Australia in India 2012-13

A horses-for-courses squad

India's selectors didn't have too many riches to pick from, and given the limitations, have chosen a fairly balanced squad

Sharda Ugra and Amol Karhadkar

February 10, 2013

Comments: 116 | Text size: A | A

Shikhar Dhawan celebrates a century on the first day, North Zone v West Zone, Duleep Trophy, 1st day, Chennai, October 6, 2012
Shikhar Dhawan got the nod ahead of Gautam Gambhir and Wasim Jaffer, but will still be behind M Vijay in the pecking order © K Sivaraman
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The team picked for the first two Tests against Australia indicates much: the gaps Indian cricket is struggling to fill, what shape the playing XI could take, and the kinds of surfaces the Australians can expect to face in Chennai and Hyderabad. The selectors have fallen back on history and yet tried to keep their eye on what lies ahead. Given the choices available to the selectors, and the powers vested in them, it is a fairly balanced and reasonable selection.

If any player can feel himself hard done by in this selection, it has to be Wasim Jaffer. Jaffer has had a prolific domestic season, and looked to be a shoo-in for a playing XI in which a successful opening partnership has been separated. He has churned out 835 runs at 75.90, including three hundreds and four half-centuries in the Ranji Trophy. He also scored 80 and 101 not out in the Irani Cup this week. He has looked a cut above other domestic openers and is a reasonable slip fielder, which could have spared India a cordon featuring R Ashwin or Cheteshwar Pujara with shin pads on.

ESPNcricinfo has learnt that the selectors felt the same way, but were told by the board that picking Jaffer would be a contradiction of its "youth policy". Jaffer is just a week short of 35. But in a batting line-up where the composure of the experienced is being missed, picking him for two Tests at least would have been a risk worth taking.

The selection of Shikhar Dhawan over Gautam Gambhir, one Delhi left-hand batsman for another, is not the like-for-like replacement it appears to be. It is the selectors' way of censuring Gambhir for his run of low scores in the last two years over five Test series, with no sign of any upward climb back to the position he enjoyed at the start of the 2011 World Cup. Dhawan has been rewarded for his first-class runs this season. His chances of partnering Virender Sehwag in the Chennai Test, however, hinge on M Vijay slipping in the bathroom and twisting his ankle on the morning of the Test.

Vijay has had a poor Ranji season - 138 runs from 8 innings, top score 42 - but has been kept in the mix for selection matches, with scores of 76 for India A against England and now 116 and 35 in the Irani Cup to go with the double-century in the first Irani Cup. The selectors' faith in him must rest in his average of 47.5 in five Tests at home across six years; besides, his only century in Test cricket came in Bangalore against Australia in 2010-11. If he has to step up and book a seat to South Africa, he must do so decisively when facing Australia's quick bowlers.

History has proved a much more powerful ally for Harbhajan Singh. His return to the squad after playing third spinner to R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha in Mumbai against England has come not on the back of large bags of wickets in the Ranji Trophy this season, but rather his astonishing record - 81 wickets in 12 Tests at 24.48 - against Australia at home. Harbhajan has been given another go in the hope that his absence from the team will have spurred him into examining his bowling and made him want to return to the strike-bowler, match-winner category. Ashwin and Ojha's struggles against a quality batting line-up like England, and the lack of spin options, have pushed the selectors to throw Harbhajan a line again.

In an informal conversation a few months ago, one of the selectors had previously remarked that the relentless drive for fast and bouncy pitches across the country over the past decade had led to two alarming trends: a sudden drop in the number of junior cricketers wanting to pursue a career in spin bowling, and a rapid decline in young Indian batsmen's skills against quality spin bowling. The consequences are placed at the selectors' tables today.

The presence of Ravindra Jadeja however, following on from his performance in Nagpur against England, gives the team one more option in their playing XI: to field Jadeja as the floating 'allrounder' who can bat at either No. 6 or 7 - against the soundtrack of Ajinkya Rahane's heart breaking - and send down more than a few overs if needed. Up against a raw Australian line-up, it's a gamble that can be worth considering.

While India's fast-bowling cupboard is far from bare, the list of options has been trimmed by injury. The absence of Zaheer Khan - originally dropped for the fourth Test against England - and Umesh Yadav, and the general flakiness of Sreesanth, have meant that Ishant Sharma must take charge (and wickets) again. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has rightly been selected following his success in the ODIs versus Pakistan and England.

The Sandeep Patil committee has, in every selection, made it a point to send out messages to established cricketers - to Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Suresh Raina in Tests, and Virender Sehwag in ODIs. This time it was Gambhir's turn. What they will be looking for from these sorts of decisions, however, is some payback and substantial gains on the field against Australia.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo; Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by nyc_missile on (February 13, 2013, 19:06 GMT)

I completely agree with those saying Sehwag must play down the order.Moreover it will be foolish to have him again open the innings when he's failed repeatedly in the last 9 matches barring that 100 in A'bad.At least for the sake of it,we need some change.Get Rahane and Dhawan in for opening (if the selectors logic for ignoring Jaffer is to be validated).Also middle order is the noly way Sehwag looks like will get some runs at this stage given his form.And can also derail Oz spinners' plans by attacking 'em.

You can always go back to Vijay if Dhawan fails but he needs a go.Rahane Dhawan Pujara Sachin Kohli Sehwag will be my top 6.But as @Nampally rightly says, Dhoni will never change his approach and thinking no matter how many humiliations we endure.So he will ignore Rahane again, play Sehwag & Vijay as openers and Jadeja at 6.Nice way to fit in all his CSK folks isn't it?

Posted by VivSingh on (February 12, 2013, 21:58 GMT)

I think Sehwag's selection has more to do with a phased replacement of him and Gambhir. His batting has always relied on hand-eye coordination rather than technique and temperament. He has never seriously tried to adapt his technique. When he has looked to curb his aggression he has looked awful...and been dismissed quickly. Even if he were to drop down the order he may still be exposed in Test match cricket by having to face another new ball. Good swing and fast bowlers will get him out for fun, even on flat pitches nowadays. I hope India persevere with the bravery shown recently. Prepare pitches that will help fast bowlers and don't be so dependent on winning the toss. Encourage the best batsmen to become what they should be: the best batsmen on ALL surfaces. For goodness sake, please don't use it as an excuse to explain why India lacks a world class spinner now.

Posted by Nampally on (February 12, 2013, 19:53 GMT)

@Baiju Joseph: For the present squad, your suggestion of dropping Sehwag to the middle order is an excellent one. This would help in testing out Dhawan with Vijay or Rahane as opening pair. India badly needs a new opening pair. This is a golden chance to test it out. Sehwag would also reinforce the middle order with with an eye on future, assuming SRT will retire "soon"!.In addition it will also give Sehwag a chance to achieve his life long dream of middle order batting. However, Dhoni with his Tunnel vision, is set in his way. He does not want any changes to his batting order. He may not think that way unless the Mr. Srinivasan tells him to do so!. Rassol's fine bowling, 7 for 45 Vs. the Aussies in the first match, must be an eye opener for the Selectors.They have chosen this squad totally ignoring Ranji performances. Harbhajan has NOT got "a 7 for" in any match in past 2 years. Nadeem, the #1 spinner in the Ranji this year, is also on "ignored list". Why is the Indian bowling weak?

Posted by SG_Styles on (February 12, 2013, 17:16 GMT)

Good to see that finally the selectors have started to take some tough decisions. Dropping Gauti is justified. But how did Bhajji n Vijay make it to the squad is out of sense. Bhajji wasnt in the best of form during the Ranjis nor did he bowl spectacularly in the recently conclude Irani match. Same is the case of Vijay. He hadnt had good 2012-13 season. Still he got an opportunity to play in the Irani match - ahead of likes of J'Jyot n others. And to his 'luck', he managed to score some runs like he did just before the England series. To be frank, I feel that being from the president's team n state is benefitting him. Raina, despite being consistent, overlooked for the selection. Same is the case of Sandeep Sharma n also of C,Gautham.

