The Indian selectors have announced the team for the Indian tour of Australia, as follows:
MS Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Gautham Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Virat Kohli, R Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Varun Aaron, Wriddhiman Saha
What is immediately obvious is that Harbhajan has been ignored and that should come as no surprise to anybody who has been following the ongoing series between India and the West Indies, and the performances of Ashwin and Ojha.
Another question mark hung over Zaheer Khan’s fitness. By naming him, the selectors have ruled Khan fit and in India’s best interests, this judgement by the Indian selectors should not be belied, as happened on the recent England tour by the Indians, where Khan broke down in the first test match and played no further part in the series.
Sreesanth and Munaf Patel have also been ignored by the selectors who have decided to reward Yadav and Aaron for their performances against the Caribbeans, while Praveen Kumar, who was India’s best bowler on the England tour has returned to the squad.
Rohit Sharma has been included as an additional batsman, which means Yuvraj Singh and Raina have been left out of the reckoning.
Wriddhiman Saha has found favour over Parthiv Patel as the second wicket-keeper.
The obvious thinking is that India are likely to play three seamers and a spinner, in any test match, and assuming they are all fit to play, Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar and Ishant Sharma should be the first choice new ball operators. Ashwin could find preference ahead of Ojha, especially owing to his better batting ability, as evidenced by his ton in the last test against the West Indies.
Kohli, as in the Mumbai test match, should find himself the first choice number six in the batting line-up, with Rohit Sharma as stand-by.
India will play four test matches against Australia beginning with the first test match at Melbourne on December 26, 2011.
The test series will be followed by two T20 internetionals, and therafter by a triangular ODI series between Australia, India and Sri Lanka. India’s long tour could go on till March 8, in case they enter the finals which will be in a best of three format with the last game scheduled to be played on March 8, 2012, at Adelaide.
For the complete tour schedule, with dates and venues, take a look at the following table:
|First Test||Dec 26-30, 2011||Melbourne|
|Second Test||Jan 3-7, 2012||Sydney|
|Third Test||Jan 13-17, 2012||Perth|
|Fourth Test||Jan 24-28||Adelaide|
|Commonwealth Bank Series ODI Triangular Tournament|
|Team 1||Team 2||Date||Venue|
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An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.