Mumbai v Rest of India, Irani Cup, Mumbai, 2nd day February 7, 2013

Raina ton dominates free-scoring day

41

Mumbai 155 for 2 (Jaffer 80, Rahane 55*) trail Rest of India 526 (Raina 134, Vijay 116, Chavan 3-56) by 371 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

It's a battle of the bats at the Irani Cup, as Mumbai responded strongly to Rest of India's 526 on the second day at the Wankhede Stadium.

As was the case on the first day, there was much that unfolded on the second to keep the national selectors interested ahead of the Australia Tests: Suresh Raina reached his second first-class hundred this season to stake his claim for a possible opening in India's middle order, Sreesanth, Abhimanyu Mithun, Ishwar Pandey and Harbhajan Singh each got a bowl, and Wasim Jaffer and Ajinkya Rahane continued to have a productive time in the middle. As the game seemed to meander towards another high-scoring encounter, the focus remained on individual performances.

On the eve of the match, Raina had spoken of his aim to play more than 50 Tests and seeking advice from VVS Laxman about batting with tailenders. He did his Test prospects no harm with an attacking century, and received excellent support from Abhimanyu Mithun at No.8 - the two had made their Test debuts in the same series, in Sri Lanka in 2010. Mumbai's bowling continued to be lackluster - the left-arm spinners picking up wickets long after enough damage had been inflicted and the seamers largely ineffective - claiming just one wicket on the second day and unable to break a 153-run stand for the seventh wicket between Raina and Mithun.

Raina had moved smoothly to 36 at stumps on the first day, and Ambati Rayudu had matched him in a sprightly partnership. He took a while to take charge on the second, scoring his first boundary almost 50 minutes into the morning session after he'd lost Harbhajan Singh. Mithun looked assured at the other end, defending well, and scoring fluently, starting off with a lovely flick off Dhawal Kulkarni through square leg. Raina brought up his fifty off 103 balls, but opened up when part-timer Rohit Sharma was brought on to bowl. He took him for three boundaries in an over, cutting him past point then launching him twice over extra cover.

Even as the field spread out, Raina picked up boundaries with ease through point, targeted the spinners through mid-on and midwicket and struck the seamers hard down the ground. He took just 37 balls to get from 50 to 100, celebrated animatedly after reaching the landmark, and stepped out to Vishal Dabholkar and Ankeet Chavan to smack three more sixes before holing out. Mithun's confidence had grown in the company of his senior partner and he didn't hesitate to dispatch length balls from Kulkarni down the ground, pull and cut him for fours and play the slog-sweep against the spinners en route to his own half-century. Only their pursuit of quick runs appeared to give Mumbai a chance of claiming a wicket, which they did but only after conceding a huge first-innings score.

The Mumbai batsmen, too, were beneficiaries of excellent conditions to score in, and the three-pronged Rest of India pace attack including Sreesanth, Mithun and Pandey could do little against the in-form Jaffer and Rahane until the close. Sreesanth and Mithun offered considerable room for Jaffer to cut and drive which he did with flair, before feasting on a couple of freebies on the leg side from Mithun after tea to raise his fifty. Sreesanth dismissed Jaffer shortly before stumps when he belatedly tried to withdraw from playing a good-length delivery outside off and nicked to the keeper.

Rahane has been in contention for a Test place for a long time. He was watchful at the start but got going against Pandey, reaching out to drive through extra cover for two fours in an over. He was the more restrained during a century stand with Jaffer, but comfortably ended any quiet spell with a boundary, once lofting Pragyan Ojha over mid-on. He reached his half-century with an off-drive off Pandey and set about, not for the first time, pushing his case for a Test berth.

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • vaibhavsharma100 on February 8, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    I am waiting for Sachin bashers to say and comment that despite sachin's century, Mumbai could not take lead and hence he is selfish and has never won matches for any of his team.......Wish they could realize that for a long part of his career, there was no1 to support him and he carried the batting of India all along.

  • colossalcricketer on February 8, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    Al_Bundy1 Agree with u mate! I mean players like Rohit, Raina, Yuvi , Jadeja and Dhoni are not made for test cricket ! Rohit has the technique but he just squanders away his chances while the other 3 don't have optimal technique for test cricket...Hope the selectors realize this :( ! Nice century by Tondulkar !