Posted by alarky on (February 12, 2013, 15:15 GMT)

"The Tendulkar question will hang heavy, but it will be .... unfair to leave the answer to him. Indian cricket owes him gratitude, but not the burden of a perpetual debt" (Sambit Bal,Dec. 18, 2012). I noticed an apparent deliberate strategy by all the cricket pundits not to mention Sachin Tendulkar's name, in any of their analytical assessments regarding the team that has been selected for the first two test matches against Australia. I noticed also, that they have all been very critical of all the other older non-performing members of the team, with good justification for their ommission, except Tendulkar. This apparent silence about Tendulkar tells me that it is a strategy to protect him once again; in that they don't want to mention his name to spark off the hectic campaign of people justifiably asking for his head also. They know that this would inevitably put him under pressure; and pressue is one thing they know he can't withstand. The selectors must heed Sambit Bal's wisdom.

Posted by PerfectTen on (February 12, 2013, 13:46 GMT)

I tend to agree with Raj Sharma when he talks about Jaffer for Vijay and Mishra for Harbhajan. Even if Vijay succeeds in holding his place with some decent outings on Indian pitches, he would prove a disaster in South Africa. If this series against Oz is to be used to avoid a Rainbow wash, Jaffer is a far better bet - to a certain extent fill the void left by the classy Dravid. As for Harbhajan, clearly, he lacks confidence a strike bowler needs and again SA tour could potentially prove to be his last, if he makes it.

Posted by   on (February 12, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

Selection of vijay is an absolute blunder...........it should have been Jaffer instead...........My Team: Viru,Rahane,Pujara,Tendulkar,Kohli,Dhoni,Jadeja,Aswin,Bhuvi,Bhaji,Ishant>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Posted by   on (February 12, 2013, 7:32 GMT)

If the general policy is to look towards the future and hence to drop Jaffer (not very fair after his excellect season), then Bhajji should have also been kept out. A good leggie like the seasoned campaigner Amit Mishra deserved to get a chance to have a go at the Aussies. Maybe he could have done the trick. He is resaonable good with the bat, too

Posted by Karnamkotil on (February 12, 2013, 5:57 GMT)

i would have picked Jaffer instead of M.Vijay. Jaffer was consistent in the entire season, wheras Vijay just played well in d last 3-4 matches. This is injustice to a player who is performimg consistantly.

Posted by   on (February 12, 2013, 5:36 GMT)

Ii think with 2 new openers selected, the time is ripe for Virender Sehwag to go down and take up the No. 5 position he has yearned for so long. Not only would it help Ajinkya Rahane to come into the squad but would also shield Sehwag from his new ball problems which in turn can make the middle order stronger with Kohli coming in at No 6. With Gambhir dropped I think its the right time to test Rahane and Dhawan pair for opening and give them a long rope. Both are technically sound and should be able to counter the Dale Steyn-Vernon Philander threat, team India would face later this year, to an extent.

Posted by JonB007 on (February 12, 2013, 5:15 GMT)

Horses for courses can destroy themselves if it rains.

Posted by satchander on (February 12, 2013, 4:59 GMT)

I just don't understand why Bhajji keeps getting picked again and again. He is way past his use-by date. And his performance in domestic cricket has been nothing to rave about, plus the last india-eng series he was smashed. Very CLEAR signs he is past his prime. We as a nation have always produced so many spinners, can we not find one promising spinner in this big country? I don't mind anyone, say Rahul Sharma or whoever has at least impressed to some extent in domestic cricket should be given a chance. Enough of picking players on past reputations. Glad that Gambhir was finally shown the door. No other country would have tolerated an opener who has not scored a century for 3 years. I know we are a nation who adhere to"ahimsa" but being tolerant to this extent is really heights ! Hope Sachin and Sehwag are also shown the door if they don't perform in the current ind-aus series.

Posted by   on (February 12, 2013, 3:54 GMT)

This is not at par good selection when compared with Srikanth's selection panel. Dinda lacks pace and is very predictable, vijay lacks composure. Selection panel always need to think of grooming players at 3 years a head. Sandeep sharma should have been chosen ahead of Dinda, harmeet singh - very promising in U19 WC consistent with his line and length is missing. These are the players who should be playing at higher level and against superior teams. India badly needs pace bowlers - whole system of selecting and grooming pacers in India have to be changed. SA, AUS and ENG have a very good orientation and selection system for pace bowlers.

Posted by   on (February 12, 2013, 2:44 GMT)

Good selection apart Awana being dropped for Dinda....Dinda i feel is T20 bowler with his variation and to be fair to Dinda he is best death bowler we have got now.. Coming to Test side, I will play Dhawan & Viru for first match with Bhaji, Jadeja & BK. Aussie team has 4 lefties in top 6, so i will play Bhaji ahead of Ohjia for first match. Jadeja can be consistent bowler to right handers.BK can swing the ball and if Ishant can hit the seam consistently then we can pose some threat. if Jadeja, Ashwin, BK & Bhaji can put 100 to 125 runs btw them, then it should be ok... My team - Shewag, Dhawan, Pujara, Sachin, Kohli,Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Bhuneswar, Bhaji & Ishant...

Posted by realfan on (February 12, 2013, 1:47 GMT)

so his 1 ranji season gets a chance to play for test as opener ... was there no value for many very good ranji season of TIWARY, RAHANE, JAFFER???? and if 1 odd game scratchy centy that vijay got will eligible him for test , how come number of classy centuries that these players mentioned above got through out their career???? how many chances did they got for playing india..... i prefer rahane to open with sehwag in 1 test match...... we again dont want two walking wickets to open for india....

Posted by happy-go-lucky on (February 12, 2013, 1:23 GMT)

"relentless drive for fast and bouncy pitches across the country over the past decade had led to two alarming trends: a sudden drop in the number of junior cricketers wanting to pursue a career in spin bowling, and a rapid decline in young Indian batsmen's skills against quality spin bowling. "

Look on the plus side, our cup of fast bowlers is brimming with guys who can swing @ 140+ and rattle batsmen with their pace and bounce and we also have a pool of young batsmen who can handle pace and lateral movement with amazing panache! </s>

Posted by KUL on (February 11, 2013, 23:26 GMT)

Don't understand selectors logic behind not selecting Wasim Jaffer.If Sachin is still in team at 40 why not Jaffer at 35.Politics again....also Bowling department is weak with only Bhuvaneshwar Kumar as good pacer..Dinda and Ishant look like asthma patient and should be ignored for Test Squad.

Posted by harmske on (February 11, 2013, 21:27 GMT)

so, "the relentless drive for fast and bouncy pitches across the country over the past decade" has led to fewer spinners & poorer technique against spinners, yet it hasn't produced any genuine fast bowlers or loads of young batsman that can play fast bowling well?!?!? interesting.

Posted by Shan156 on (February 11, 2013, 21:26 GMT)

Dinda is a poor choice, got to say. They could have tried Shami Ahmed considering Umesh, Aaron, Irfan, are all injured. India's batting, contrary to what many think, is quite strong and will come good this time. I wish India plays three spinners and 2 pacemen. Ashwin is good enough as a batsman. If the Aussies are going to play 2 pacemen and 2 spinners, then the Indian batsmen would have no problems at all. My guess is, they will play to their strengths and play 3 pacemen and Lyon. India, most likely, will prepare spinning tracks. While Monty and Swann wreaked havoc in those tracks, Lyon is unlikely to do that. The Aussie batsmen are unproven in these surfaces and patience is the key. In the absence of which, they will be blown away. I predict a 2-0 win for India.

Posted by Shan156 on (February 11, 2013, 21:16 GMT)

Reading the posts in these boards, it looks like most of the Indian fans are not happy with the squad selected. I think it is a good squad (although I expected Jaffer to be selected not just in the squad but in the XI) and would be good enough for Australia. Let's start with the most obvious. SRT is back to what he does best and that is scoring tons of runs. He got good scores in the Ranji and capped it with another one in the Irani against an attack boasting the likes of Sreesanth, Ojha, and Harbhajan. While the Aussie pace attack is good, when SRT is in the mood, it is hard for any bowler to bowl to him. Aus. should hope that they get the openers early and get an early shot at him; else, he will tear whoever the Aussie spinners are apart. I predict SRT to have a great series. The little master has a point to prove after a barren year and will want to take this confidence to SA later in the year. Just wait and watch.

