Wednesday, November 2, 2011

India and West Indies Take Baby Steps

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The next month will see the return of test cricket to India. India will have to make a new beginning with old batting stalwarts. With Sehwag, Tendulkar and Laxman fit and back in the side, India's batting looks impregnable at home.

We have held Kohli in high regard despite his bland entry into test cricket in the West Indies. Yuvraj may be a spent force, but his performance in the World Cup has earned him a reward, given his passion to play test cricket. This, definitely, will be his last chance to come good. The conditions are ripe with a home series against West Indies.

India are trying to re-tool their bowling attack (again). This time they are partnering Ishant with Varun Aaron or Umesh Yadav. I do believe Varun has the goods to succeed at the test level. However, it all depends on how he maintains his body and how he develops. His speed is definitely a plus and his performance in the last ODI against England was heart-warming. He seems fiery enough to justify being pitch-forked into the test team.

Ashwin is sure to make his debut, so India will go into the first test with at least two new bowlers. Not the greatest of ideas against the West Indies who will be coming to India after a good series in Bangladesh. They will have had the right kind of preparation. But India had little choice in doing what they are doing.

West Indies have taken the first definite steps to improve their cricket. Centuries by Darren Bravo and Kirk Edwards added to the solid batting of Marlon Samuels is good news for them. Despite it coming against Bangladesh, it's a huge boost. Bishoo too will be encouraged by his fiver. Indians are the best players of spin, but having a decent spinner in India definitely helps.

The series might produce draws with India on the back foot in the first test. This would be my prediction. Sehwag and Tendulkar are coming into the test series with very little to show in recent times. Laxman is always a slow starter given his lack of match practice. So it will be down to Dravid and Gambhir to lead in test one.

Looking forward to a memorable season with Tendulkar, Dravid and perhaps Laxman calling it a day after the Australia series.


Vaibhav Sharma said...

I am not sure whether Ashwin would get as much success in tests as he gets in ODI's. Because in tests he has to take wickets and not only stop the flow runs.

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Sashank said...

Tendulkar had very little to show in recent times? The only series in recent times that he 'failed' was in England where he averaged 34. Even he should be excused for a sub-par series once in a while.