  • LetThereBeLogic on February 8, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    @Soumyas: Can you enlighten us with names of 'so many young cricketers' whose place is being blocked by Sachin? He retired from ODIs and we saw how Rahane and Gambhir are playing there. He is much better than any other batsman in India right now. Pity you that you speak without any cricketing sense.

  • LetThereBeLogic on February 8, 2013, 10:07 GMT

    @Nampally: I don't understand that scoreline of 1-11? What are you suggesting with it? I can understand 0-8 that is india's current overseas record but 1-11 does not make sense.

    If you are counting test matches played since India's tour to England till now. Then you must notice that India have lost 10 matches and not 11. So 11 does not really make any sense. And India have won 5 not 1. I guess you are not counting matches won against NZ and WI.

  • LetThereBeLogic on February 8, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    And as far as Tendulkar goes, his innings was a masterclass. Chanceless. Apart from Ojha - whom he shredded like anything - all other bowlers bowled well to him. Especially Sree and Ishwar. But he played really well defensively and attacked when he got chances. To me, it's a sign that he indeed got a good match practice and that would help him a lot for the upcoming series against Australia.

  • realfan on February 8, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    is it that tendulkar got back to form or ROI bowlers are club level?????

  • on February 8, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    The most "talented" cricketer in India makes another duck. with so many ducks he can think of opening a poultry farm. three cheers to this master. he will almost certainly enter the record books as the most "considered" player ever played for India.

  • realfan on February 8, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    selectors should not get bullied by the bowling of harbajan here... remember Rahane was given out wrongly, and rohit sharma just hit bad shot..... that doesnt mean that he is good bowler anymore......

  • LetThereBeLogic on February 8, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    Well have you guys seen the match? The wicket is green and has a lot of bounce and carry. So They did not score these runs on flat deck. But in fact the bowlers were very very bad. Nobody took the advantage of this wicket and batsmen just capitalized on it. So I would rather blame the bowlers than calling it a flat deck...

  • Al_Bundy1 on February 8, 2013, 3:07 GMT

    Agree with @RK.Chandru - Indian Selectors need to think beyond Rainas, Rohits, Yuvis and Jadejas...They have had enough chances. Let them play in ODI and T20.

  • vaibhavsharma100 on February 8, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    I am waiting for Sachin bashers to say and comment that despite sachin's century, Mumbai could not take lead and hence he is selfish and has never won matches for any of his team.......Wish they could realize that for a long part of his career, there was no1 to support him and he carried the batting of India all along.

  • colossalcricketer on February 8, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    Al_Bundy1 Agree with u mate! I mean players like Rohit, Raina, Yuvi , Jadeja and Dhoni are not made for test cricket ! Rohit has the technique but he just squanders away his chances while the other 3 don't have optimal technique for test cricket...Hope the selectors realize this :( ! Nice century by Tondulkar !

  • LetThereBeLogic on February 8, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    @Soumyas: Can you enlighten us with names of 'so many young cricketers' whose place is being blocked by Sachin? He retired from ODIs and we saw how Rahane and Gambhir are playing there. He is much better than any other batsman in India right now. Pity you that you speak without any cricketing sense.

  • LetThereBeLogic on February 8, 2013, 10:07 GMT

    @Nampally: I don't understand that scoreline of 1-11? What are you suggesting with it? I can understand 0-8 that is india's current overseas record but 1-11 does not make sense.

    If you are counting test matches played since India's tour to England till now. Then you must notice that India have lost 10 matches and not 11. So 11 does not really make any sense. And India have won 5 not 1. I guess you are not counting matches won against NZ and WI.

  • LetThereBeLogic on February 8, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    And as far as Tendulkar goes, his innings was a masterclass. Chanceless. Apart from Ojha - whom he shredded like anything - all other bowlers bowled well to him. Especially Sree and Ishwar. But he played really well defensively and attacked when he got chances. To me, it's a sign that he indeed got a good match practice and that would help him a lot for the upcoming series against Australia.

  • realfan on February 8, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    is it that tendulkar got back to form or ROI bowlers are club level?????

  • on February 8, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    The most "talented" cricketer in India makes another duck. with so many ducks he can think of opening a poultry farm. three cheers to this master. he will almost certainly enter the record books as the most "considered" player ever played for India.