Posted by ar.d. on (February 11, 2013, 21:04 GMT)

How this 'Youth policy' is justified in test cricket where there is no foreplans to be made? e.g. WC2015 for ODI. And is brooming young talent against a top test nation at home worth the risk of losing a big series, just after a debacle against England? If not then, Jaffer was India's best bet for the opening role. Also, he has few good years left in him, and keeping his current form, could be one less position to find a replacement for a couple of years. Sehwag himself is not assured a spot in the lineup, what if India need to replace him after the series? Is Dhawan and Vijay the answer for our next overseas series?

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 19:02 GMT)

jaffer is our future for four years atleast........never got the chances that the God Gifted got.........ranji is not the criteria....some other parameter....otherwise vijay but no jaffer???????/

Posted by Aussasinator on (February 11, 2013, 17:25 GMT)

Indian selectors lack fundamentals and the less said the better. India will contrive and fall over its heels to lose this test series against Australia and from winning positions like in the first Test against them in Ozland. There is no winning spirit in the test captaincy too and they couldnt care less.not a series worth viewing for an Indian fan. It is bound to be depressing and possibly Dhonis last.

Posted by Nampally on (February 11, 2013, 16:31 GMT)

@Sir.Ivor: Greatly admired your analysis of the Indian scene & batting technique! The heading may be apt but I do not see how this team has the Right Horses to face the Aussies. Right at the top, Jaffer was one cock-sure guy in my book because of his batting technique & sound defence. A "Naya Daur" much needed vs. Aussies. I fully agree with Dhawan as an opener - powerful on Hook. But he should overcome his shaky starts first. The spin side has not only been grossly neglected but shows the ignorance of the Selectors. Nadeem & V.Joshi are the 2 spinners who cannot be overlooked for future.Neither appears in any of the 3 Trial teams. Right horses missing again. In pace, India has just 3 seamers in the squad out of which Ishant has dubious fitness & Dinda lacks ability- 2 of 3 horses are dubious.Raina & Tiwary are best middle order batsmen- missing.Why are Vijay & Rehana 2 back up opening bats needed - to be benched? Is All rounder Jadeja @#6 good enough to be a specialist bat or bowler?

Posted by deepshah4321 on (February 11, 2013, 14:21 GMT)

People here talking about Sandeep Sharma, take a look at the speed at which he bowls. Is that even considered as a medium arm pacer? If you look at the Aussi bowlers in the same match, they were all bowling over 135 kph. It is obvious that their speed would drop if they ever got a chance to play at the international level. As for Sandeep Sharma, I don't think he is ready for International Cricket Yet and so is Sehwag and Murali Vijay and Harbhajan and Rohit Sharma. All these guys got many chances to prove themselves. Murali Vijay is as careless as Sehwag. These two guys have the ability to hit big shots frequently but they are just not mature enough to preserve their wicket. I don't think Dinda is a good bowler either. His action is quite irritating. Good that Bhuvneshwar got the chance he deserved. Shami Ahmed and Wasim Jaffer should also have been selected. For the batsmen.

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 14:05 GMT)

Who will take 20 wickets? I accept Aussies are not as strong as England, but still, Indian bowlers dont have fire power to pick 20 wickets consistently in 3-4 matches, so I dont think that this team can beat Aussies more than once.

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 13:54 GMT)

Wasim Jaffer fails to make in the squad and gauti's absence may affect team indias performance.It would be difficult for the other batsman who opens along with sehwag say vijay to adjust and build a big partnership.In the middle order despite sachin's(in form)no other players have the ability to stay for some time on crease and make a big partnership cos of inexperience.

Posted by Raj_Kalyanaraman on (February 11, 2013, 13:35 GMT)

Selection of B Kumar as a pacer became a default as all the other pacers are injured but I dont understand the selection of Ashok Dinda. Is he Dhoni's town mate? He does not do anything and I dont remember him taking more than 1 wicket in the one dayers. Mithun would have been a better choice. They should have brought back Sreeshant. Despite his antics and his not screwed up right - on his day he is a match winner and has knack for taking wickets. He is the only guy who has got us victories overseas including South Africa.

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 13:14 GMT)

Youth policy keeping out Jaffer sounds stupid. Is he 60 yrs old? With a season average of 75.90 and having scored two double centuries for India he is the perfect choice to open with Sehwag. He is experienced, calm & composed and a good slip fielder too. What else do the selectors want? Vijay is inconsistent. And has no composure at all which is vital for test cricket.

Posted by Saju_oman on (February 11, 2013, 12:44 GMT)

Wasim Jaffer really deserves a chance. Murali Vijays inclusion doesnot really have any sense. Sreeshanth was really better than Dinda. Anyway, we can hope the best from the selected ones...All the best Team India....!

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 12:33 GMT)

It seriously appears that the selectors did not have their thinking caps on, while selecting the team. Why Dinda? He has been given ample chances and has proved that he is no more than an ordinary trundler. Shami Ahmed might have been an apt option. The batting might eventually sort itself out - although Jaffer deserved a look in. It is the bowling that is a cause for worry. Mercifully Bhuvaneshwar Kumar is in good nick, and might provide some substance to an, otherwise, toothless selection. Ishant Sharma is not 100% fit, and if he is in the playing XI, Dhoni must learn to use him in short bursts of 3-4 overs at a time. Pragyan Ojha remains the prime spinner, while the much over-rated Ravichandran Ashwin has been sorted out by most of the batsmen in World Cricket. It's a toss up between him and Harbhajan Singh. The 2 million dollar boy Ravindra Jadeja could come in handy with both bat and ball.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 11, 2013, 12:02 GMT)

Still I do not know whats the purpose of Murali Vijay in the team? He flopped again and again in all formats and still getting chances. It is not fair to avoid Wasim Jaffer for a player like Murali Vijay. Also, only god knows Viru's inclusion! He seems to be an expired firework!

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 11:39 GMT)

Injustices done to Tiwary,Rayadu,.In the place of Sachin either Tiwary or ,Rayadu, should have been selected..Give chance to youngsters. Now Ponting & Mike Hussey have retired. They paved way for youngsters. It is time for Sachin to retire after the Oz series. Raina should have been given opportunity.In place of Dinda Shammi Ahmed should be given a chance.He has pace & variation a good new ball bowler with Bhuvanesh Kumar. Choose Jaffer as the Mentor for Mumbai Team. Best of Luck for the present team selected by Sandeep Patil & Company.

Posted by aat-751 on (February 11, 2013, 11:30 GMT)

vijay and dhawan both openers are not best but jaffer is good opener but i was shocked when i see te squad for first 2 tests

Posted by GoofyJerryTom on (February 11, 2013, 10:40 GMT)

We have no bowler who can strike terror in the minds of the opposition. Ishant bowled only one good spell in Perth in 2008. Since then he has been "unlucky". Harbhajan has a good records against the Aussies at home. However looking at his current form the Aussies must be thanking God answering their prayers. The only fact that can save is is that most of the Aussies batsmen would be first timers on this tour. We have the same issues with batting - I dont think anyone in the world is now worried about Tendulkar. There is no Dravid, no Laxman. Sehwag is a lottery, he can be a Ferrari one day and then an old decript Premier Padmini for a long,long time after that. Kohli has lost his steam, Pujara is good but he still has to establish himself. England showed us how poor we were. We may be luckier inspite of our problems, with the Aussies. I still feel their bowlers will make things very difficult for us. Clarke will murder us and one among Watson, Warner, Cown, Khawja is bound to come good

Posted by GoofyJerryTom on (February 11, 2013, 10:21 GMT)

Considering the general failure of "youth" at the Test level for India for some time now, its really disappointing to see Jaffer not being included. Jaffer's experience would have lent some solidity amongst all the greenhorns (Kohli, Puajara, Jadeja). We have seen how much the youth such as Vijay, Raina, Mukund, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj etc. have delivered in one form or the other. Jaffer could have been an anchor for Sehwag who desperately needs a good score himself.The statement " ESPNcricinfo has learnt that the selectors felt the same way, but were told by the board that picking Jaffer would be a contradiction of its "youth policy". " is TELLING! So its the Board which always has a final say, be it removing a non performing Captain or selecting an older player who is performing. God save us from this Board. Indian fans will never have the auurance of Cricket in India being run by professionals like Australia or England.

