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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Indian Team for the First Test against West Indies announced

There was some speculation that the Indian Captain who is carrying an injury might be rested for the home series against West Indies, considering that the tour of Australia scheduled after the home series is more important.  There were no reports of Dhoni asking for a break but reports suggested that the selectors were in favour of resting him for the Test Series.   There was also speculation on which of those players who played in that disastrous England series would be retained ?
West Indies are to play 3 Tests and 5 One dayers – the schedule is :
Nov 06 - 10
First Test
Feroz Shah Kotla, New Delhi
Nov 14 - 18
Second Tst
Eden Gardens, Kolkatta
Nov 22 - 26
Third Test
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

First One dayer
Second One dayer
Third One dayer
Fourth One dayer
Fifth One dayer

The squad for the First Test has been announced and there has been wholesome changes from the one that played in England.  The new look squad is :  M S Dhoni (capt & wk), Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, R Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Virat Kohli, Varun Aaron, Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Sharma
Three pacers – Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron (one of the last two is likely to make their debut) – Spin Dept in the hands of Pragyan Ojha, R Ashwin and Rahul Sharma (again one amongst Ashwin and Rahul like to play their maiden test).  Ajinkya Rahane finds favour ahead of Murali Vijay and Abhinav Mukund, but unlikely to play in the Test in the side packed with stars – Sehwag, Gambhir, Sachin, Dravid, Lakman and Yuvraj. 
In the Team - no Harbhajan, Amit Mishra, Sreesanth, Munaf, Praveenkumar, Zaheer….the leggie, Rahul Sharma who impressed in IPL 4 and was part of the ODI squad against England without playing any match, has been selected.  Harbhajan left the England tour midway with strain in his abdomen.  In that tour he took only two wickets in 2 Tests and before that was mediocre in WI tour.  Amit Mishra batted splendidly in the last day of the 4th Test but was ineffective as a bowler.  Raina who struggled in England has also been left out – Virat is in, but unlikely to play ! 
Am not sure whether the team of WI would be the same one  that is struggling in Bangladesh.  There were reports that the West Indies Board had said that he would be considered for selection only if he retracted his statements about the board and its officials.  What exactly is to be apologized and what needs to be retracted – Chris Gayle is seeking explanation.   Gayle is reported to have stated that WICB was playing mind games and that he would address their demands at the end of the Regional Super50 in Guyana, where he is leading Jamaica's campaign.  Relations between Gayle and the board had broken down after he gave an interview in April to a radio station during which he was scathing about both the board and coach Ottis Gibson. After attempts at reconciliation failed, and Gayle was left out of the squad for the home series against India.  Gayle has not played for West Indies since the 2011 World Cup. Since then he has been an integral part of Royal Challengers Bangalore's squad in their IPL and Champions League Twenty20 campaigns, finishing as the leading run-getter in the IPL. His impasse with the board had escalated to a level where the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of government had become involved.
So more cricket ahead !!  Don’t shout of a overkill !!  - the fifth one dayer was played to half filled stands at Eden Gardens, which is no ordinary phenomena in this cricket-crazy Nation.  Whether the Caribbean team will draw crowds is a moot Q
Regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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