  • realfan on February 8, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    selectors should not get bullied by the bowling of harbajan here... remember Rahane was given out wrongly, and rohit sharma just hit bad shot..... that doesnt mean that he is good bowler anymore......

  • LetThereBeLogic on February 8, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    Well have you guys seen the match? The wicket is green and has a lot of bounce and carry. So They did not score these runs on flat deck. But in fact the bowlers were very very bad. Nobody took the advantage of this wicket and batsmen just capitalized on it. So I would rather blame the bowlers than calling it a flat deck...

  • Al_Bundy1 on February 8, 2013, 3:07 GMT

    Agree with @RK.Chandru - Indian Selectors need to think beyond Rainas, Rohits, Yuvis and Jadejas...They have had enough chances. Let them play in ODI and T20.

  • xylo on February 8, 2013, 1:50 GMT

    @S.Jagernath you might notice that Tendulkar is counting on playing in the same pitch to "get into form".

  • class9ryan on February 8, 2013, 0:32 GMT

    Mumbai missed out on key players in Zaheer and Agarkar ... If they overhaul this ROI score .... that would be a achievement 2 remember for years in First Class

  • on February 7, 2013, 23:03 GMT

    I think Raina performed very well and deserves a chance in test. Flat mumbai pitch is no excuse for raina critics. Its job of others to provide sporting pitch for such an important game for selection point of view. Raina can bat and prove only on the pitch provided.

  • LetThereBeLogic on February 7, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    @R.K. Chandru: While I agree with you that one good inning should not let Raina in. But just tell us who are those young and fresh players who can play well in India and in Abroad, are waiting in line? So far, there was only one : Cheteshwar Pujara and he is in. I would have loved some suggestions from you.

  • LetThereBeLogic on February 7, 2013, 22:37 GMT

    Well. It is not a flat pitch as score-card indicates and most of the comments here suggest. It's a very good pitch with a bounce and swing in it. It had green tinge on it as well. Also, Batsman (Barring Jaffer, Rahane) did not play that well. Raina and others played most of their shots in the air. So rather than a wonderful performance by the batsmen on the pitch that had something in it to assist bowlers, I would blame it on bowlers(of ROI and of Mumbai) for bowling very bad! You hardly get a pitch that has bounce and movement in India. They were given it and they failed to make most of it. Had there been some quality bowling all these batsmen could not have scored even 50.

  • Nampally on February 7, 2013, 22:22 GMT

    Against the Aussie pace attack, Sehwag of "old" would have been the right man.By doing a vanishing act, Sehwag has badly hurt his chances. So no one knows what his form will be. He hit a century against England as his best score in 2012. Two opening batsmen in top form are Dhawan & Jaffer.So if we ignore all other factors, they deserve to open against the Aussies based on Form, Fitness & performance record.Using the same criteria, Nadeem should have been in at least one of the 3 squads in pre Aussie matches - he is not even on the radar. He was the top spinner in Ranji matches.The Indian Selectors do not believe in any Selection Criteria.So the selected squads are always Bizzare. Hopefully Pujara will not be benched by Dhoni again. If he does, the Aussie sweep is a foregone conclusion even before the series starts. The Selectors & Captain Dhoni have reduced India to 1-11- the solo victory made possible via Pujara's double century!Indian Fans desperate to see at least a competing team!

  • S.Jagernath on February 7, 2013, 20:57 GMT

    Suresh Raina probably capitalised on a pitch that was flat & there probably was no swing on offer.As soon as there is any movement he turns into a rabbit.He will still get bounced out

  • on February 7, 2013, 19:23 GMT

    i think dhavan n jaffer shoud open.rahane at 6 n sandeep sharma should make debute

  • jals on February 7, 2013, 17:58 GMT

    Jaffer Jaffer Jaffer please selectors give him a chance he deserves a place in test team.

  • realfan on February 7, 2013, 17:56 GMT

    why are we so fixated towards batsmen?????? where are our bowlers?????? the only good test bowlers i can see right now is ojah and Zaheer( but never mind he will be unfit after 1st test) and Yadav... and who are the wicket takers???? only ojah and yadav??? can they take 10 wickets in 1 match, let alone 20 wickets.....

    i think selectors are making mistake by just focusing on batsmen.... we are missing strike bowlers... irfan could have given a chance or match practice , and plese dont select harbajan again... and if your are desperatly preparing rank turners... jadeja will be best opion than good for nothing ashwin....