Posted by guptahitesh4u on (February 11, 2013, 10:14 GMT)

Dhawan and Vijay should be allowed to open the innings followed by Kohli, Sachin, Sehwag, Dhoni... Sehwag has expressed his desire to bat down the order in past and this will give a chance to try to openers(although Vijay has shown us how inconsistent he can be in tests)!!

Posted by AdityaVOjha on (February 11, 2013, 8:56 GMT)

My Test XI would be: Dhawan, Rahane, Pujara, Kohli, Tiwary, Sehwag (C), Gautam (WK), Bhajji, Bhuvaneshwar, Pragyan & Ishant Sharma. Unmukt Chand, Shami Ahmed, Awana & Amit Mishra making up the 15.

Posted by baghels.a on (February 11, 2013, 8:53 GMT)

@Sir.Ivor, some really insightful and astute comments you made.I fully agree with your assesment of Vishal Joshi, he clearly outbowled Bhajji in Ranji S/F this year, i guess when it comes to spinners and fast bowlers selectors need to show some flair and imagination and go for wild card pics. I doubt apart from televised domestic matches selectors watch that many cricketers play !!! in u-19 section there are couple of fast bowlers bowling 140 odd and one left arm chinaman spinner, as i said a bit more flair and better scouting and feedback from domestic talent spotters is needed.

Posted by kas211 on (February 11, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

Although a few questions can be raised over the selection of some players, I am extremely happy with Gambhir's omission. Gambhir has been woefully out of form and his shot selection has been embarrassing to say the least with those silly dabs and fishing outside the off stump. I really hope for Dhawan's sake he can make the most of this opportunity and actually cement a place in the team. He's been unfortunate with the lack of chances he's been given (in ODI's), having played against Australia in India (getting out for a duck) and then on India's tour to the West Indies. Having seen Dinda play, I don't see how he's special, as Sourav Ganguly seems to say every time he is commentating. I think Pandey should have been given a chance and for God sake if Ishant is injured don't pick him!

Posted by bolthaa on (February 11, 2013, 8:26 GMT)

@ ListenToMe..... Please look at what "Rotation policy" has done to australian cricket and how the management got bashed by media and by players. And your rotation policy would not work in politics filled India. May be I am wrong.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (February 11, 2013, 8:22 GMT)

I am not sure Vijay is a certainty as opener in the XI. Both Vijay and Dhawan are inherently insecure in their defence and Jaffer would have been a much better option to pair with the flamboyant Sehwag. Otherwise a fair job by the selectors.

Posted by young_ind on (February 11, 2013, 8:13 GMT)

Jaffer vs Dhawan and vijay -why

Dhawan and vijay need the opportunity and exposure to prove themselves and so do many youngsters at this crucial period of transition.jaffer's quota is over.To bring back a average player at internatinal level to play at this time is as illogical as it gets. as i said already, there are too many obsessed with data on the scoreboard but do not know a thing about team building.

Jaffer and experience.

he is not a proven international who averages over 40.a good player or great player can come back but not players of this level.indian cricket must investing in younger players with better potential.

Jaffer 35 ,sachin 40

not even dravid or laxman were treated equally with sachin. there is no equality here.sachin is an Atg of the game and has earned the right to play to make his own call.jaffer was never a long term international cricketer at his best.it show the gall of some posters who think they can compare mediocrity with excellence

Posted by annys on (February 11, 2013, 8:02 GMT)

The 11 for the first test in all probability is gonna be sehwag,vijay,pujara,sachin,Kohli,jadeja,dhoni,ashwin,ojha,ishanth,bhuvi

In this team sehwag,vijay,sachin,,dhoni,ashwin. Don't merit a place at all,these guys have been big flops in test cricket but they still are in just coz of petty politics.

On merit the 11 should have been Jaffer,Dhawan,pujara,rahane,Kohli,tiwary,gautham,ojha,Bhajji,ishanth,bhuvi

Posted by RISHI2016 on (February 11, 2013, 7:38 GMT)

will raydu ever get chance ?

Posted by vijayvenkatram on (February 11, 2013, 7:33 GMT)

Rather than looking for horses for courses, its time to look at core teams for different versions. We seem to be selecting players for test matches based on performances in shorter formats and vice versa. And when they fail, they are out of reckoning for the versions that they are more suited for. Some current examples being Ashwin and Rohit. Ashwin is an automatic choice for T20 and to an extent in the ODIs as he can bowl 15-20 good balls a game, that can win you a game and when he bats scores at a brisk pace (look at his Test batting SR). May be in a year from now, he would be trying to figure out what went wrong. The reverse is true with Rohit. He probably is good with longer format and he plays ODI only to fail. Net-net you end up confusing the players and get nothing out of them.

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 7:16 GMT)

analysis of the team can also be done in another way - requirement to see a pair of openers doing well - u have dhawan and vijay. spinner - bhajji showed aggression and return to good flight that he was not doing earlier. sehwag can come into the middle order- as he has been asking for. jadeja - pls stop being biased against him, he is a good bowler and is slowly showing his potential as a batsman also! ishant also coming back to form. dinda- needs a chance in tests(though shami wouldve been better). pls give these players a chance!

Posted by satishchandar on (February 11, 2013, 7:06 GMT)

Horses for courses is the thing to go when the team is failing for sometime and the big players are not performing. Keep 3-5 slots permanent and the rest of the team will be picked based on conditions and current form. this is not something new. That is how Aussies work, English work and South Africans work usually. Even India worked like that before the real dominant era(For Indian cricket) began in 2001. Even the transformation series against Australia had Ramesh and Das opening and the spinners like Hirwani, Kulkarni, Sanghvi and even Bhajji were making comeback. Bhajji clicked and was permanent for next 8-10 years. You can't try one single player and wish he clicks. Teams in transition need to take this way to find who is their X factor and who will click in longterm. We have seen many many players as stalwarts in domestic and duds in international and vice versa too. I find this particular squad with exception of Tiwary for Rahane/Vijay and Awana for Dinda/Bhuvan.

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 6:43 GMT)

I bet, Vijay and Dhawan will be flop-show...and by the time India sense the flop-show, the series will be over !!..How they will test Wasim before SA tour?

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 6:38 GMT)

I personnaly don't think age of a person should be counted to represent a country in any apex form of sport. 'The best available 11' must play for India. If Wasim is best among the current bunch of Oppening batsmen in India, then he should play...and he should be playing as long as some other 'more able' replaces him. Thats should be the criteron. If Dhawan and Vijay are next to Wasim, then Wasim should play and Dhawan and Vijay should have continue performing consitently to outforform Wasim to get the place. I disagree with the age criterion.

Posted by timohyj on (February 11, 2013, 6:31 GMT)

Amit mishra shoudl have been picked. He is much better than chawla and harbhajan but has a problem of overstepping. The main problem is the lack of quality openers. The only test quality opener in ranji trophy is jaffer but there is not much point picking him at 35. I have no clue why vijay coninus to be picked and dhawan does not have sound technique

Posted by Captain_Crick on (February 11, 2013, 6:23 GMT)

One of India's best test batsmen is being missed out from the team on the basis of "youth policy". Not sure of this board's youth policy when a 40 plus legend is going to figure in the playing 11. Going by this rather inconsistent policy, the board's chief who's 68+ could well be shown the door! The hidden agenda here was to include Vijay in the playing squad which could have been jeopardized by Jaffer's inclusion. Bravo board! Aussies would now respond back in kindness. Aussies are no 'jokers' and they sure know the squealers when they see them.

Posted by Rahulbose on (February 11, 2013, 6:08 GMT)

Youth policy in a batting line up that includes a 40 year old? That is a new one.

Posted by bipulkumar on (February 11, 2013, 5:57 GMT)

This article is written with too much optimism over a rubbish squad. People in playing XI must be the one in form. But looking at the comments it seems no one share same opinion. So I give benefit of doubt to selectors. But selection of Sehwag, Vijay, Dinda, Dhawan and omission of in form Jaffer, Raina, Rayudu is bit too much for me to hold back myself.

