November 18, 2011

Who's going to Australia then?

India's squad for the tour down under more or less picks itself
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As India's selectors sat down to the rather enviable job of watching Rahul Dravid bat at the Wankhede stadium, grammar, grace and grooming all on display, they must scarcely have thought of the job ahead of them. While it would seem that picking a team to tour Australia might require a lot of introspection, analysis and tough decision-making, in reality it is a far easier assignment than a few others going around. Certainly it is easier than pretending to curb inflation or reining in fiery chief ministers.

Normally I'm not a great fan of picking 17 players. Generally the fewer players you have who are unlikely to get a game, the better the climate in the change room. But given fitness levels, it may not be a bad idea to look at the extra player. His only job might be to hide the more aggressive pieces in the newspapers from the players, but it is better the extra player is in Australia than at the consulate back in India, waiting for a visa.

The extra player will have to be a quick bowler, given that Zaheer Khan will be returning from an injury, and that both Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron haven't been around long enough for anyone to get a comforting picture on their fitness. Ishant Sharma has bowled a lot of overs on an ankle that was, till recently, cause for concern. It looks like a fifth bowler of that tribe would be a prudent investment.

The eight batsmen select themselves. With Virender Sehwag fit and Gautam Gambhir's wedding behind him, those two are free to continue with an opening partnership that is working and yet performing to no more than par. It will be the last time Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman will be touring Australia, and those three will have tick marks against their name quickly - not on grounds of sentiment or of cruelty to youngsters but by the weight of runs.

By leaving Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina out of the home series, the selectors have already shown their hand. Virat Kohli must go to Australia, and it seems Rohit Sharma has earned their fancy. You can complain with neither decision. That leaves the reserve opener, a slot that Dravid, particularly, would be keen to see filled. Murali Vijay hasn't knocked on the door hard enough; neither really has Abhinav Mukund, who looked good in patches in England. It would seem that Ajinkya Rahane has the nod at the moment, but that decision might take a third of the time at the meeting.

If Zaheer can run in hard in the two Ranji Trophy matches he has, that will be a significant boost. But run in hard he must, for he has only been in Australia on short-term visas in the past

Harbhajan Singh is not exactly running through sides in the Ranji Trophy, and he has relatively uninspiring numbers in Australia behind him, which means Pragyan Ojha and Ravichandran Ashwin should make it. There is something to be said in favour of Harbhajan, though, for he is a feisty character and gets under Aussie skins, but he is more likely to do that with wickets in his bag. This might not be his tour.

Both Yadav and Aaron have impressed in their own spheres. At the moment, promise rather than achievement is their qualification, but they've done enough to make it, along with Ishant. And if Zaheer can run in hard in the two Ranji Trophy matches he has, that will be a significant boost. But run in hard he must, for he has only been in Australia on short-term visas in the past. He swings the ball, and in recent times Australian batsmen haven't countered the curving ball as well as they do the straight one. Mumbai's game on the 29th will be worth a look.

So who is number five then? In England Praveen Kumar was outstanding but in Australia the sun will beat down, the tracks will be hard, and the seam on the Kookaburra will go faster than a Mumbai winter. Still, apart from swing, he showed a lot of heart in England and so he will probably get the nod ahead of RP Singh and Sreesanth and Vinay Kumar. I hope the selectors are keeping a close eye on Irfan Pathan, though, for he has had two five-wicket hauls and has done a lot of bowling. He could be handy at No. 8, for if Zaheer isn't fit and Ojha plays ahead of Ashwin, Dhoni will be followed by Ishant, Yadav, Aaron and Ojha, which will leave him just enough time for a change of pads.

The selectors seem to like Wriddhiman Saha as the next-best wicketkeeper and so this is the team that will most likely go to Australia: Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Rahane, Dhoni, Saha, Zaheer, Ishant, Aaron, Yadav, Praveen Kumar, Ashwin and Ojha.

It is the best team India can put out at the moment.

Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer. His Twitter feed is here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY camathew on | November 28, 2011, 9:18 GMT

    Sreesanth should be a better choice in Ausis tour.............where is he......?

  • POSTED BY Rumy1 on | November 27, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    I feel for Bhajji, Jaffer and Parthiv. Who is the third specialist opener for Australia tour. No one. If need be they will ask Rahane to fill in. Feel bad for Rahane as he is not an opener. I don't think it will be good for his career. In any case Jaffer is far more talented, technically more sound and much more experienced than likes of Rahane or Rohit. One fails to understand the blatant bias against Jaffer. On the other hand one fails to understand blatant favor for W.Saha. He somehow makes it to the team by hook or by crook. Parthiv again is made the casualty despite good performances both with bat and keeping. Despite 22 wicket haul by Ashwin in this series I still think Ashwin is a Ranji level off spinner who has a good carrom ball. Even West Indies batsmen had started reading his carrom ball well and had sorted him out by end of series. Favourable pitches and average west indies batsmen were the reasons behind Ashwin success. India will sorely miss Bhajji's experience and guile.

  • POSTED BY Rumy1 on | November 27, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    How come Gambhir is getting the nod again and again when his average in last 2 years has been 32 runs per innings and he hasn't scored a century in his last 34 innings which is almost 12 Test matches and three series. Unthinkable it is...absolutely. Gambhir's weakness against short pitch stuff and rising delivery outside off stump on bouncy tracks is almost written in stone by now. When lesser mortals - Rampaul, Sammy, Edwards could sort him out what will Siddle, Cumins, Johnson do to him.His fitness is also a questionable these days. But still he gets the nod for Australia tour. Ridiculous, isn't it.On such an important tour, they leave third specialist opener slot vacant for guys like Rahane or Rohit.We can only imagine their fate against swinging cherry on fast bouncy tracks-Perth, Melbourn,etc.By excluding Jaffer Srikkanth and his cronies caused a miscarriage of justice again. Poor guy! However, he shouldn't lose hope.In a years time Srikkanth, Hirwani will be out of selection team

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | November 27, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    LOL...spot on Harsha or did someone leak the squad to you?

  • POSTED BY on | November 26, 2011, 20:15 GMT

    I think Suresh Raina should go instead of rahane. The Raina-Kohli partnersip could be really huge and could easily benefit india

  • POSTED BY analyseabhishek on | November 26, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    Seems like Sreekanth and Co read this article on Cricinfo and selected exactly the same team- be glad they at last read too! @Ganes. V- you are absolutely spot on. Sachin should have been selected in ODIs so that he doesnt make important test matches as his hunt ground for that mere, elusive, purely statistical milestone of a 100th international 100

  • POSTED BY on | November 26, 2011, 11:31 GMT

    Irfan Pathan sure deserves another chance, no doubt. I'd so love to see Robin Uthappa again, but sadly all gates are closed for him at the moment because of the current array of Indian batsmen.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | November 26, 2011, 8:59 GMT

    It doesn't really matter who comes to Oz because they will still be resoundly thumped and head home with their tail between their legs. Sachin won't get his personal record he so desperately wants and will fail in every second innings as is the norm. I predict NZ to give us more of a challenge.

  • POSTED BY Ganes.V on | November 26, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    I am a big fan of SRT. But am actually getting fed up of the hype for the 100th 100. I know I am writing this on a report of team selection to Australia. BUT He had this opportunity in Indian wickets but he didnt score even one- when young Windies batsmen scored plenty. Age reflex and the tension is getting on to him. Added to this, when he is not picked up for the one day team, it makes it that much more difficult for him now. As I write this, he has got out int he second innings of the third test again for a paltry 3. It is time he stops giving these kind of opportunities to bookies- as I read in news papers they are the ones benefiting out of this! He should have been selected for the ODI's as well so that he gets over the tension of the 100th 100 by scoring one. Now he goes to Australia with this and fails there as well and soon will have to end his career like some other greats who did not had a great end. I sincerely hope that he plays the last ones atleast for his and God's sake

  • POSTED BY lord_snooty on | November 26, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    Squads been announced - spot on! Would've loved to see Irfan and Pujara down under

  • POSTED BY camathew on | November 28, 2011, 9:18 GMT

    Sreesanth should be a better choice in Ausis tour.............where is he......?