  • TM on February 7, 2013, 17:29 GMT

    raina is not test match quality hes is no where near good enough havent people realised already?

  • TM on February 7, 2013, 17:24 GMT

    i hope rahane and rohit score some runs to get in the test team above a ghambir and rohit at 6 also hopefull tendulkar will score some runs

  • jay_vkjay on February 7, 2013, 17:18 GMT

    Indian Selectors lack guts to drop players like Gambhir and Sehwag.

  • Dhanno on February 7, 2013, 16:57 GMT

    Rahane is a opener, who plays 1 down at times for mumbai for tactical reasons. Rahane+ Jaffer are best players mumbai has had in last few years in FC cricket.Both of them opening may leave a vulnerable middle order hence at times Rahane or Jaffer have come 1 down. Rahane made his FC debut as opener at 19, in karachi playing Mohammed Nissar trophy (winners of Indian and Pakistan FC tournys competed for it) and scored a hundred. A debutant, at 19, opening on first day, in pakistan and getting hundred. The guy is a opener, there could be merit to him being able to play middle order but dont give excuses to push cases of guys like Vijay for openers spot.

  • RK.Chandru on February 7, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    oh no! not again!! Raina? in test team?? hasn't he proved enough already that, he isn't made for it??? Think beyond Rainas, Rohits, Yuvis and Jadejas... They just do not have it in them to be a middle order test bat... They had a lion's share of opportunities already to prove that too. Give some deserving player a chance who can play here and as well abroad well and score consistently. After just one good knock, people have started talking of a place for him in the test team... how come places are taken for granted for a select few? how come the vested interests in the media start campaigning for certain players in unison and one voice???????? `wish, selectors ignore once in a blue moon performance of these players and look for fresh set of young and deserving players.

  • usernames on February 7, 2013, 15:57 GMT

    Mukund, Vijay, Pujara, Tendulkar, Rahane, Kohli, Dhoni, Harbhajan/Ashwin, Ishant/Umesh/Dhawal, Shami/Ishwar/Bhuvneshwar, Ojha

  • ChinmayD on February 7, 2013, 15:45 GMT

    The match looks nicely poised... we need our 4 big remaining guns -- Rahane, Tendulkar, Sharma and Nayar to fire if we are to overhaul RoI's first innings score and win the Irani trophy after 16 years. If we do it, in absence of both Zaheer and Agarkar, it would be a tremendous achievement.

    And, I do believe Rahane, Nayar and Sharma (but mostly Rahane and Nayar) all deserve to play test cricket for India.

  • soumyas on February 7, 2013, 15:08 GMT

    Question is why Tendulkar still plays in first class matches? with so many young talented cricketers around it will just block opportunity for them.

  • Batmanindallas on February 7, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    Expected different things from Patil but he is no better than Srikanth or anyone else before him

  • on February 7, 2013, 14:48 GMT

    Sad thing is that Indian selectors will still go with Sahwag and Gambhir despite their performance in last few abroad series, hoping that in Indian conditions they will again flourish. Even sadder is that they will, and then all their past failure in foreign soil will be forgotten. Even if third opener is selected, Dhoni will not give him any chance. Atleast in Harbhajan singh's case, his performance is so pathatic in domestic matches this session, there is doubt that selectors will dare to pick him up. Thankfully Ravindra Jadeja has performed well. In any way Ausies are going to dominate the series. Any side with with good bowling unit can dominate this indian side.

  • QingdaoXI on February 7, 2013, 14:46 GMT

    Next Test Jaffer(Best test opener in India at the moment), Rahane (Deserves his place), Pujara, Tendulkar, Kohli, Nayar (he deserves this plays on his performance), Dhoni, Ashwin, Ishant, Pandey-deserves his place on performance (If Umesh is not fit), Ojha. 12th Sreesanth 13th Rohit 14th Jadeja 15th Awana (Yes is a better bowler for long format). 16. Dhawan. If any opener fails in all innings of first 2 tests put Dhawan in that position.