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 5:56 GMT)

If Youth policy is the reason to Omit Jaffer then what is 40 years old Tendulkar doing in the Squad? This Bowling attack can not take 20 wickets of Bangladesh on tracks in Chennai or Hyderabad. There are only two decisions possible in 1st 2 tests, either a draw or a win for Australia. What a non sense of an article, always justifying a bumbling and highly prejudiced Selection Committee.

Posted by Sir.Ivor on (February 11, 2013, 5:54 GMT)

I forgot to mention the aptness of the heading. Horses for courses is indeed one aspect that the selectors will do well to heed on occasions. For instance,not every batsman who is prolific in the sub-continent is an automatic success in say England or Australia or South Africa.A different kind of skills are needed there like back foot play,horizontal shots in Australia and South Africa and being able to play the moving ball in England.Some batsmen who think about their game make adjustments mentally and to their game as well.They become the Gavaskars, Tendulkars and Dravids that we revere so much.The selectors must make it a point to select players on the basis of how they will perform against a particular opposition rather than just take the same XI across the globe.The BCCI should plan in advance and prepare players like the visiting teams do in preparing for spin for instance.I feel that selection should become more professional just as preparation cell should be a wing in the BCCI.

Posted by Sir.Ivor on (February 11, 2013, 5:40 GMT)

Contd.. In our desire to see Ashwin and Harbhajan as the only off spinners, we seem to have ignored a potential star in Vishal Joshi the Saurashtra off spinner. He has good control over looping flight and drift apart from being a big spinner of the ball. I have seen the great Prasanna in the match between the visiting England side in 1961 at the Fateh Maidan in Hyderabad. I can say that Joshi could be like him if he is encouraged by recognition and selection for the highest level. He seems a natural off spin bowler. With some strategic inputs on lines to bowl, batsmen's weaknesses and field placements, he should be a match-winner given his control over his assortment of skills. Nadeem is another one to encourage. He has that rubber like left armers action and all related skills that makes him a must select at his present age. I believe that spinning talent needs to be recognised and it is most unfortunate that the BCCI is not using the abilities of Bedi, Prasanna and Goel to spot them.

Posted by Sir.Ivor on (February 11, 2013, 5:40 GMT)

I have followed Dhawan's career. He seemed a bit easy going initially and probably missed out as a result. In recent times though he seems to have tightened his defence and has become a compulsive hooker and puller. To me he looks the better option against the Australian quicks and later in South Africa where the short ball will be seen very often. He needs a bit of mental conditioning with someone like Paddy Upton.Vijay is all silk like Rohit Sharma but I feel, may come unstuck against the likes of Staarc,Siddle,Bird and Faulkner.His forward defensive stroke has the lack of urgency that could be disastrous.The problem with these silky players is probably in wanting to replicate Mark Waugh.That may not be easy. Gambhir has developed a technical problem that may not go away too soon.He should try speaking to Mohinder Amarnath who was excellent technically apart from having a sharp eye for flaws.Gautam's own coach may not be the answer.I feel he will be back for South Africa though....

Posted by RISHI2016 on (February 11, 2013, 5:34 GMT)

team looks interesting sans jaffer... i dont think australia would be so difficult to bowl out .. we were "cooked" by English and barring Watson and Clarke none looks so menacing against the troika of harbhajan, ojha and jadeja... yes i would drop ashwin as he should be in team for his bowling and unless he learns how to bowl without useless variation, there should not be any place for him... our worry is batting and sachin.. but i think sachin has worked rather improvised on technique.. if one noticed his stance was different while playing and was concentrating well... besides he was not getting bogged down with low scoring shots... this would be redemption for harbhajan and sachin

Posted by Babu22 on (February 11, 2013, 5:33 GMT)

"... one of the selectors had previously remarked that the relentless drive for fast and bouncy pitches across the country over the past decade ...." That is supposed to be a joke. Isn't it? A lot of people here over the last few years have been asking for fast and bouncy and green wickets, so that our batsmen will play better overseas. But they have been none. Where are these pitches in India? I can't see one, except Mohali once in a fortnight. If this has indeed been the case, then we should be producing more fast bowlers. Where are they? Also, if this is true, then we should prepare pace wickets when we play others in India. Why does our Capt. Cool ask for spinning wickets? Is it not stupidity, when you don't have quality spinners? Something utterly wrong here. If there was ever a drive for fast pitches, it has never been communicated to anybody, incl. players and curators. Plus you have curators (Probir Mukherjee) who does what he wants.

Posted by Rumy1 on (February 11, 2013, 5:10 GMT)

Also, selectors retained R.Ashwin,Ishant and R.Jadeja for Tests. Mindboggling indeed!! This was simply preposterous.What did Ishant do in Tests against England or before that.Same is with Ashwin.Ashwin has already been sorted out by international batsmen due to his avg skills. First class performance over a period of one year would have been right criteria in current structure of domestic cricket.The openers failed for 2-3 years. Gambhir has 360 runs at an avg. of 30 in his last 12 Test innings with zero century and just two fifties to his name.Sehwag has 450 runs in his last 12 Test innings at an avg. of 37 with one hundred and only one fifty to his name.Dhoni and Srinivasan's favourite-Ashwin has 14 wickets in his last 8 Test innings with a best of 3 for 80.Ishant has 18 wickets in his last 18 Test innings with a best of 3 for 49.Moreover,Sachin has 221 runs in his last 13 Test innings with no century and just one fifty.And they had audacity to leave out Jaffer.Decide for yourselves.

Posted by KK_Cricket on (February 11, 2013, 5:06 GMT)

Selecting Vijay is a really poor decision.. And I can easily say that Starc/Pattinson will eat him every time he goes to bat.. I would have picked Jaffer ahead of Vijay even though he is 35.. Because in SA we need good technique and remember India has many tours abroad and he would have been handful.. Vijay didn't score many runs to warrant himself a place...Sehwag has to play all Test matches as he is the only one who provides us quick runs and helps winning matches.. And India definitely needed a leg spinner, either Mishra or Rahul to add variety to the squad.. And would have picked Shammi ahead of Dinda as he showed more discipline in the ODIs..

Posted by Rumy1 on (February 11, 2013, 5:05 GMT)

Gambhir was rightly dropped.Selectors would have brought Indian cricket down to its knees had they not dropped him this time.But they retained Ashwin who also deserved to be dropped for sure.Selectors failed yet again to do justice to Jaffer's talent, class,commitment and hardwork.Can't they see how he batted and built both innings in Irani Cup.Can't they compare Jaffer's performance and consistency with M.Vijay and Shikhar for 2012-13.Is there even a comparison between Jaffer and the two who got nod before him.Just take 1st class record of Jafferfor 2012-13.He made 1016 runs in 13 innings with 3 centuries and 5 half centuries at an avg. of 85.In comparison M.Vijay has 289 runs in 10 innings with one century and zero half century at a dismal avg. of 29 and S.Dhawan has 524 runs in 13 innings with one century and one fifty at an avg. of 44.Even an insane person can reach a conclusion based on these numbers of Jaffer,Vijay and Dhawan in 2012-13.And they had audacity to leave out Jaffer!!

Posted by Cricket_Waves on (February 11, 2013, 4:54 GMT)

"but were told by the board that picking Jaffer would be a contradiction of its youth policy" - It is crystal clear who is influencing Selection. If it was about Youth then why would they pick a 40 Year old who is totally out of form ? It is all about the Board President who owns an IPL team and wants that team members in the Indian squad. He was the same person who over ruled the selectors against sacking the captain (who is also the captain of that IPL team) despite 8 straight losses and a series loss at home to England. We do not need Rocket science to figure it out. God bless Indian Cricket and it's politics !

Posted by Sandt on (February 11, 2013, 4:52 GMT)

No Vijay, No Shikar, Ajinka rahane should open with sehwag in test. I dont understand why people are keeping him in the middle order option.he is a top order bat give him time. atleast half of the time given to the likes of Rohit Sharma, Ashwin, Ishant. And dont understand why Jaffar is coming into the picture. He is not international cricket material. In domestic cricket he may have scored tons of runs, but he dont have the technic to handle AUS/SAF fast bowlers. And why Dinda in the team, Is he a fast bowler- joke from our selectors and team managment.

