December 09, 2008

England Cricket Tour: Dhoni as captain

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be leading the Indian Test side for a full series for the first time. The doubts hanging over the England cricket tour has been cleared after Reg Dickason cleared Chennai for the first test match. The England cricket players had arrived in Chennai yesterday for the match commencing on 11 December 2008.

Full Strength England Cricket Team
It is satisfying to know that England has arrived in full strength, in spite of fears earlier that some players might opt out. You could not blame them if any of them have chosen not to visit India after the Mumbai terror attacks. But, the England cricket players have shown faith in the security arrangements by Indian authorities.

Hope all the doubts about security will be away from the minds of the cricket players and they will start to concentrate on the game of cricket. England had been outplayed in the ODI series 5-0, but they have to come back in the test match series.

Indian Cricket Team Selection
The following is the 15-member Indian squad for the test match:

Virender Sehwag,
Gautam Gambhir,
M Vijay,
Rahul Dravid,
Sachin Tendulkar,
VVS Laxman,
Yuvraj Singh,
S Badrinath,
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain & wicket-keeper),
Harbhajan Singh,
Amit Mishra,
Pragyan Ojha,
Zaheer Khan,
Ishant Sharma,
Munaf Patel

Gambhir comes back after serving the one-match ban. Yuvraj Singh and Pragyan Ojha take the places of Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble, the veterans who retired after the Australia cricket series. It is a pity that Rohit Sharma could not find a place in the test squad. No one doubts his skills. But, he needs to show consistency that has failed him consistently. Two of Tamil Nadu batsmen, M Vijay and S Badrinath, find their names in the squad. They are unlikely to play in the test match unless someone else is injured. How great it would be for Vijay and Badri to play in front of their home crowd? Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma will be opening the bowling with Munaf Patel as the standby seamer. Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra are likely to play as spinners, with Pragyan Ojha as standby spinner.

Time for Cricket
Chennai is full of police and security had been taken very seriously. The climate is the only thing that could stop an entertainer in Chennai. It is rather gloomy conditions in Chennai for the past one month or so. But, the enthusiastic Chennai crowd is already clearing the tickets for the test match. Let us hope to see an entertaining cricket match with twists and turns that are purely associated with test matches.


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