  • POSTED BY Rumy1 on | November 27, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    I feel for Bhajji, Jaffer and Parthiv. Who is the third specialist opener for Australia tour. No one. If need be they will ask Rahane to fill in. Feel bad for Rahane as he is not an opener. I don't think it will be good for his career. In any case Jaffer is far more talented, technically more sound and much more experienced than likes of Rahane or Rohit. One fails to understand the blatant bias against Jaffer. On the other hand one fails to understand blatant favor for W.Saha. He somehow makes it to the team by hook or by crook. Parthiv again is made the casualty despite good performances both with bat and keeping. Despite 22 wicket haul by Ashwin in this series I still think Ashwin is a Ranji level off spinner who has a good carrom ball. Even West Indies batsmen had started reading his carrom ball well and had sorted him out by end of series. Favourable pitches and average west indies batsmen were the reasons behind Ashwin success. India will sorely miss Bhajji's experience and guile.

  • POSTED BY Rumy1 on | November 27, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    How come Gambhir is getting the nod again and again when his average in last 2 years has been 32 runs per innings and he hasn't scored a century in his last 34 innings which is almost 12 Test matches and three series. Unthinkable it is...absolutely. Gambhir's weakness against short pitch stuff and rising delivery outside off stump on bouncy tracks is almost written in stone by now. When lesser mortals - Rampaul, Sammy, Edwards could sort him out what will Siddle, Cumins, Johnson do to him.His fitness is also a questionable these days. But still he gets the nod for Australia tour. Ridiculous, isn't it.On such an important tour, they leave third specialist opener slot vacant for guys like Rahane or Rohit.We can only imagine their fate against swinging cherry on fast bouncy tracks-Perth, Melbourn,etc.By excluding Jaffer Srikkanth and his cronies caused a miscarriage of justice again. Poor guy! However, he shouldn't lose hope.In a years time Srikkanth, Hirwani will be out of selection team

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | November 27, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    LOL...spot on Harsha or did someone leak the squad to you?

  • POSTED BY on | November 26, 2011, 20:15 GMT

    I think Suresh Raina should go instead of rahane. The Raina-Kohli partnersip could be really huge and could easily benefit india

  • POSTED BY analyseabhishek on | November 26, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    Seems like Sreekanth and Co read this article on Cricinfo and selected exactly the same team- be glad they at last read too! @Ganes. V- you are absolutely spot on. Sachin should have been selected in ODIs so that he doesnt make important test matches as his hunt ground for that mere, elusive, purely statistical milestone of a 100th international 100

  • POSTED BY on | November 26, 2011, 11:31 GMT

    Irfan Pathan sure deserves another chance, no doubt. I'd so love to see Robin Uthappa again, but sadly all gates are closed for him at the moment because of the current array of Indian batsmen.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | November 26, 2011, 8:59 GMT

    It doesn't really matter who comes to Oz because they will still be resoundly thumped and head home with their tail between their legs. Sachin won't get his personal record he so desperately wants and will fail in every second innings as is the norm. I predict NZ to give us more of a challenge.

  • POSTED BY Ganes.V on | November 26, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    I am a big fan of SRT. But am actually getting fed up of the hype for the 100th 100. I know I am writing this on a report of team selection to Australia. BUT He had this opportunity in Indian wickets but he didnt score even one- when young Windies batsmen scored plenty. Age reflex and the tension is getting on to him. Added to this, when he is not picked up for the one day team, it makes it that much more difficult for him now. As I write this, he has got out int he second innings of the third test again for a paltry 3. It is time he stops giving these kind of opportunities to bookies- as I read in news papers they are the ones benefiting out of this! He should have been selected for the ODI's as well so that he gets over the tension of the 100th 100 by scoring one. Now he goes to Australia with this and fails there as well and soon will have to end his career like some other greats who did not had a great end. I sincerely hope that he plays the last ones atleast for his and God's sake

  • POSTED BY lord_snooty on | November 26, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    Squads been announced - spot on! Would've loved to see Irfan and Pujara down under

  • POSTED BY VT2608 on | November 26, 2011, 7:12 GMT

    Harsha, feel need to have a bal in right / left hand batsman and so shud go with Partiv as back up wk as well as reserve opener..agree tht Irfan cud a surprise packet..he too is lefty batsman

  • POSTED BY NickStewart on | November 26, 2011, 7:08 GMT

    I think that Parthiv Patel deserves a spot over and above Saha. As far as keeping goes both of them are at par. Parthiv is a better batsman and has experienced Australian terrain before (2003 Series under Saurav Ganguly).

  • POSTED BY Agnihothra on | November 26, 2011, 7:01 GMT

    Harsha, the Squad is announced. May be they checked with you first. You are right 100%

  • POSTED BY on | November 26, 2011, 6:36 GMT

    I am not sure on what basis Mukund misses out. Recently he has had a fantastic start to the Ranji season. And Mukund has played 5 test matches in demanding conditions of the carribean and England.

  • POSTED BY PriyankBandhu on | November 26, 2011, 6:34 GMT

    My 17 member team for Test series in Austrlia will have 3 openers, 5 middle order batsman, 2 wicket keepers, 2 spinners and 5 fast bowlers. My playing 11 in 1st test are 1.Gambhir, 2.Sehwag, 3.Dravid, 4.Tendulkar, 5.Laxman, 6.Kohli, 7.Dhoni 8.Ashwin, 9.Irfan Pathan, 10.Zaheer, 11.Ishant along with 6 back up players 12.Rahane, 13.Rohit Sharma, 14.Parthiv Patel, 15.Ojha, 16.Umesh Yadav and 17.Varun Aaron

  • POSTED BY on | November 26, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    Very good article Harsha..have and will always will be yer fan...However i dnt agree wid the inclusion of saha in the side..dinesh karthik is technically more sound than saha..also he has the exposure..irfan shud be given nthr chance..definitely..lets nt forget he was once our strike bowler and he did a splendid job then until he started concentrating more on his batting...a lot of people r questioning praveen kumar's inclusion..PEOPLE!! he is the best bowler after zaheer in this squad..u speak of ishant and the raw pacers..praveen is some1 who has always been consistent...despite the lack in pace this guy has variations which will be an asset in aus..pk,karthik,irfan shud be in..also pujara ahead of rahane/kohli/sharma.. did reasonably well in rsa i think...later!!

  • POSTED BY wolf777 on | November 26, 2011, 6:21 GMT

    Rohit "No-hit' Sharma is a super flop movie and we have been forced to watch the movie one too many time. We know the storyline already. He will be given out for low score and he will slowly walk back to the pavalion blaming the Umpire for incorrect decision. Whenever he gets out it is always Umpire's fault. Never his fault!

  • POSTED BY on | November 26, 2011, 6:20 GMT

    Really Wonder What's So Wong With Suresh Raina? Are They 'Saving' Him For Limited Overs Cricket...? Or May Be For IPL?

  • POSTED BY on | November 26, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    Apparently "It is the best team India can put out at the moment." I would hope so because they're playing this game call Test Cricket were you have to be the best; or as at least as 'best' as you can be!

    The article sounds a tad negative to me, I might understand that kind of statement when India's batting heros Dravid, Laxman, Tendulkar and in due course, Sehwag, head of to commentary boxes, to coach or just to find their own peace!

    As it stands they are still playing and just by weight of experience and runs India have a side to compete with anyone. I accept the Indian's tour in England didn't go well but as an Englishman I have to admit that for everything England did well, India suffered misfortune via injuries etc.

    India have the team and squad to go and do very well in Australia but Praveen Kumar must go. He of the Indian bowlers showed the most heart in England and not without any skill; also they omit Harbarjan at their peril. Great bowlers to compliment the great batsmen!!

  • POSTED BY Raman.UV on | November 26, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    @Tonsofton... Guys me too from chennai, but i feel Vijay should work hard to get into the national side, he did nothing in past few matchhes either be ODI or test, Rohit and rahane r technically very sound players along with and they deserve the chance prior to Vijay and Mukund. From CSK only Ashwin deserve the place. Selection should be based on performance not based on state or any other criteria. Even Badri is not in the contention anymore with pujara knocking the door for the middle order along with Rohit, raina. UV,M Tiwary, Virat etc

  • POSTED BY on | November 26, 2011, 4:05 GMT

    I think that aaron and yadav are both inclined to succeed since they have speeds above 140 ks. remember the next world cup is in austalia, so they gain much need to gain experience a team has to be sent keeping in mind that Zaheer , Harbhajan,Sachin,maybe Sehwag wil not be there in the next world cup.This team is as much about experience as is about youth. we had sent a young ajit agarkar in 1999- 2000, Irfan Pathan in 2003-2004, ishant sharma in the last series. We need a new back up opener rather than the usual suspects maybe someone who is not qoite young but who has an excellent techniques. The Young crcketers are all 20-20 variety. We don't openers to give starts but to last at least 60 overs. When they see off the new ball that is their job but when they have played till lunch it that is a job well done. they should not expect for playing ot the new ball.

  • POSTED BY switchgrind68 on | November 26, 2011, 2:39 GMT

    I completely agree with Harsha Bhogle's team. Irfan Pathan's case is also justified. I also don't get why he is not picked for the Indian ODI team, he is heads and shoulders above Vinay Kumar. Off late he has shown signs of returning back to the Irfan Pathan of old. He can also bat anywhere in the order, if required. I strongly feel he should atleast be given a run for the last 2 ODI's against West Indies, and should be the next choice for the Australia Tour if God forbid, any of the fast bowlers get injured. Saha is the perfect choice as the backup wicketkeeper.

  • POSTED BY Johnny_129 on | November 26, 2011, 2:26 GMT

    Fair selection by Harsha. I would like to see an extention to the squad by adding Irfan Pathan and Bhajji for their experience - the inexperienced bowlers may struggle down under. Bhajji's inclusion if nothing else than for Ponting alone. Pathan, at his best, is capable of winning matches on his own as a bowler. Ojha's slow off spin is more suited to the sub-continent - I doubt he will meet much success in Aus. The key to India's success would be in the bowling - the batting will be fine, I think, esp against an inexperienced Aus attak. Would not mind seeing Indian playing an extra bowler either as Ashwin, Pathan and Bhajji together make up for a batsman short. How about this lineup for the first test 1. Gambhir 2. Sehwag 3. Dravid 4. SRT 5. Laxman 6. Dhoni 7. Ashwin 8. Pathan 9. Bhajji 10. Zak 11. Ishant. This lineup is strong in almost every department - safe but not spectacular in feilding! (reserves: Yadav/ PK/ Aaron/ Kohli/ Rehane/ Rohit/ Ojha/ Pathiv). Unlucky Pujara.

  • POSTED BY Micgyver on | November 26, 2011, 1:59 GMT

    I hope the Indian selectors pick Harbhajan and Sreesanth.It will spice up the series.

  • POSTED BY avmd on | November 25, 2011, 23:47 GMT

    I'm looking forward to the Ind-Pak series in March, as there are encouraging signs it will be played afterall. At the moment Inida is the better side, both in Tests and ODIs but if Australia did to India what England did to them in summer, sent them back bruised and bettered, Inidia will be low in confidence and by then Pakistan, after winning BD and Enland series, will be in great form and the India-Pak series will be closely contested . Can Misbah repeat Imran's feat in 1986-87 ??

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 23:01 GMT

    My squad will be 7 batsmen, 1 wicketkeeper, 3 spinners, 6 fast bowlers = total 17 consisting of: 3 openers - Sehwag, Gambhir, Rahane 4 middle order batsmen - Dravid, Sachin, Laxman, Kohli 1 Wicketkeeper- Dhoni 3 Spinners - Ashwin/ Rahul Sharma(debutant)/ Jadeja(debutant) 2 Left arm Fast bowlers - Zaheer/ Irfan 1 Medium Pacer - Praveen Kumar 3 Fast Bowlers - Ishant/ Umesh Yadav/ Varun Aaron

    Expected team combination - 2 openers, 3 middle order batsmen, 1 wicketkeeper, 2 spinners, 1 left arm fast bowler, 2 express fast bowlers.

    1st choice team - 1)Sehwag, 2)Gambhir, 3)Dravid, 4)Sachin, 5)Laxman, 6)Dhoni, 7)Pathan, 8)Ashwin, 9)Rahul Sharma, 10)Ishant Sharma, 11)Umesh Yadav.

    Tall spinners, wrist spinners, fast pacy bowlers are most likely to succeed. All-rounders are required for balancing team. Fast bowlers should be rotated in 4 test matches.

    Ojha's bowling avg is just slightly better than Jadeja. So Jadeja adds more value. Praveen is good backup.

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | November 25, 2011, 21:57 GMT

    how can you forget Pujara !! he should be picked for Australia test tour not Rohit Sharma, Pujara should play at 5, laxman at 6. Kohli is backup for no. 5,6, Ajinkye Rahane is back up for no. 1,2,3,4.

  • POSTED BY atiq_pak on | November 25, 2011, 21:13 GMT

    In Australia you need Zaheer, Ishant , umesh , Ashwin in your bowling attack , Viru,goti,Dravid , SRT, VVS, Yuvraj/Kohli Dhoni in batting. ist choice should be yui. veron, Ojha, parveen should be in 15 men squad

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 20:46 GMT

    india's world cup final winning team except munaf and sreesanth, including dravid,praveen,laxman , ishant sharma,varoon or umesh yadav

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    I agree with Harsha!!!but 1 leg spinner "Rahul Sharma" should be included

  • POSTED BY NimishGarg on | November 25, 2011, 17:32 GMT

    Best pick Harsha... May be parthiv for saha... And Cheteshwar Pujara and Mukund would be unlucky to miss out... But they are surely the future And selectors would be itching to give them a chance as and when possible....

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 16:50 GMT

    Irfan Pathan can be given a second chance. His all-round ability wil come to the foe in tough situations. plus he swings the ball well. he can be handy with both bat and ball!!!

  • POSTED BY dhoni_sachin_fan on | November 25, 2011, 16:26 GMT

    Letting Rohit Sharma make a debut in Australia is a joke. It has to be Rahane or Abhinav for the reserve opener. the rest of the squad selects itself.

  • POSTED BY harikrish24 on | November 25, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    Indian team should be Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Kohli,Yuvi, Dhoni, saha, Zaheer, Ishant, Yadav, Praveen Kumar,Irfan Pathan, Ashwin and Ojha. Pathan was a crucial member the last 2 times... and never to forget he can be more than handy down the order...

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 15:23 GMT

    My 11 would be Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Sachin, VVS, Raina, Dhoni, Jadeja/Irfan, Ashwin, Zaheer and Umesh. If Mukund/Kohli plays better than Raina in practice matches, then either of them can be in 11. Kohli was loose outside the off in his innings against WI. Even Ashwin looked more comfortable. Raina could be 12th man if he is not in 11. Others in squad could be Aaron, Ojha, Parthiv, PK.

  • POSTED BY SOORYAPRAKASH on | November 25, 2011, 15:22 GMT

    I would pick Parthiv Patel instead of Saha as he could also open. Will pick additional fast bowler in RP Singh or Bhaji or Jadeja in place of Rahane

  • POSTED BY SOORYAPRAKASH on | November 25, 2011, 15:12 GMT

    I would pick Parthiv Patel instead of Saha as he can open also and pick another fast bowler in RP Singh or Bhaji

  • POSTED BY bluebillion on | November 25, 2011, 14:58 GMT

    I would leave out Rahane in favour of Irfan Pathan or Bhajji. 8 batsmen plus 2 wkt keepers is too many. In case an opener gets injured Rahul is the best option with Rohit in the middle order rather than cucking in someone like Rahane on Aussie pitches especially since Sehwag is struggling for big scores as well.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | November 25, 2011, 14:56 GMT

    Harsha, The first question is the number of players in the Squad. It is preferable to have 18 (You have show 17). Surely BCCI can use some money from $ 39 Million profit on players. Second point is the position of All rounders. You have not included any. I think there will be 2 all rounders in Irfan Pathan & Yuvraj or Jadeja. This gives Dhoni an option of playing an all rounder instead of a fast bowler or a spin bowler specialist.Lastly, the Test squad needs to be different from ODI squad. Praveen Kumar is essentially an ODI player. An alternate choice in form of Abu Nechim Ahmad is preferable.Both Abu Nechim & Irfan have done well in Ranji matches this year.ZAK is best seamer but is he really fit?. P.Patel may be preferred to Saha because Parthiv can open the innings too.So your squad needs an a 18th player (Yuvraj/Jadeja or Irfan Pathan), P.Patel for Saha. Since Aussies are more susceptible to left hand bowlers, Irfan is preferred to Praveen+ ZAK, Ojha,Yuvraj/Jadeja(other lefties).

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 14:19 GMT

    Cheteshwar Pujara can be provisionally selected ahead of Rohit Sharma in this team, same way as Zaheer Khan will be & if fit should be 1st choice for No. 6 ahead of Virat Kohli. Apparently he is going to play in the next match for Saurashtra. Team looks fit and fine otherwise. Just a thought what if Zaheer is not fit. Who will be 5th Man apart form Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Ishant Sharma & Praveen Kumar. Do we go back to Sreesanth who was benched even from his Ranji side. Irfan Pathan who is noway near his best or even average despite his fine form in Ranji. Munaf Patel about whom everybody is unsure whether he will last 5 days. A.Nehra who him is unsure about lasting 4 days in Ranji games. Or one of the other Darkhorses like A.Mithun, S.Arvind,D.Kulkarnietc. About Parthiv and Dinesh being better than Saha unfortunately Selectors dont think so. Though reason for choosing either Rahane or Mukund will be interesting.

  • POSTED BY Dillugadu on | November 25, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    I would like to have Parthiv Patel instead of Saha, for he is been with the team for a long time now and he is a good player of fast bowling, in my opinion, after seeing him in England, and Chateshwar Pujara, if he is fit after the surgery, in place of Rohit Sharma.... Prefer Ashwin to Ojha in the final 11....nothing harsh to Ojha.. but Ashwin has more variations, and can extract more bounce on hard Australian wickets than Ojha and the former is even a decent batsman. Even if Zaheer is having problems with his fitness he should be sent out there for helping out the relatively inexperienced fast bowlers. No doubt Rahane is my choice for a backup opener, because, he being a strong back-foot player, I don't think he will face problems with Australian bowlers.

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | November 25, 2011, 14:10 GMT

    I wont comment on selection of the team but rather the playing 11. For the future one of the big three should miss a game to allow a yougster to fill in that slot.India needs five bowlers at full throtle in the games. Bear also in mind we will not get spinning tracks - so 1 spinner per game. A strong message would be sent out to the selected players they are posibley the future of Indian team. India has some good talented players. Some of the youngsters should not be disappointed if left behind. Raina is a definite when in ODI games.

  • POSTED BY india26 on | November 25, 2011, 13:53 GMT

    Same squad with two changes Parthiv Patel instead Saha (Useful since odi series is next and pp will acclimatise) Pujara instead Rohit Sharma

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    Indians have very bed memory. Recently when England were thumping them every one was after their batsman, when they returned to flat tracks and their batsmen scored few runs against poor west Indian pacers and samuels and bishoo all the admiration starts pouring in. I think it's time to move on without tendulkar, VVS and Sehwag. Bring the new blood whoever is available make new legends. I would say drop tendulkar and ask him to retire gracefully in front of the Mumbai crowd on the final day of current test match and VVS too otherwise drop him. These oldies will not bring the border gawaskar trophy to india rather they will bring another white wash as they did recently at their trip to their old masters house (England).

  • POSTED BY Raman.UV on | November 25, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    well its a correct team, technically speaking both Rohit n Virat are technically correct to play in any conditions and will be soon our no 3 or 4 or 5 batsmen once our fab 3 retire. raina had the exp to go with and i m sure yuvi will prove his worth in tests soon, i dont think vijay gonna get any more change again cos v have rahane in, Mukund did good in patches in eng and WI but his shot selection was not up to the mark. Pujar is gr8 talent in ranji and he is still untested in bouncy and swiging conditions. so its too early to have pujara in the team for this tour cos if he fails it will effect his future also. badri is not any contender any more for now. Bowling also almost good if selector go with pace n exp rather than bowlers like aranind or vinay.PPatel or D karthick should me in as a second keeper/opener.

  • POSTED BY mugilarasu on | November 25, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    harsha i think you missed one important man ie c.pujura, he should be the automatic choice in the playing XI.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 13:36 GMT

    for once if its not pujara, its yousuf pathan, or irfan pathan, or rohit sharma,.. just one in this list rohit made some decent scores this ranji.. i still believe rohit aint the competent lad he was before.. hope im proved wrong for the love of indian cricket..wht have the others here done..?? pretty much tired of hearing these names over and over again without knowing whts their current status or form.. whn u select a squad like they did for Windies.. and if it works.. if they are able to take 20 wickets ..then stick to them.. trust them..and they ll return the favour..

    ojha ashwin the spin duo complement so well..stick to them..ishant and praveen will take care of the pace attack with zaheer leading them..the real wild card here is a slot..that can be either for an extra batsman or a bowler like umesh or aaron.. cuz..i cant stop believing bowlers are the key for us outside the subcontinent to win matches and series with relatively lesser pressure..so hey..just all imo.. cheers..

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 13:34 GMT

    Well the team should be Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Dhoni, Saha, Zaheer, Ishant, Aaron, Yadav, Praveen Kumar,Irfan Pathan, Ashwin and Ojha. with 18 man team rather than 17 with Irfan performing in Ranji matches and Pujara should go to the tour ahead of Rahane and should be in playing 11.

  • POSTED BY sriram177 on | November 25, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    my squad for aussie tour playing11 1)gambir 2)shewag 3) srt 4)rahul 5)laxman 6)dhoni7)kohli 8)ashwin 9)zaheer(if fit) 10)yahav 11) praveen bench -12)ohja 13) ishant 14) aron 15) rahane 16) rohit 17)dinesh karthick(wk/opener/middle order).

    pujara and badri are still injured .abinav muknd will be unfortunately missed.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    I thnk the best posble team this is..i wld gv a cmplte nod to kohli ahead of othrs snce his attitude z wht we nd agnst aussies..and he looks a sound nd perfct guy..

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    I will pick Raina over Kohli. Agreed he doesn't have technique but he is best Indian player under pressure scenario. Rohit Sharma should always get nod over Kohli in tests, while Kohli is more suited for ODI.

  • POSTED BY theswami on | November 25, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    Sehwag, Gambhir,Mukund, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Karthik, Ashwin, Ojha, Zaheer, Ishant, Kumar, Umesh. Reserves: Aaron, Dhawan.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 13:03 GMT

    I agree Harsha. This was my eleven too !!

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 13:03 GMT

    Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Rahane, Dhoni, Saha, Zaheer, Ishant, Aaron, Yadav, Praveen Kumar, Ashwin and Ojha. /// Agree with Harsha that this is the best squad possible.But I think you can add Cheteshwar Pujara to the mix and drop Rohit Sharma.For the MCG and WACA tests my XI would be 1.Sehwag 2.Gambhir 3.Rahul 4.Sachin 5.VVS 6.Rahane/Pujara/Kohli 7.Dhoni 8.Ashwin 9.Zaheer 10.Umesh/Aaron/Praveen 11.Ishant For SCG and Adelaide Oval tests you can go with Ohja as the 2nd spinner given that both are on the slower side.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    India should keep Kohli & Rohit fighting for the 6th spot, like they are doing with Yadav & Aaron. Kohli should play in 2 Tests, and Rohit should play in 2 Tests. This way both will feel part of the regular Test team in the long run, and also they won't take their place in the regular 11 for granted. Because we know both batsmen are gonna be a part of future India's test batting line up. In a couple of years, when the big guns in middle order retire, both these batsmen will be ready by that time.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 12:44 GMT

    I do not understand why Dinesh Karthick should not be selected ahead of Saha/Parthiv. He was the 2nd best Wicket Keeper / Batsman.

  • POSTED BY timmyw on | November 25, 2011, 12:40 GMT

    I would very much like to see Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane come to Australia and play. They need all the experience they can get and if they do get it I foresee India's batting in the near future being pretty formidable. Bowling wise, I would love to see Ohja and Ashwin in Aus, along with Varun Aaron. I think India will win the series when they come here, so good luck!

  • POSTED BY Leggie on | November 25, 2011, 12:38 GMT

    Spot on. This is the best possible team we can put in. it may be too early to get a look-in for Irfan Pathan again. We should see him at least in the ODIs.

  • POSTED BY KamalBishnoi on | November 25, 2011, 12:19 GMT

    Parthiv and Pujara should be in for Saha and Rahane!

  • POSTED BY MarkBobbyChandy on | November 25, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    Y no sreesanth. He can be quite handy in australian conditions as he has proved that in the past.

  • POSTED BY rationalist on | November 25, 2011, 11:57 GMT

    3 seamers obviously essential for OZ. Leaves place for only 1 spinner. How Dhoni would luv to have a 2nd spinner. So why are we in an amnesic state over the claims of Ravinder Jadeja. He has done enough in RT to justify filling the no 7 slot (behind Dhoni) and is a credible enough spinner to assist Ashwin ( a better choice than Ojha). Is a better all rounder choice than Irfan whose hauls in RT have been against mediocre opposition. A pity that this leaves Kohli in the KOLD but you can play only 11.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 11:46 GMT

    to all saying about pujara he is injured and has not played a domestic game yet and as he is not a zaheer khan who is player without him our chances go dramaticaly down i wont risk him i more or less agree with harsha team maybe second wk can be patel or karthik

  • POSTED BY Srikee1987 on | November 25, 2011, 11:43 GMT

    If I had been asked to select the team that goes to Australia, I would rather send 18/19 players rather than the customary 15. My side would include 8 batsmen 7 bowlers 1 all rounder n 2 wicket keepers. Gambhir, Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, three out of Rohit, Kohli, Pujara if fit, Rahane, Manish would be the 8 batsmen going. Wicket Keepers : Dhoni, Dinesh/Parthiv If necessity comes for an opening slot, I would go for Dinesh as he has opened the innings earlier. Bowlers Ishant, Umesh, Aaron, Praveen, Ashwin, Ojha, one out of Zaheer, Sreesanth, Vinay, RPSingh. Zaheer is fit, he would be an automatic selection. I would pick Irfan Pathan, as he provides some kind of back up with both bat and ball.

  • POSTED BY Bilal_Choudry on | November 25, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    its a long tour india shouldnt make the mistake they made in england and select only fit players

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 11:27 GMT

    Whoever goes/does not go India wont win a single test in Australia.Cant understand why so many posters here have put a lot of thought into what the Indian "attack" should be.watch out for the following events to unfold come next year.

    1.Aus amassing huge scores of 450+ regularly (with Ponting scoring double tons and even Haddin scoring 100s). 2.Pattinson becomes the regular headline and ends up the wrecker-in chief for India throughout the series. 3.Aus look a very strong bowling attack in Aus after 2 seasons(with even Jhonson taking 10 for at Perth). 4.Sachin/Laxman waging a lone battle and scoring tons may be once or twice(although about sachin u cant be sure he seems to sleep,eat and drink that wretched record seems to have lost all sense). 5.Dravid "the wall' scoring atleast 2 100s (probably more). 6.India losing at least 3 test matches by huge margins(>100 runs/innings defeat/10,9,8 wickets).. 7.India move down rankings

    Any one want to bet on this.....

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    They'll probably only take 15, with just one backup bat and a couple of extra quick bowlers to cope with the 4 tests in a short period. A lack of F/C games means the best side will probably play in both the warm-ups before Boxing Day. ODI/20 Over squad will have different names and perhaps an extra bat instead of a quick bowler.

  • POSTED BY AdityaMookerjee on | November 25, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    Ashwin makes a lot of sense. This writing was written on the 18th of November. R. Ashwin has hit a century against the West Indian team. Which makes him an allrounder, at least in the third Test match. Would he play as the fourth bowler, if he was chosen in the squad, ahead of Ojha? I would certainly go for Irfan, as the fifth bowler. If both Ashwin and Irfan play, the Indian Team will look like the South African team, of not too long ago, in the number of budding allrounders in the team, and the confirmed allrounder in Dhoni.

  • POSTED BY praful_cric on | November 25, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    Yadav and Varun both should get the chance. It will be good experience for them in fast pitches in Australia. Finally relieved as Harsha has not mentioned IPL even once in this article.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Dhoni, Parthive Patel ( Opening Bat / WK) , Zaheer, Ishant, Aaron, Yadav, Praveen Kumar, Ashwin and Ojha. My take, Rahane in test definately not the time to blood him, Cheteshwar Might be a better option to stay in the 11. Parthive Patel as In case Gambhir or Sehwag / MSD are injured you definately need someone the take up the duty, I would definately NOT like Dravid to do the STUMMPERS JOB........

  • POSTED BY IndieFan on | November 25, 2011, 10:30 GMT

    What wrong has Dinesh karthik done to be ignored as a second wicket keeper? Is saha a better batsman/keeper than him?

  • POSTED BY punit.khandelwal786 on | November 25, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    i see no problem wid irfan pathan he is the most prolific fast bowling allrounder in india and seeing him performing recently i hv never understood why selectors neglect him

  • POSTED BY SriramNatarajan on | November 25, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    I am not saying Vijay and Mukund should be in the squad.. Rahane and Rohit will tour mostly. But talking about averages, Rahane and Rohit have not yet played in test matches but Vijay and Mukund have played and failed which will impact their first class average too. So we can't blindly compare the first class averages of Rahane and Rohit with Vijay and Mukund. When Rahane and Rohit play test matches, their first class averages are bound to reduce as well. Probably we should remove the matches and runs scored in test matches from the first class stats and check.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 9:22 GMT

    Praveen is going to be the work horse in Australia.The team chosen by Harsha Sir is nearly perfect. Besides, the likes of Sreesanth and Dinesh Karthik have been given more than one chances to prove themselves. Time to move on and look ahead..

  • POSTED BY TheOnlyEmperor on | November 25, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    "Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Rahane, Dhoni, Saha, Zaheer, Ishant, Aaron, Yadav, Praveen Kumar, Ashwin and Ojha. "....... It would be a great disservice to Raina's potential and fighting spirit if he isn't included. He can bet under pressure situations. He has talent to handle fast bowling. He's a great fielder and has the best player attitude in the Indian team. I think Raina should replace Rahane in the list. I also think Parthiv would be preferred over Saha! Amongst the fast bowlers I would prefer somebody who can swing and bowl at the stumps with pace. Zaheer, Umesh and Aaron would be my pick. Ishant has been disapponinting when it comes to bowling to stumps and showing ability to swing. My 11 would be Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Sachin, VVS, Raina, Dhoni, Ashwin, Umesh, Aaron and Zaheer. Ashwin, Umesh and Aaron being an unknown quantity to the Oz will also help!

  • POSTED BY intergity on | November 25, 2011, 9:10 GMT

    If Pujara is match fit and scoring in Ranji matches, he should be in ..

  • POSTED BY Vijayendra on | November 25, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    Let's turn back the hands of time and revisit the VB Series, which India won eventually. Throughout the VB series, Dhoni did not play PK and suddenly when India faced Australia in the first final (of the best of three finals) Dhoni hands the new ball to PK who bends it like Beckham to prise out Hayden and Gilchrist. Match over.

  • POSTED BY VEGHA on | November 25, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    Since Aswin has proved thro batting also by scoring his first century , he will be definitely going to australia,Praveen Kumar,Zaheer,Varun,Ishanth and Umesh Yadav should be fast bowling and 5 bowlers are mixture of experienced and young and also young bowlers are required to share more work load

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    Where is Cheteshwar Pujara...... you can't ignore him in this tour... he should be preferred ahead of both Kohli and Sharma

  • POSTED BY sharathshaddy on | November 25, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    if zaheer can play the entire series then nothing like it but then probabability of this is very low,so the extra bowler has to be someone who has some expirience liike say rp singh or irfan pathan or pk.selection of two young fast bowlers is very risky i feel.in the batting line up pujara should be included if fit.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 8:21 GMT

    parthiv is more experienced and 100 against England shows he is in fine touch.........Saha must wait...

  • POSTED BY kasyapm on | November 25, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    Praveen must be in the side. I was of the impression that he cannot be a good option in tests, but just look at his first-class record! He has an excellent average (23.57). If he can maintain that record in Indian pitches (which is OUTSTANDING), even with his limitation , I back him to do well even in Aus. He should be an automatic pick. Also feel that the result of 1st test in SA might have been different had PK been selected in place of young unadkat. Indian bowlers were carted to all corners of the park and we missed a stable hand there. On the batting front, if Pujara is fit, feel he must be selected in place of Kohli/Rohit. This is a tough decision, though.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    Irfan Pathan is must as he is doing reasonably well in domestic circuit.

  • POSTED BY DaisonGarvasis on | November 25, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    Agree with that team apart from Praveen Kumar and Rohit Sharma. For fighting spirit (same reason Harsha gave for Praveen), Yuvraj should still get to go to Australia instead of Rohit Sharma as I dont think Australia is the place for Debute for Rohit. Also Irfan should get the nod ahead of Praveen as Irfan is back in form and should be given his place in the team.

  • POSTED BY Arunvilla on | November 25, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    I would like to see irfan back in the team as 5th bowler..he can do well in the conditions in aus with the kukaburra ball...and incase if zaheer is not fit...i would like to see nehra in the team and also munaf should be considered...for 6th batsman i would like to see pujara ahead of kohli raina rohit....bye bye yuvi

  • POSTED BY shery2floyd on | November 25, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    Instead of praveen kumar, Irfan Pathan should be selected. guy should be given last chance at a place where he showed character. Praveen will be ineffective in Australia

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 7:46 GMT

    Id prefer to see Rohit Sharma in the test side ahead of Virat Kohli, Virat has not grabbed his chances in test matches and Rohit has been in great form of late

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    if u really wanna go with 17 players then 17th man should be yuvaraj in place of Rahne. Even if Rahne goes Dhoni will pick Dravid to open ahead of him.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    Badri and Pujara could fill shoes of VVS and Dravid. Its right time to groom them with senior players..

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 7:33 GMT

    It is clear that Zaheer Khan is injured, and is in the process of recovering. Ishant is also injured, and not fully fit. Aaroan and Umesh are promising talents no doubts. Irfan Pathan it seeks, has lost the confidence of selectors, though he is a utility player, particularly on one dayers. Harbhajan is also injured and recovering, and also out of form. If Dhoni is rested, Dinesh Karthik should be selected as wk and of course, Rahane and Pujara should be encouraged. I think, Laxman, Sachin, Dravid, dhoni, Zaheer, Harbhajan should be rested. Even if Laxman etc. play well, they will improve their records only without any future prospects. My proposed team is: Gambhir, Sehwag, Pujara, Rahane, Kohli, Yurvaj, Rohit, Raina, Dinesh Karthik, Umesh Yadav, Aroan, Irfan Pathan, Ashwin, Pragnan Ozha and Parthiv Patel as 2nd WK

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 7:31 GMT

    My selection is Captain/WK - Dhoni, Batsmen- Viru,Gauti,RD,SRT,VVS,Virat,Rohit,Rahane..Bowlers- Irfan Pathan,Ishant,Zak/Umesh,Varun,PK,Ashwin & Ohja, reserve keeper- Parthiv if they give nod for 17 players. If its 15 men squad, Praveen & Rahane sit out of this. This will be the ideal one for Aussie conditions. Irfan has regained his form and performing well in the Ranji season for Baroda with the ball. He can be given a chance since Aussie tracks aid swing very well and he has exposure to those tracks.

  • POSTED BY ragoose on | November 25, 2011, 7:25 GMT

    Pujara should come in for Rahane......

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    except in place of saha we need parthiv patel who is too gud in playing a shot ball and aussies will surely use shot ball as their weapon or mukund deserves a chance

    not irrfan pathan again with one or two gud games on indian pitches wont make him a front runner for the aussie tour same goes with munaf patel who has neither pace nor bounce or even variations only thing he can do is a straight ball which is useless on australian pitches.we need consistent bowlers not one match wonders and remember munaf and r.p being hammered for runs they never even got 3 wickets in england pitches and things wont be much different in australia.

    pujara,rahane,kohli,rohit and mukund all r too gud to be in tje squad ahead of the likes of raina and yuvi who cant bat longer innings

    i guess india shd persist with ojha and ashwin as the spin combo they r doing great job as a team and remember ashwin can bat too.

    if zaheer is fit then we can have zaheer for swing,

  • POSTED BY TonOfTons on | November 25, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    For those pointing out averages in ranji trophy-- Scoring a ton of runs in ranji means nothing. For crying out loud, ravindra jadeja scored a triple hundred in ranji in a dead pitch against someone. What matters in tours down under is the ability to play quality fast bowling and temperament. This is what vijay has done against australia when they toured india last year (33,41,139,37). Mukund faced a very tough initiation in England under trying circumstances when everybody except rahul dravid failed. You need batsmen who have faced quality attacks before to play in australia. You do not throw debutants. It will just destroy their confidence. Rahane may be good but to initiate his career in australia is a big mistake. We need to groom replacements to SRT, RD and VVS and throwing potential replacements to wolves is not the right way.

  • POSTED BY Nitewalkerz on | November 25, 2011, 7:09 GMT

    I Disagree with Harsha Bhogle in the Sense that he considers Aaron and Yadav automatic choices for the tour. I believe Praveen Kumar has done more than enough to be considered the Pace Spearhead of this attack if Zaheer is in Absentia. Ishant Sharma has also developed into a fairly dependable second seamer although his wickets column generally do not reflect that. Ojha and Ashwin are certainties. I suppose picking up Zaheer (if he is fit) is a mere formality. However, i think picking seasoned players like Munaf or Sreesanth would be a better move than picthing a greenhorn in against a batting lineup that still has a lot of aggression. A player's confidence can be undone in a session of Hughes/Watson/Marsh Fury. In terms of batting, i think other than the obvious choices (the Top 5), we can safely add Kohli. However, i would still advocate taking Yuvraj in Rohit Sharma's stead if only for his experience. Also, Dinesh Karthik is better than Saha.

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | November 25, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    my advice for india. dont bring kumar, he will be absolutely destroyed by gleeful aussie batsmen. ashwin is a key, it will be a challenge for him to bowl on many of the aussie pitches but if he gets it right him will be affective with his height he will get good bounce etc. kohli i think is a good option, i would also be tempted to leave out zaheer khan he is far to slow and like kumar if he doesnt swing it heaps he will be feasted upon. the two young fast bowlers would be better options. sehwag needs to learn to move his feet or he will be gone early

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    harsh bhogle's side is well balanced.i would replace wriddiman saha with parthiv patel and include irfan pathan or rp singh in place of praveen kumar.this team should surely win the series in australia.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    Abhinav mukund can be selected as a reserve opener

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 6:37 GMT

    Praveen Kumar sould be the part of playing eleven.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    I would love to see RP Singh in the Australian tour. A bowler who generates extra bounce from a dead surface, given a hard pitch like Australia's he might come very handy.Besides these his form has been very impressive in the recent Ranji games.

  • POSTED BY TheSaviour on | November 25, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    Parthiv also has some experience of Australian Conditions and summing all reasons should get priority over Saha

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    where is the poor lad munaf patel ? If Zaheer missed out due to an injury you need to have some one who can bowl with control. Specially without Harbhajjan ... Yadav , Aaron are too young to comeback from an aussie assault. This may badly end their career. It should be a mix of youth and experience.

  • POSTED BY maraudingmaster on | November 25, 2011, 6:18 GMT

    Selectors have to be good at mathematics.They ought to do lots of permutatons and combinations before selection of players for we have youngsers waiting to grab oppurtunity and prove their mettle

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    how about Badrinath? someone please tell me hes atleast being considered.

  • POSTED BY trg93 on | November 25, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    Suresh Raina in place of Rohit Sharma Parthiv Patel in place of Saha

    Bhajji playing in Australia is a must!!! but the problem is removing someone who is currently in good form...

  • POSTED BY Rooroo on | November 25, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    I don't know how Pujara is doing with his fitness but I would like to see him tour aurstralia if he is fit. Sreesanth is having a bad ranji but I feel he also should be selected as a 5th seamer as he likes to get under the skin of the aussies and also is a very useful swing bowler. Both Aaron and Yadav are of the same type . RAW PACE!. In the spinners column Ojha and Ashwin look really good. Batsmen as u said but I want pujara for Rohit/Kohli. I know its harsh but it provides more assurance lower down the order and some company for Dhoni to stay. I just can't see that in Kohli in tests and Rohit will be on debut. Karthik has spare keeper will be a better option as he will aslo provide that spare opener box also ticked. So that cuts down the number of players also. MY squad is therefore

    Gambir, Sewag , Dravid , Sachin, Laxman, Pujara, Kohli, Dhoni (C) (WK) , Karthik (Wk), Aswin, Ojha, Zaheer, Ishant, Aaron , Yadav, Sreesanth.

  • POSTED BY 4nirav on | November 25, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    What about Cheteshwar Pujara? and Irfan Pathan is getting his groove back in Ranji Trophy.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 5:51 GMT

    I don't think Praveen kumar can shine in Australian pitches.He is bowling in 120kms.It's not good.Varun Aron and Umesh Yadav can do great jobs,we can say it undoubtly.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    I am glad you said, albeit mildly that Harbhajan need not go. The Indian team is far better off without him who in recent years has only his mindless aggression to talk about. Australians know his bowling and we are far better off with young spinners. There is no talk of Pujara, who is back on the field . I think a second wicket keeper is a must and if you look at the spate of injuries to the Australian bowlers after the South African tour, we must have a spare bowler. If Zaheer or anyone else is not fit, we should not take them on tour. The England tour was a shambles because we had a host of unfit players from Sehawag, to Gambhir to Zaheer all nursing injuries of different intensities and that affected the team enormously. I am glad too that Sachin did not score his hundredth hundred today. What better place than Australia against better opposition on the world stage in a country which idolizes him just a little less than the Don. Great contest our batsmen vs their fast bowlers

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 5:39 GMT

    "As India's selectors sat down to the rather enviable job of watching Rahul Dravid bat at the Wankhede stadium, grammar, grace and grooming all on display" I respect harsha for this attitude. He is one of those self sufficient and confident writers who doesn't need sachin's name in his article to get noticed. He gives credit where it is due. Most other writers would have mentioned Sachin's name in place of Dravid just to attract few extra readers. Way to go harsha. Every one talks abt sachin. I love u when u pay due respect to lesser talked players like Dravid and Laxman.

  • POSTED BY QingdaoXI on | November 25, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    My team for Australian Tour: Openers: Gambhir, Sehwag and Rahane Middle Order: Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Kohli and Rohit Wicket Keeper: Dhoni and Karthik Off Spinner: Ashwin Left arm Spinner: Ojha Right Hand Fast medium Bowlers:Yadav, Aaroon and Ishant Left Hand medium Fast Bowlers: Zaheer and Irfan Back up: Mukund(Opener), Pujara(Middle-order), Rahul Sharma (Spinner), Sreesanth (Medium Fast) and Praveen (Medium Fast). India is the rich board and they can affored to keep back-up players with them to avoid what happen in england.

  • POSTED BY naga25french on | November 25, 2011, 5:31 GMT

    though i feel this is the 17 men squad to be selected , i personally feel 15 players are select themselves .. 2 slots available are reserve opener and back up for 4 down . mukund/rahane .. i feel mukund deserves a decent run before ignoring him. Rohit sharma place is highly debatable . i wonder how this guy has got lot of praises with out doing nothing in 67 ODI he has played . i would have raina rather than a rohit sharma

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 5:31 GMT

    Parthiv Patel in place of Saha. Also I still think this time they should keep reserve openers and an extra spinner with them. Not carrying a leggie, down under might be a disadvantage..

  • POSTED BY moonflare on | November 25, 2011, 5:29 GMT

    @TonOfTons : This team is being discussed for test matches not 20-20 slog fest. Have you seen the first class cricket records of Rahane or Rohit ? Comparing their records to players like Vijay is a joke. Atleast Mukund is close, but Vijay come on.

  • POSTED BY Positive_Critic on | November 25, 2011, 5:26 GMT

    Not even contemplating on Pujara? Is he not fit... now I heard he is playing the ranji game against KA

  • POSTED BY aks1812 on | November 25, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    " The selectors like Wridhimaan Saha ..." but why..He has got no conviction in his batting whatsoever and hasnt really set the platform on fire in ranji trophys either. But i gues the CSK connection will win over the right choice of parthiv patel.Irfan pathan is realy bowling well. He is getting the ball to move even in docile tracks. His performance in the game against MP was impressive to say the least and given that at the moment ZAK's fittness is as unpredictable as the UP's government decisions, Irfan should be selected. Moreover there is no way they can tour Australia without a left arm seamer given that how much they trouble aussies.Lastly Mukund should be selected, he is the guy for the future and is really batting well at the moment.Rahane is also an equally good choice, but u dont open another jam bottle unless u have finished with the current one. Similarly why draft in a new player unless u have gauged fully mukund's abilities.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 5:17 GMT

    @TonOfTons if Mukund is having a first class average of 56 then Rahane is averaging 68.47 and don't even compare him to Vijay who is averaging a pathetic 46 and has already been given chances far in excess of his ability.@Anandshankar_Natarajan...Bhadrinath is injured and has not played in Ranji Trophy this year ...so that rules him out of Aus tour ....

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    Harsha, that's a strong squad that will go over to Australia. However, India's fortunes I feel rest with Zaheer Khan, because otherwise, there looks like the attack lacks leadership. In fact, if Ryan Harris and Pat Cummins aren't fit, then you could say the same about Australa.

    The real question for me is which side is better equipped to take 20 wickets. While I rate Australia's bowling as superior, India's batting strength will negate that. If India wants to win the series, they must win in either Melbourne or Sydney. If not, I think the most likely scenario will be a drawn series.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 5:08 GMT

    @ TonOfTons Why not send Tamil Nadu Team instead of Mumbai ..Vijay has had his chances with a overall avg of 30 and a rather pathetic avg of 12.5 in his last 4 test matches all of which were played overseas and Mukund is having an average of 21 in 5 test matches and still u want them in the team...now that is a JOKE....at least Rahane and Rohit have not been tried and tested !!!

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    sorry sir....i dont agree with u....this should be the best team according to me... Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Dhoni, parthiv patel, Zaheer, Ishant, Aaron, Yadav, Ashwin ,shreesanth ,Ojha,singh

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 5:06 GMT

    Parthiv over Saha.... any day of the week, any week of the year.... any year of the century!

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 5:06 GMT

    If Harbhajan gets a chance, that will be a step backward.. we should go with Ojha and Ashwin..

  • POSTED BY AbAdvani on | November 25, 2011, 5:05 GMT

    I would put Irfan ahead of Praveen Kumar in the Test team of 17 -Let's not forget that teams struggle to score excess of 300 in Australian pitches (and Australia does have a better bowling attack than us) -having a handy bat lower down who has proper technique will definitely be valuable for the team -Zaheer, Ishant, Umesh, Aaron/Ashwin (depending on the pitch) pick themselves up in the Test XI

    Irfan definitely needs to be in the ODI and T20 team.

  • POSTED BY Kpanzer on | November 25, 2011, 5:00 GMT

    It will be interesting to see how Pujara fares in the Ranji fixture against Karnataka. Regardless, he should earn the nod ahead of Rahane. A talent to watch for the future.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 4:59 GMT

    Parthiv Patel should be there in place of Saha.. he can also open the innings if reqd..

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 4:54 GMT

    Here u r axing YUVI. He must be there, bcoz experience matters when u r playing away 4m home.

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | November 25, 2011, 4:51 GMT

    WHY SAHA IS SELECTED . WE ALL SEE HIS TRCHNIQUE IN NAGPUR TEST AGAINST SA WHEN HE WAS OUT FOR FIRST BALL DUCK IN FIRST INNINGS . DINESH KARTIK IS BETTER THAN HIM .

  • POSTED BY Kart_in_Quartz on | November 25, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    Why not Mukund in place of Rahane? Thought he did well in England to not only see off the new ball but also contribute? Moreover, he contributed significantly in Ranji to asve TN from conceding a lead vs Delhi. Has he been overlooked? Or is there a basis for Rahane's selection? Which would then lead to 2 debutants in Rohit and him down under. Calls for a big decision this.

  • POSTED BY anuajm on | November 25, 2011, 4:20 GMT

    Nice team selection Harsha, the only change i feel is probably Parthiv ahead of Saha..If they select a team of 16, then Rohit Sharma should miss out definitely.. Rahane can both fill in middle order and opening batsman slot. No Irfan Pathan please..And you are the first expert who spoke logically about Bhajji, everybody else is just in so much favor of him owing to his experience.. But neither has he performed there before nor is he doing any favor to himself in Ranji.. I remember sehwag was picked out of the blue last year, but then he had the experience of scoring loads of runs in 2003-04!!

    Whatever be the results....i somehow see this is going to be Dravid's series!!

    Cheers!!

  • POSTED BY anishtulsian on | November 25, 2011, 4:11 GMT

    Praveen Kumar must be selected for tests against Australia. It would not be fair to him if he does not get selected as he was the best Indian bowler in England.

  • POSTED BY Anandshankar_Natarajan on | November 25, 2011, 3:59 GMT

    I feel Badrinath must be used at number 6. He has shown a lot of consistency in the domestic league over a larger period. Plus he has handful of experience...And with the experience trio of Dravid, Sachin and Laxman at the end of their careers, the team would need the experience of Badrinath when the trio is replaced by guys like Kohli/Rohit/Yuvraj/Raina/Rahane who are new to the longer format....

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 3:58 GMT

    My question would be, can they win in Australia. It would be a difficult job.

  • POSTED BY TonOfTons on | November 25, 2011, 3:57 GMT

    I have an idea.. Why not send the mumbai ranji team to AUS and call it a day? Rohit sharma may be but rahane ahead of vijay or mukund is a joke.

  • POSTED BY himanshu.team on | November 25, 2011, 3:56 GMT

    Why have Saha in the team? If Dhoni is not playing, it is making Indian batting line-up even more fragile at the end. I have heard lots of talks about saha's keeping, but what has he ever done outside of India? If at all you need a reserve WK take Parthiv Patel. Poor chap: he is good behind the stumps, can fill the openers slot if needed, and many say he is batter bat than Dhoni himself in Boucy or swinging conditions. There is absolutely no reason (Batting, Wicket keeping, expereince, verstality etc.) for having a Saha ahead of Parthiv. That would be my only change, in the squad that Harsha has selected.

  • POSTED BY Realhotshady on | November 25, 2011, 3:43 GMT

    Wriddhiman Saha is a waste for wicket keeper slot..The better option would be Parthiv. Also, I'd pick Munaf for his consistency. Others pick themselves.

  • POSTED BY Paddle_Sweep on | November 25, 2011, 3:40 GMT

    For once, I agree with your selection. I would give a thought to Irfan Pathan. If not in tests, he should be a candidate for ODI's.

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  • POSTED BY Paddle_Sweep on | November 25, 2011, 3:40 GMT

    For once, I agree with your selection. I would give a thought to Irfan Pathan. If not in tests, he should be a candidate for ODI's.

  • POSTED BY Realhotshady on | November 25, 2011, 3:43 GMT

    Wriddhiman Saha is a waste for wicket keeper slot..The better option would be Parthiv. Also, I'd pick Munaf for his consistency. Others pick themselves.

  • POSTED BY himanshu.team on | November 25, 2011, 3:56 GMT

    Why have Saha in the team? If Dhoni is not playing, it is making Indian batting line-up even more fragile at the end. I have heard lots of talks about saha's keeping, but what has he ever done outside of India? If at all you need a reserve WK take Parthiv Patel. Poor chap: he is good behind the stumps, can fill the openers slot if needed, and many say he is batter bat than Dhoni himself in Boucy or swinging conditions. There is absolutely no reason (Batting, Wicket keeping, expereince, verstality etc.) for having a Saha ahead of Parthiv. That would be my only change, in the squad that Harsha has selected.

  • POSTED BY TonOfTons on | November 25, 2011, 3:57 GMT

    I have an idea.. Why not send the mumbai ranji team to AUS and call it a day? Rohit sharma may be but rahane ahead of vijay or mukund is a joke.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2011, 3:58 GMT

    My question would be, can they win in Australia. It would be a difficult job.

  • POSTED BY Anandshankar_Natarajan on | November 25, 2011, 3:59 GMT

    I feel Badrinath must be used at number 6. He has shown a lot of consistency in the domestic league over a larger period. Plus he has handful of experience...And with the experience trio of Dravid, Sachin and Laxman at the end of their careers, the team would need the experience of Badrinath when the trio is replaced by guys like Kohli/Rohit/Yuvraj/Raina/Rahane who are new to the longer format....

  • POSTED BY anishtulsian on | November 25, 2011, 4:11 GMT

    Praveen Kumar must be selected for tests against Australia. It would not be fair to him if he does not get selected as he was the best Indian bowler in England.

  • POSTED BY anuajm on | November 25, 2011, 4:20 GMT

    Nice team selection Harsha, the only change i feel is probably Parthiv ahead of Saha..If they select a team of 16, then Rohit Sharma should miss out definitely.. Rahane can both fill in middle order and opening batsman slot. No Irfan Pathan please..And you are the first expert who spoke logically about Bhajji, everybody else is just in so much favor of him owing to his experience.. But neither has he performed there before nor is he doing any favor to himself in Ranji.. I remember sehwag was picked out of the blue last year, but then he had the experience of scoring loads of runs in 2003-04!!

    Whatever be the results....i somehow see this is going to be Dravid's series!!

    Cheers!!

  • POSTED BY Kart_in_Quartz on | November 25, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    Why not Mukund in place of Rahane? Thought he did well in England to not only see off the new ball but also contribute? Moreover, he contributed significantly in Ranji to asve TN from conceding a lead vs Delhi. Has he been overlooked? Or is there a basis for Rahane's selection? Which would then lead to 2 debutants in Rohit and him down under. Calls for a big decision this.

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | November 25, 2011, 4:51 GMT

    WHY SAHA IS SELECTED . WE ALL SEE HIS TRCHNIQUE IN NAGPUR TEST AGAINST SA WHEN HE WAS OUT FOR FIRST BALL DUCK IN FIRST INNINGS . DINESH KARTIK IS BETTER THAN HIM .