Posted by mdho on (February 11, 2013, 4:47 GMT)

This is the first time I can remember that the selectors have not been completely trashed after selecting a team...

Posted by Jawid4u on (February 11, 2013, 4:39 GMT)

What useless selection? Picking openers instead of Jaffer/Pujara?

Posted by vind_2801 on (February 11, 2013, 4:27 GMT)

if harbajan can be selected i don't see a reason why vijay should not be selected. vijay had a good irani cup and has done good against australia in india. he has only played 12 matches and been on and off the team ....if nohit's ,gambir's , shewag's and harbajan can be given vijay's selection is fully justifiable. I see the author's in cricinfo are particularly harsh against players from TN... pls publish

Posted by Raj12345 on (February 11, 2013, 4:14 GMT)

Please don't compare Vijay & Raina. Vijay never played test matches like Raina. Vijay was always back up opener and on & off when Shewag Or Gambhir injured.

My only question is why Dinesh Karthik not considered as middle order batsman in Test. why he is been dropped being labeled as WK.

Posted by SamRoy on (February 11, 2013, 4:07 GMT)

"In an informal conversation a few months ago, one of the selectors had previously remarked that the relentless drive for fast and bouncy pitches across the country over the past decade had led to two alarming trends: a sudden drop in the number of junior cricketers wanting to pursue a career in spin bowling, and a rapid decline in young Indian batsmen's skills against quality spin bowling."----- This is the most heartbreaking aspect of Indian Cricket which I have seen as a keen observer of the game and not IPL. It is creating neither good spin bowlers, nor good fast bowlers and even batsman are lacking ability against quality spin. I recommend such stupid measures to be put to stop immediately. If you want to win in Australia and SA practice in Dharamshala for two months but don't build slow grassy wickets in Kanpur (Kanpur should have dustbowls not slow pitch with grass) and rest of the traditional spin friendly grounds. It helps nobody.

Posted by m_ilind on (February 11, 2013, 3:54 GMT)

Ishant Sharma should have been selected only under one condition: that he either cut his hair short, or tie it up so that it doesn't obstruct his vision on his follow-thru. I remember him dropping a simple c & b chance, because of that.

Posted by xylo on (February 11, 2013, 3:39 GMT)

The youth policy is clearly benefitting the team - leaving out 30+ Badrinath and Jaffer, and picking 20+ Sachin Tendulkar can only do wonders to the test team.

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 3:38 GMT)

The only point that can be justified for Vijay's inclusion in the squad is his CSK background, under no circumstance a player with such a low average can justify his place ROI squad, and once there almost everyone scored a Ton againsta Mumbai attack that can't be termed as first class even.If not Jaffer, atleast the selectors should have tried Rahane in opener's slot, as he used to play there quite regulalry BCCI is using this series to add viewership to the IPL as not having Vijay in the team would mean less recollecting star values.Jadeja and Ashwin should be competing for the same spot and 2 spots should not be wasted on them. High time for Sachin to retire and if he fancies he can play for Mumbai as long as he wants as Ponting is doing for Tasmania now.

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 2:35 GMT)

Would the authors care to compare Sehwag and Gambhir's performances since the beginning of 2011 in test cricket?

Sehwag and Gambhir both average an identical 31.6 in 2012. If you take into account performances in 2011 and 2012, and consider strength of opponents and home/away, Gambhir stands way taller than Sehwag.

I have no idea what else Sehwag needs to do to get dropped, and Jaffer needs to do to get picked.

Wrt your youth policy statements, how is picking Sehwag & Harbhajan an enforcement of the youth policy?

Rubbish selection!

Posted by IndianInnerEdge on (February 11, 2013, 2:31 GMT)

"In an informal conversation a few months ago, one of the selectors had previously remarked the relentless drive for fast& bouncy pitches across the country over thepast decade had led to 2 alarming trends: a sudden drop in number of junior cricketers wanting to pursue a career in spin bowling,& a rapid decline in young Indian batsmen's skills against quality spin bowling.The consequences are placed atselectors' tables today"-REALLY??? If so, can the author/selectors/any blogger-name any real fastbouncy wicket…even half of what v see @WACA, Jo-Burg, Kingston etc? IF so, where are the young quicks wanting to bend their back&bowl quick(140k upwards, Yadav/Aaron exempted)?IF so, theyoungsters&India hopefuls should be gud slip catchers-do we have even 1 ofthis breed?The heartening thing about this post is-someone somewhere is actually looking@thelack of fastbouncy wickets&trying 2do something bout it (assuming whatthe author has posted istrue) - Wow - a seismic mindshift in itself!Applaud!

Posted by deepak_sholapurkar on (February 11, 2013, 2:29 GMT)

M Vijay, One more CSK player :). Now India team can be renamed as CSKMI(Chennai Super King+Mumbai Indian Team).

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 1:51 GMT)

i am amazed how a person averaging 75.90 is not selected on the basis that he is 35 yrs old and equally amazed by the responses by the fans agreeing to him not being selected. when srt can play at 40 why cant a 35 year old in form batsman play?. Bias to the extreme. please post cricinfo.

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 1:47 GMT)

Playing XI - Sehwag, Dhawan, Pujara , Kohli , Tendulkar , Dhoni , Jadeja , Ashwin , Harbhajan, Ishant , Kumar. By bringing Jadeja as no.6 , we get an extra option of left arm spin ( effectively can go with 5 bowlers including 3 spinners) and he can bat as well. India should be playing either Jadeja or Irfan based on the conditions to get the balance.

Posted by NKSathya on (February 11, 2013, 1:38 GMT)

WHAT HORSES FOR COURSES TEAM?????? If so, Why wasn't the country's best opening batsman at the moment, WASIM JAFFER not selected? If so, why was the country's best No. 6, SURESH RAINA not selected after his man-of-the-series one-day performance and outstanding 2 knocks in the Irani Cup? If so, Why drop Parvinder Awana without trial? If so, Why play Asoke Dinda with such a poor domestic record and who averaged more than 50 in the recent ODIs' bowling? If so, why is Harbhajan in the team? What has he done commendably recentlly???? If so, Why is still Dhoni captain of Test team??? Dhoni's run continues due to failure of the arrogant badly behaved Kohli. If so, Why do we have a title HORSES FOR COURSES for this analytical report???

Posted by Des_65 on (February 11, 2013, 0:57 GMT)

I agree with Rohan Verma's comment especially the team based on the selected team - " My playing 11 would be in batting order: Sehwag, Vijay/Dhawan(doesnt matter who plays), Pujara, Sachin, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Ashwin/Jadeja, Bhuvaneshwar, Bhajji, Ishant."

Posted by roversgate on (February 11, 2013, 0:41 GMT)

I don't know why people are criticizing the selection this much. Yes Jaffer missing is unfortunate but the fact of the matter is we need long-term replacements. Dhoni doesn't look likely to captain this squad for long, Sehwag and Tendulkar are on their way out and no one else has really held their own in batting. Jaffer can be selected for the other two matches and then taken to SA but as of now we need to try youth first and Dhawan is believe it or not the best we have got.

I disagree with B. Kumar being a good selection though. This guy will do well on swinging wickets in Test matches and if we make the mistake of having a pitch that will even swing a little bit, then Australia will bowl us out for under a 100. I think we should have waited it out for B. Kumar to be selected until our bowling stock is injury free to return the favour in a swinging pitch.

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 0:14 GMT)

Dont undestand Viru's selection. AT ALL. He even missed out on playing Irani trophy albeit stomach bug but with no match practice under his belt and his very well known lack of patience at the crease more often than not could prove disastrous for us esp for an opening combo. Vijay is a faily new guy and is trying to find feet back in tests. We need a level headed & matured guy like Jaffer (we dont have anyone calmer, in form and experienced at our disposal do we?) to not only negotiate the moving new ball being bowled at greater pace by Siddle, Starc and Jhonson et al. but to provide calmness to a volatile Vijay. Yes age is against Jaffer but he is fit enogh to play atleast 2-3 years if not more. certainly his current form justifies his selection than 'not so young' Viru. He can be an asset and provide stability up the top when the new breed is getting used to the rigors of test cricket.