  • Nampally on February 7, 2013, 14:24 GMT

    Jaffer has once again shown that he is still a force to reckon with as an opening batsman. But being older than Sehwag & Gambhir he is not the future prospect. So his chances of entry into the India XI are rare. Rahane is more a middle order batsman rather than an opener. I still feel Dhawan, Vijay & Mukund are the top 3 contenders for the opening spot. As regards opening bowlers, neither Sresanth nor Ishwar Pandey made any impact. Ishwar is still young & learning. But for Sree it is end of the road. India has at least 4 seamers in Yadev, Ishant, B.Kumar & Shami. Only other guys to be tested should be Aaron & Sandeep Sharma. In the spin dept. Harbhajan & Ojha were both ineffective. I do not think Bhajji's chances of making a comeback have advanced with his current form. India will still rely on Ojha, Ashwin, Jadeja & Yuvraj as the 4 spinners in 2 formats.I only wish Nadeem, J.Saxena & V.Joshi were tested. Putting Harbhajan in these matches is depriving other young guys their chances.

  • Vivek_Singh3089 on February 7, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    Despite of the Raina & Vijay's century I still won't feel that these two deserves test slots...for Rahane tomorrow is a big day for him..if he scores big then there is very high possibility for him to earn a Test Cap....I was hoping for Tiwary to score big but anyways...Sreesanth was bowling hot & cold while Mithun was as crap as always....Pandey bowled beautifully but his speed seems to be in 128-133kph range..similar to Bhuvi...he needs to up his pace in 133-138 kph bracket to become successful in international cricket. A good bowling coach can hep him improving it....with his height & physique if he gains a bit more pace, he can be an excellent addition to our fast bowling pool.

  • on February 7, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    Raina shows his class again...What a hundred by one of the best young batsman in the world....Its high time now for the selectors to look forward and get him back to the test squad!!!He deserves a place more than anyone..

  • on February 7, 2013, 13:25 GMT

    YES . I THINK WASIM JAFFER SHOLUD BR GIVEN A CHANCE. ON A FLAT TRACKS HE CAN SUSTAIN THE OPENING OVERS WITH HIS TECHNIQUE.ITS FAIR FOR SELECTORS TO GIVE HIM ONE FINAL GO BEFORE CONCENTRATING ON YOUNG /SOLID OPENERS FOR ALL CONDITIONS. KESAV KOUNDINYA

  • on February 7, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    Rahane, Vijay and Jafar all proved good, but at the end Dhoni will go ahead with his usual suspects. Mostly he will get his friend Raina in playing 11. With bowling department no vacancy for 3rd spinner as we have Ashwin, Oza and may be Jadeja. Pace department will include Ishant and will need two more quickies. In longer run once Umesh Yadav returns then only one vacancy remains. I think young Mithun may be selected over Srishanth.

  • on February 7, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    I think a Mumbai -Delhi duo of openers in both : tests and ODI will work i.e. Sehwag and Jaffer in tests; Gambhir and Rahane in ODIs

  • Al_Bundy1 on February 7, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    We saw 3 openers in this match so far. All 3 of them - Vijay, Dhawan, and Jaffer are better than the current Indian opening pair of Sehwag and Gambhir. But Sehwag and Gambhir will still get selected because Indian Selectors always look at past performances. Current performance means nothing to them. I don't think Dhoni has any say in selection of Indian Squad. He gets a squad of 15 people - he can pick his 11 from that 15. But if Sehwag and Dhoni are the only 2 openers in that squad, he has no choice but to pick those 2 non-performers.

  • arun_padmanabhan on February 7, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    Rahane is not the answer to India's opening troubles. He is aptly suited for no.6. The reason is that he has fair experience of playing the new ball and will provide a fair amount of solidarity when the 2nd new ball is taken. Also, he is a safe bet against spin and i believe he can easily counter Nathan Lyon. Will the team management take this gamble?

  • SherjilIslam on February 7, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    It's high time Jaffer should be considered for the opening slot.He can still be around for at-least two years provided he remains fit and in-form,while the search for the young opener remains on.He is the best available opener at the moment and is in terrific form.

  • prabha_cricfan on February 7, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    Rahane completes his to tomorrow and will join the race for Indian team openers. Among all the expectations, Dhoni will go in with Sehwag & Gambhir...

