July 20, 2007

Dhoni included in the final eleven

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I am a bit disappointed to see the final team sheet for the first test match between England and India about to start soon. I am happy that Dhoni was included in the team as a specialist wicket-keeper batsman. I do not understand the logic of having only four regular bowlers in a five-day match. This approach may work well in an one-day international with chip-in bowlers like Sourav and Tendulkar.

R.P.Singh was included as the third seamer to support Zaheer Khan and Sree Santh. This is along the expected lines after disappointing performances from Ishant Sharma and Ranadeb Bose. Anil Kumble is also included as expected. I would have selected Ramesh Powar as the fifth bowling option. Given the fact that the England batsmen are not that comfortable against quality spin, he might be a good option. With just four bowlers around, Dravid might find the going tough if one his main strikers do not perform.

Wasim Jaffer got the nod against Gambhir. I think it is a good decision, knowing very well that Jaffer is a good player who can play long innings. I am not against Gambhir, but I feel he is more of a one-day calibre. If he maintains his consistency, he can be a regular opener in ODIs.

Yuvraj is omitted to favour Dhoni. I think the decision might have been taken to safeguard Karthik as an opener. The team has taken the right decision in just leaving Karthik to concentrate on opening the innings. It will be tough to stand behind the stumps for about two days and then come out immediately to bat.

The final team is: Jaffer, Karthik, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Ganguly, Dhoni (wk), Zaheer, Kumble, Sree Santh, RP Singh.


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