Posted by baskar_guha on (February 10, 2013, 23:04 GMT)

Dhoni has to win the series or he is done as test captain. Sehwag has to deliver in the first two tests else retirement will beckon. Vijay and Dhawan have to make most of any chances they get and feel lucky that Jaffer is not young. SRT has to be the backbone which he seems to have forgotten. Pujara and Kohli have to consolidate their positions with solid consistent performances. Jadeja will play because India now needs a spinner all rounder more than ever before. Harbhajan is on the ascent while Ojha and especially Ashwin look overwhelmed by quality batting. Kumar is an unknown at the test level, Dinda is not test quality and Ishant is mostly underwhelming. India's chances still depend on Sehwag and Tendulkar to score big and Harbhajan to take wickets unless someone from the nextgen shows they are ready to dominate.

Posted by young_ind on (February 10, 2013, 22:59 GMT)

I am sick of all this jaffer nonsense. i am afraid such posters do not have a clue about class or team building.This is cricket.not a quant exam to get obsessed with data. Jaffer even four years ago was never long term material.Once gambhir got his act together,he was done. To bring back a proven star like Ganguly is one thing. he is a proven matchwinner.its absurd to expect to invest in a guy who has no more than average talent for internationals.for what? to increase or decrease his gignatic average of 34? i mean i have nothing personal against the guy.i would say the same for majumdar,kanitkar,sriram.they were never going to be international stars.no matter what their averages in domestic cricket misleads the ignorants to think,just live with it. This is a team in transition. all the younger prospects badly international exposure. there is no time to lose. To be a long term in international cricket, you have to average over 40 after given sufficient exposure.jaffer's time is over.

Posted by Dhanno on (February 10, 2013, 22:52 GMT)

And what courses are these, repeated failings ? I commented yesterday on an article which proclaimed "Jaffer is in contention". The fine print read how Vijay will be selected as well. So the article was disguising the same XI but wrapped in Jaffer's name. I said at that time that tomorrow BCCI statement will read something like "A due consideration was given to Jaffer's current form, but the selection committee keeping an eye on future has drafted Vijay as an opener". Exactly what you are reporting here. Vijay has been failure whole season, now we will ignore 2 openers (Jaffer + rahane) and give that spot to him. Even dhawan would be better option but as you said "he is down in pecking order". Rahane meanwhile will lose his "middle-order" spot to another fav-boy Jadeja. So its nothing new, we have horses who have failed before and will fail again on the failure course.

I can predict your articles, the quotes in those articles in day advance. Time to step up your game cricinfo.

Posted by insightfulcricketer on (February 10, 2013, 21:36 GMT)

I feel very sad for Gambhir. For somebody who can justifiably claim to having been solely responsible for filling up India's bare cupboard with hardware (T20 World Cup and World Cup 2011) not by disappearing in the final stage but by performing solidly is this guy. Yes Gambhir had a lean time but against England he had performed decently in the last 3 test matches.In Dharmashala he looked the only player adept at playing the fast bowlers. Vijay is a joke when playing fast bowling of any quality and Rahane for all his built up by Messrs Gavaskar and Manjrekar has yet to play a 'meaningful' knock in any form of the game(first class or international). His penchant for getting ducks reminds me of of Agarkar in the making. Sadly, I think more than the time in the nets Gambhir needs to spend time building a taste for Idlli and Dosas as this is the only requirement in this team to 'succeed' just ask Dhoni and Ashwin.

Posted by FighterKallis on (February 10, 2013, 21:02 GMT)

Selecting jaffer is a contracdiction against the youth policy .But that old fox aged 40 does not hang his boots.when will he? He awaits humiliation in the hands of aussies. Men in blue will once again will bleed in red

Posted by CoolCharlie on (February 10, 2013, 20:40 GMT)

looking at the team selection , i think they have done pretty decent job except for one thing - not including jaffer. Vijay has not really earned his place. Also i think Jadeja is crucial and should be played at #7 . his bowling would be important. My XI will be - Sehwag Vijay Pujar Sachin Kohli Dhoni Jadeja HSingh Ashwin/Ojha BKumar Ishant/Dinda. I would have gone for jaffer but since he is not selected , vijay looks better prospect than Dhawan. Also want to test Hsingh one last time. If Ishant is unfit dinda would be picked. I would like Jadeja to stop runflow from one end and attack from other with Hsingh And other bowlers. Jadeja is crucial and God knows he might be an ace in future for Indian cricket only if he performs outside subcontinent and show some decent batting performance in tests. Excited to see how he bats in tests.

Posted by kalyanbk on (February 10, 2013, 20:24 GMT)

One feels sorry for Wasim Jaffer, but he is one of those who did not transfer domestic performance to international performance. Anyone remember the painful innings he played with Dravid when they both opened the innings together in Australia? Badrinath is another player in the domestic stalwart category although he got far fewer chances than Jaffer in tests. Whenever I see Jaffer I an saddened by what might have been along with S Sharath, S Sriram and Amol Majumdar.

Posted by ROXSPORT on (February 10, 2013, 20:17 GMT)

Senseless selection. Pointless to comment. 'Nuff said.

Posted by AjaySridharan on (February 10, 2013, 19:26 GMT)

I may be no legal expert, but isn't discrimination on the basis of age illegal? Shouldn't BCCI be held to the same employment standards as the corporate sector? How can you justify leaving out Jaffer @ 35, when you have a 40 yr old in the team? If you want to use age as a filter, then announce a formal retirement age, like how the government does. And what has age got to do with anything...if he isn't physically fit, or a liability on the field, or doesn't have the runs to show for form, it is justifiable. Haven't we had rolly-polly figures like Romesh Powar in the team? Isn't Ashwin a liability on the field?

Posted by umangsagar on (February 10, 2013, 19:26 GMT)

Never expected selectors to do their job, and they have never surprised me in last many years...90% of BCCI consists of people who seldom have played cricket...rest 10% seems to have forgotten their days as cricketers, or just taking out their fancies and following those 90%, as the real problem with Indian cricket is sadly not LACK Of but abundance of MONEY...Thank God I developed taste for Football...dont watch cricket as I used to...Miss the aggressive and decisive captain in you DADA..these jokers will never have a vision about cricket which you had.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 18:29 GMT)

India should consider Ashwin more like a batting all-rounder in tests and he should be competing with Jadeja for place in the side rather than say Bhajji or any other spinner. This could help Ashwin evolve as a player in all the three departments spl fielding. Also Rahane should be looked as a future no 4 prospect and should be included in the side at no 6 now instead of having Jadeja. My playing 11 would be in batting order: Sehwag, Vijay/Dhawan(doesnt matter who plays), Pujara, Sachin, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Ashwin/Jadeja, Bhuvaneshwar, Bhajji, Ishant.

Posted by balajeev on (February 10, 2013, 18:29 GMT)

What good is a selection committee that rewards mediocrity instead of excellence? What do they get paid for ? Its ludicrous that Vijay got selected ahead of Jaffer.

Posted by Unmesh_cric on (February 10, 2013, 18:26 GMT)

I have said this before and will say it again. On current form, Jaffer is the best opener India has got. He is barely 35, not "old" by current standards in cricket. He can easily play for the next 2-3 years. 2-3 years is not a small amount of time. Look what happened to India's Test ranking in the last couple of years. So play the best opener you have got, rather than just looking for "young" openers. There are enough young players like Kohli, Pujara and possibly Rahane in the middle order. India can afford to have some experienced players too.

Posted by blazingmagnum on (February 10, 2013, 18:02 GMT)

Yet another poor and senseless selection by Sandeep Patil & Co. In fact, his selection talent is worse than his fielding!!!!He is going to destroy Indian cricket for sure!!! Well, in the last 2 overseas' tours vs Eng. & Aus., India lost due to their seniors' failing and young arrogant talents like Kohli just found the going too hot to handle!! But, now India have lost to Eng. at home and will lose to Aus. at home due to Sandeep Patil's poor team selection policies!!! If Srikkanth took the Indian team to # 1 slot in all formats, Sandeep Patil will soon take India to last slot in Tests at least!! Thanks to his great stagnant egoistic mind and the ever useless passenger DUNCAN FLETCHER!!!

Posted by nadodi on (February 10, 2013, 17:45 GMT)

Bunch of Jokers .Many Times proved by BCCI.This time too.

