Preview: India v/s Sri Lanka

If you found it hard to believe Sangakkara and others in his team complain about how they were unprepared for this 5-match series—a country where Sri Lanka always find it tough to win in—the practice match against India A will have sealed their worries. Sure, it was an experimental game for them, where they decided to give all their players a bowl and bat, but the way Rohit Sharma and Manish Pandey flayed their regular bowlers to all parts of the CCI ground will leave alarm bells ringing on the eve of what is largely a redundant series. 

However, it is Team India that will have to look beyond the flat wickets and expected results to stitch a line-up that will be effective in Australia. After this, they leave for a 4-month long tour Down Under, which will culminate with their defense of the World Cup crown (it’s been 4 years already, can you believe it?. 4 months is a long time, and hence, this series will be a net session for them—a sort of feel-good snack before a grueling eating competition—to get their personnel in place. 
 
 
This is a Home Series, and could therefore have no effect whatsoever on the final squad selected for Australia, but will definitely put some players in the right frame of mind. 
 
Here are a few issues Team India can address through this ODI series:
 
THE OPENERS
 
If Rohit Sharma hadn’t been injured (again) in England on his finger (again), he’d have been an automatic choice as opener—considering the fact that Dhoni and co. have been grooming him for the spot since last year’s Champion’s Trophy victory. He has averaged in the mid-40s, but hasn’t been effective abroad, much like his partner Shikhar Dhawan. Because of Rohit’s injury, Rahane has entered the setup, and while he hasn’t set pulses racing, he hasn’t done too badly either. Dhoni mentioned that they could be looking at Rohit for the middle order again—he might replace perennial filler-upper Rayadu—Rohit has made his intentions clear with a blistering 141 against Sri Lanka in the warm-up game. What’s more, he went on record saying he wants to open, which basically means that Rahane will have exactly three games to prove his permanent worth at the top, just like Dhawan. Rohit hasn’t been selected for the first three matches, and will make a comeback in the fourth ODI, by when the management should be clear about where they will play each of these batsmen…or if they will need to relegate one of them to a backup opener. 
 
Prediction: Dhawan is a born opener and can’t adjust anywhere else, which means it comes down to the two Mumbai teammates. Rohit might have to let Rahane play his natural game at the top, and could find himself back where he began—in the middle order. Unfortunate for him, but if it serves the team well, why not? 
 
 
SPINNERS
 
If India have to defend their crown Down Under, they will have to reply primarily on their spinners—just as they did at Home in 2011. The pitches may not be suited to spinners, but they will have to find a way to make them come into play, simply because they don’t have a relentless pace attack. Ashwin and Jadeja are questionable abroad, and the likes of Karn Sharma and Akshar Patel, as well as old dog Amit Mishra will have to be seriously looked at. Youngster Akshar Patel could be the key, with his height and ability to vary his pace, while either Ashwin or Jadeja could be rotated depending on where they’re playing. Both of them should be treated as all-rounders though, as bowlers who can bat more than a bit, while Patel or Sharma could be the main spinner on wickets they probably haven’t bowled on. This could be a risk and India’s greatest challenge, but the dice will have to be rolled. They have a large variety of spinners to choose from, and one can’t say the same about fast bowlers. 
 
Prediction: Shami and Bhuvaneshwar are regulars, with either Aaron or Ishant as the third seam bowler. However, Shami has been ruled out of the ODIs, and Kulkarni could get 5 full ODIs to prove himself if he performs well. Karn Sharma, with his attacking Kumble-type leg-spin, should join them as the main spinner, and compete with wily Mishra for the spot. Either Jadeja or Patel as the all-rounder. Ashwin, meanwhile, will have to work on his variations. 
 
 
EXTRA WICKETKEEPER
 
Dhoni may or may not be jaded by the time some minnow games of the World Cup take place. In exceptional circumstances, a wicketkeeper could play a key role to give the Captain some rest. As of now, Saha is the chosen one, but the likes of Samson, Karthik and Ojha aren’t far behind. Technically, Saha is the best keeper, but Samson’s raw batting talent makes it a mouth-watering prospect. Naman Ojha could be preferred too, though, because not only can he play as an opener, he has already played a few scintillating innings down under as part of the India A squad not too long ago. Karthik can kiss his chances goodbye. 
 
RESERVE BATTERS 
 
Right now, Rayadu is biding his time in the middle order after some impressive half centuries in England. However, he could make place for Rohit soon, and could be back on the bench for the World Cup. Yuvraj Singh has little hope now that Raina is in red-hot form, but it is difficult to ignore an all-rounder responsible for India’s only two World Cup wins this side of the century. Uthappa hasn’t been looked at, but he should be, perhaps to replace the inconsistent Dhawan at the top. 
 
PREDICTED India XI for the first 3 ODIs: Rahane, Dhawan, Kohli (C), Raina, Rayadu, Saha, Jadeja, Ashwin, Bhuvi, Umesh, Kulkarni 
 

кредитная карточка что это такоеоформить кредитную карту онлайн приват банка

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


six × 9 =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

More in Cricket

  • Top 5 One-Hit Wonder Batting Stars

    The craft of batting in cricket has arguably seen more evolution than any other area over the last decade. It becomes...

    Rahul DesaiJanuary 18, 2017
  • Gujarat’s Ranji Trophy Fairytale

    A month ago, I stood in one of Ahmedabad’s famous optician stores. I observed the customers as I waited for a...

    Rahul DesaiJanuary 17, 2017
  • Chinks in India’s ODI Armour

    India v/s England, ODI series Result: India win first game to lead 1-0 in 3-match series   It ended up becoming...

    Rahul DesaiJanuary 16, 2017
  • Preview: India v/s England, ODI series

    India played only seven ODIs in 2016, and so ex-captain M.S. Dhoni (takes a while to get used to this term) always...

    Rahul DesaiJanuary 11, 2017
  • Ranji Trophy: A Shaw-shot Superstar

    A precocious 13-year-old pint-sized boy holds a bat far too large for him. In fact, his helmet and pads make him...

    Rahul DesaiJanuary 10, 2017
  • Redialling MS Dhoni, The Finisher

    In 2008, on the final day of the fourth and final Test match of the series between India and Australia in...

    Rahul DesaiJanuary 5, 2017
  • Five Important Cricketing Events In 2017

    As of now, two depressingly one-sided tours are underway: Pakistan’s tour of Australia, and Sri Lanka’s tour of South Africa. Both...

    Rahul DesaiJanuary 4, 2017
  • 2016: A Year in Test Cricket

    A few hours ago, Pakistan did a Pakistan, only days after almost chasing down the highest ever Test score against Australia....

    Rahul DesaiDecember 30, 2016
  • Karun Nair: The Everyday Hero

    5th test, India v/s England, Chennai From the top tier of the Northern Stand at the Wankhede stadium last week, in...

    Rahul DesaiDecember 20, 2016

All articles/blogs are intended to inform, entertain and amuse. We make no representations or guarantees about the truth, accuracy or quality of any content.

Copyright 2016 © Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved