There after for the Australia 4 Test series, this is how I would go

If he is fit, I would pick Zaheer Khan for the Tour because of his calibre in all regards as a bowler, and then his meaning as a mentor for the younger bowlers. Then names such as Sreesanth, RP Singh and Munaf Patel should be told to show more attention to training, rather than a love for butter chicken and barfi, and duly dispatched till they do 

In the spin department. Harbhajan Singh's should not play for India again, for he has just lost his threat in the Test arena, and it is time to bring in the new generation of Indian spinners. Ravi Ashwin should be India's spinner from now on, and though Pragyan Ohja and Amit Mishra have been tried, they just haven't showed the needed calibre. So I would pull a surprise for the second spinners role by either selecting Rahul Sharma or a young spinner of real class and calibre in either Vikas Mishra or Barghat Bhatt

As for the batting, im sure that VVS Laxman might be made a scape goat for England, but it would be real dumb for him not to be on the Tour. Virat Kohli is seen as India's golden child, but as he showed in Tests in the Caribbean, he is a real bunny against the short ball. So on bouncy Australian pitches he isn't suited

So this would  be my 16 man Indian Squad for the 4 Tests in Australia

M.S.Dhoni, Parthiv Patel (reserve keeper)

7 batsmen:

Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinyka Rahane

7 Bowlers

Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Praveen Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Pankaj Singh, Ravi Ashwin, Vikas Mishra/ Rahul Sharma

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