Posted by TM on (February 10, 2013, 17:43 GMT)

why do people bash jadeja so much hes a tidy bowler brilliant fielder and a good batsman who will improve give him a chance, i would say hes a home player though. But if you look at the squad dhawan and vijay will not score runs in SA only in India they do not have the skill and this is why rohit should of been picked base a judgement of a player for the whole season not one game and rohit has average 60 this season same with jaffer so they both shouldve been selected my team: Jaffer (until jiwanjot or chand step up) rahane pujara sachin kohli rohit/jadeja MSD ashwin bhuvunesh sharma harbhajan ojha

Posted by AjberTheGangulian on (February 10, 2013, 17:38 GMT)

Why Dinda over Shreeshanth... hope Ashwin would be played as a batting all rounder over Jadeja.. 1. Sevag 2. Vijay 3. Pujara 4. Kohli 5. Sachin 6. Dhoni 7. Ashwin 8. Harbhajan 9. B kumar 10. Ohja 11. Ishanth (shold have been shreenth)

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (February 10, 2013, 17:36 GMT)

I COMMEND the Indian selection committee for flexing their muscle for once at least and send the right message out to ZERO performers in the team. The fact that you cannot hide behind your past laurels. This will teach a CRUEL lesson to Gautam Gambhir who has been a sore baggage for far too long. Sehwag should have been axed as well; yet in India, he can still be a match winner. Anyway, it's time to take the team forward. I think India have a good squad to beat Australia.

Posted by rkannancrown on (February 10, 2013, 17:04 GMT)

I think Jaffer lost out to Vijay's overall good performance against Australia. It would have been frustrating to Jaffer to be a substitute player. Ashwin has had a long run and has not delivered as a bowler but has got quite a few runs. May be, the selectors should pick him as a battting allrounder as his batting average is higher than his bowling average. Sreesanth wouls have added balance to the bowling attack as he is capable of producing the surprise deliveries and looked in good nick in the Irani trophy.

Posted by ROCK4cricket on (February 10, 2013, 16:53 GMT)

playing xi in chennai- sehwag, vijay, pujara, sachin, kohli, dhoni, jadeja, ashwin, ojha, ishant, dinda.(as on now). i really think dis is a gud selection in terms of spin n bat 2 a little extent, again d same concern with pace. Dont understand y vijay n jadeja r in and because of dhoni's csk sentiment dey will b in d playing xi 4 sure.... jaffer n raina would have been better... still d same mistake continues in pacers selection, in a squad of 15 nly 3 pacers will b der always what so ever happens that 2 unfit or any time injury or inconsistent pacers.... sreesanth, i.pandey, shami would have been better.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 16:34 GMT)

About time Gambhir was dropped, he can have no complaints. Should be a warning to Sehwag too - you can't live off past glories forever. There are a lot of talented, hungry batsmen in India itching to get into the side & its good Patil's selection committee are willing to give them the chance.

Posted by agarkarno1 on (February 10, 2013, 16:33 GMT)

I dont think Vijay is that comfortably placed to be picked for the first test. Shikar would be the first choice for the left hand-right hand combination to go with Sehwag. The selection overall is decent one with the existing resources. It has displayed common sense at last. Australia doesnt have a quality spinner which would be the factor in the series. Their fast bowlers have quality but they also need that zip in the pitch, which our pitches dont offer. They are slow and the batsmen would be comfortable once the ball becomes old.

Posted by citizenkc on (February 10, 2013, 15:42 GMT)

Sharda Ugra is generally accurate in describing the merits and demerits of the selection policy. What is most worrying, however, is not whether this is a "balanced squad," but the sad reality that these bowlers are not going to take 20 wickets. Just take a look at the strike rates and averages! Granted, Australia's batting line up without Ponting and Hussey is not what it used to be, but as we have seen, Clarke can score runs at will, and Watson and the others have plenty of talent. Ohja and Ashwin are not class spinners, and it seems unlikely that Harbhajan will miraculously rediscover his mojo. The pace options are toothless. On the other hand, Australia have several matchwinning bowlers. End result: this series will be decided by the ability of the Indian batsmen to stand up to the Aussie bowlers. In which case, we may squeak out a draw. Otherwise, I really don't see the present crop of Indian bowlers taking 20 wickets, which means that unless the Aussie batting fails, India loses.

Posted by Rumy1 on (February 10, 2013, 15:39 GMT)

Also, selectors retained R.Ashwin,Ishant and R.Jadeja for Tests. Mindboggling indeed!! I mean this is simply preposterous.What did Ishant do in Tests against England or before that.Same is with Ashwin.The fact is that Ashwin has already been sorted out by international batsmen. First class performance over an extended period of one year is the right criteria in current structure of game.The openers have failed over last 2-3 years. Gambhir has 360 runs at an avg. of 30 in his last 12 Test innings with zero century and just two fifties to his name.Sehwag has 450 runs in his last 12 Test innings at an avg. of 37 with one hundred and only one fifty to his name.Dhoni and Srinivasan's favourite-Ashwin has 14 wickets in his last 8 Test innings with a best of 3 for 80.Ishant has 18 wickets in his last 18 Test innings with a best of 3 for 49.Moreover,Sachin has 221 runs in his last 13 Test innings with no century and just one fifty.And they had audacity to leave out Jaffer.Decide for yourselves

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 15:38 GMT)

Who will bat at number six? Rahane is the only choice. Why pick an opener for this spot when Tiwary has delivered on every occasion?

Posted by Rumy1 on (February 10, 2013, 15:36 GMT)

Gambhir was rightly dropped and selectors would have brought Indian cricket down to its kness had they not dropped him.But they left Ashwin who also certainly deserved.Above all,they failed again to do justice to Jaffer's talent, class,commitment and hardwork.Can't they see how he batted and built both innings in Irani Cup.Can't they compare Jaffer's performance and consistency with records M.Vijay and Shikhar for this year.Is there even comparison between Jaffer and the two who got the nod before him.Just take 1st class record of Jafferfor 2012-13.He made 1016 runs in 13 innings with 3 centuries and 5 half centuries at an average of 84.6.In comparison M.Vijay has 289 runs in 10 innings with one century and zero half century at a dismal average of 28.9 and S.Dhawan has 524 runs in 13 innings with one century and one fifty at an average of 43.6.Even an insane person can reach a conclusion based on these first class numbers of Jaffer,Vijay and Dhawan in 2012-13.And they left out Jaffer!!

Posted by ListenToMe on (February 10, 2013, 15:30 GMT)

I think, this is not the right way to send strong message to the seniors. My opinion is to have a rotation policy and rotate players so that all will get opportunity to prove themselves. I don't think that players like Tiwary, Dhawan etc had to wait till some senior players got injured or ran out of form for several years.

The major problem with this kind of selection is that if a player fails consecutively in two matches he will be replaced with another. This adds a lot of pressure on a new player causing him to lose his concentration there by spoiling his opportunity to prove himself.

The rotation policy is good for seniors also as they will get rest frequently and even if they are not playing well, they will not feel that they were dropped. The confidence level of each player will remain high always. It is high time that the selectors rectify their mistake.

Posted by siddarthshikhar on (February 10, 2013, 15:26 GMT)

one question.. does Vijay really make it into the starting xi straight away? I personally think rahane would be a far better option as he has not got a chance for so long in the middle order... Vijay has had a really poor ranji season and dhawan looks too loose on the drive so it will be really unfair to pick them before rahane..

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 15:21 GMT)

first time that i have read Sharda Ugra right about some selection decisions in a slightly positive light.

Posted by khushil on (February 10, 2013, 15:20 GMT)

I really do think that Jaffer should have been taken instead of Dhawan. Jaffer has had an absolutely amazing Ranji Trophy & Irani Cup. He deserves a comeback into the Indian test team. I would also say that Vijay should be dropped for Ambati Rayudu or Manoj Tiwary.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 15:07 GMT)

why vijay,raina will be a better option

Posted by jimbond on (February 10, 2013, 14:51 GMT)

For the benefit of Indian cricket, lets hope that Ishant, Vijay and Harbajan show their true colours and fail, so that a better team can be selected for the next series.

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