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  • prabha_cricfan on February 7, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    Rahane completes his to tomorrow and will join the race for Indian team openers. Among all the expectations, Dhoni will go in with Sehwag & Gambhir...

  • SherjilIslam on February 7, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    It's high time Jaffer should be considered for the opening slot.He can still be around for at-least two years provided he remains fit and in-form,while the search for the young opener remains on.He is the best available opener at the moment and is in terrific form.

  • arun_padmanabhan on February 7, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    Rahane is not the answer to India's opening troubles. He is aptly suited for no.6. The reason is that he has fair experience of playing the new ball and will provide a fair amount of solidarity when the 2nd new ball is taken. Also, he is a safe bet against spin and i believe he can easily counter Nathan Lyon. Will the team management take this gamble?

  • Al_Bundy1 on February 7, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    We saw 3 openers in this match so far. All 3 of them - Vijay, Dhawan, and Jaffer are better than the current Indian opening pair of Sehwag and Gambhir. But Sehwag and Gambhir will still get selected because Indian Selectors always look at past performances. Current performance means nothing to them. I don't think Dhoni has any say in selection of Indian Squad. He gets a squad of 15 people - he can pick his 11 from that 15. But if Sehwag and Dhoni are the only 2 openers in that squad, he has no choice but to pick those 2 non-performers.

  • on February 7, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    I think a Mumbai -Delhi duo of openers in both : tests and ODI will work i.e. Sehwag and Jaffer in tests; Gambhir and Rahane in ODIs

  • on February 7, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    Rahane, Vijay and Jafar all proved good, but at the end Dhoni will go ahead with his usual suspects. Mostly he will get his friend Raina in playing 11. With bowling department no vacancy for 3rd spinner as we have Ashwin, Oza and may be Jadeja. Pace department will include Ishant and will need two more quickies. In longer run once Umesh Yadav returns then only one vacancy remains. I think young Mithun may be selected over Srishanth.

  • on February 7, 2013, 13:25 GMT

    YES . I THINK WASIM JAFFER SHOLUD BR GIVEN A CHANCE. ON A FLAT TRACKS HE CAN SUSTAIN THE OPENING OVERS WITH HIS TECHNIQUE.ITS FAIR FOR SELECTORS TO GIVE HIM ONE FINAL GO BEFORE CONCENTRATING ON YOUNG /SOLID OPENERS FOR ALL CONDITIONS. KESAV KOUNDINYA

  • on February 7, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    Raina shows his class again...What a hundred by one of the best young batsman in the world....Its high time now for the selectors to look forward and get him back to the test squad!!!He deserves a place more than anyone..

  • Vivek_Singh3089 on February 7, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    Despite of the Raina & Vijay's century I still won't feel that these two deserves test slots...for Rahane tomorrow is a big day for him..if he scores big then there is very high possibility for him to earn a Test Cap....I was hoping for Tiwary to score big but anyways...Sreesanth was bowling hot & cold while Mithun was as crap as always....Pandey bowled beautifully but his speed seems to be in 128-133kph range..similar to Bhuvi...he needs to up his pace in 133-138 kph bracket to become successful in international cricket. A good bowling coach can hep him improving it....with his height & physique if he gains a bit more pace, he can be an excellent addition to our fast bowling pool.

  • Nampally on February 7, 2013, 14:24 GMT

    Jaffer has once again shown that he is still a force to reckon with as an opening batsman. But being older than Sehwag & Gambhir he is not the future prospect. So his chances of entry into the India XI are rare. Rahane is more a middle order batsman rather than an opener. I still feel Dhawan, Vijay & Mukund are the top 3 contenders for the opening spot. As regards opening bowlers, neither Sresanth nor Ishwar Pandey made any impact. Ishwar is still young & learning. But for Sree it is end of the road. India has at least 4 seamers in Yadev, Ishant, B.Kumar & Shami. Only other guys to be tested should be Aaron & Sandeep Sharma. In the spin dept. Harbhajan & Ojha were both ineffective. I do not think Bhajji's chances of making a comeback have advanced with his current form. India will still rely on Ojha, Ashwin, Jadeja & Yuvraj as the 4 spinners in 2 formats.I only wish Nadeem, J.Saxena & V.Joshi were tested. Putting Harbhajan in these matches is depriving other young guys their chances.