West Indies v India, 1st Test, Kingston, Jamaica June 18, 2011

Mithun to miss first Test, Munaf doubtful


Abhimanyu Mithun will not be available for the first West Indies-India Test that begins on June 20 in Jamaica, due to visa issues. He is expected to arrive in the Caribbean only on June 20. Mithun and Praveen Kumar - who is already in Jamaica, since he was a part of the limited-overs squad - were drafted into the Test squad as replacements for the injured Zaheer Khan and Sreesanth.

Adding to India's issues on the fast-bowling front, medium-pacer Munaf Patel, who missed the last two ODIs against West Indies, did not bowl during a training session on Friday, leading to speculation over his fitness and availability for the Test. Though Munaf did bowl during Saturday's training session, his stint lasted for about 10 deliveries.

There were more anxious moments for India when opener M Vijay got hit on his left hand on by a delivery from left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cotterell, who plays for Jamaica. Vijay was treated by the physio and later went for an x-ray.

India captain MS Dhoni said the team would take a call over the availability of Munaf and Vijay on Sunday. "We will see," he said, "we have two more days. So we will take a call. Munaf has problem with his elbow and Vijay has gone for x-ray as his fore finger got injured. We will know result maybe in evening or sometime tomorrow.

"The first preference [to open the batting] goes to Vijay and Abhinav Mukund. If something happens Parthiv Patel is there to open the innings."

Friday's training session at Sabina Park was also a first for Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, MS Dhoni, Pragyan Ojha, M Vijay and Mukund, who have joined the Test squad. The batsmen had extended knocks in the nets and Dravid also had a long chat with Fletcher. Dravid had two batting sessions: first against the bowlers, and then to throw downs from fielding coach Trevor Penney.

"It was just a general conversation," Dravid said, of his interaction with Fletcher. "The one-day team has spent time with him and now the guys who have come for the Tests will get some time.

"Fletcher is someone who has been in the cricket world for long. He has played first-class cricket, played for his country and coached national sides," Dravid said. "So it will be interesting talking to him about his experiences, about the players he played with and coached. All the players, especially batsmen like Jacques Kallis, rate him very high."

As the Indians practiced in the late afternoon, the groundstaff were watering and rolling the pitch. The surface looked shiny and gleamed. There was some grass on it. Charles Josephs, the curator, said there will be pace and bounce.

Dravid said the pitch at Sabina Park always had some bounce and it would be a good Test match. "It's generally got good bounce from my experience, apart from the first Test I played here," he said. "And it's going to be a good challenge. They have a good pace attack. And whatever said and done, on wickets that are going to suit them, their attack is going be quite a handful.

"It's going to be a good test for all of us, not only the younger members of the team. And hopefully we also have the bowling to knock them over. So, if they prepare a wicket that is good for fast bowling, we have got some quick guys who can make a difference."

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Naveen on June 20, 2011, 12:56 GMT

    It will Curatins for M.Vijay if he gets an Opportunity and squanders it again. Coming from Tamilnadu this is the only period he and badri can think of getting a chance,Unlike players from mumbai,karnataka and Raina(LOL i dont know how long can this spectacular failure can keep getting chances..beleive me i am saying this with pain)

  • Mathew on June 20, 2011, 12:47 GMT

    I read a few comments saying RP should be in. Has anyone seen RP bowllong spells recently. I did see him bowl reasonably well in IPL but then it is only 4 overs. And the last time he was in a test in Chennai he looked unable to last the duration of a test match. Ishant is also struggling to bowl consistently well. Hopefuly he will come good in the tests. I also have a lot of confidence in Praveen to come good. He has done so well in ODIs and consistently, I see no reason why he wouldn't be fit enough to step up into the test bowler role.

  • Reghu on June 20, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    This will be a differrent version from the ODI series.... WI had earned late glory in the ODI series much to the surprize of many indian fans, supporters due to the irresponsible batting display by certain players, inclusion of assured non performers like Shikhar Dhawan, Ishant Sharma etc. In tests, team selection will be very crucial.Any single non performer included will ruin the game.WI will be much much more tougher team in tests. Sarwan, Samuels, Russel, everyone has regained form.Indian bowling will be really tested here.I really doubt whether the indian bowlers are capable of taking 20 wickets I think unlike the thought process during ODI's, here for test matches, Ishant Sharma should be given chance rather than Praveen Kumar/Vinay kumar as pace matters and lets hope he finds direction and length..... Vijay, Mukund,Dravid,Dhoni and Laxman are assured selections whereas the 2 other spots, virat will come in.....so the final spot will be a battle btwn badri and raina ....

  • Amit on June 19, 2011, 23:05 GMT

    M. Vijay and Raina are suspect in playing short bouncing balls. India should go in without Vijay and Raina.

  • Dummy4 on June 19, 2011, 19:04 GMT

    @SamRoy...I totally agree with you. Munaf and Praveen have accuracy and keep things tight in ODI cricket, but in test cricket you need pace as well. People might say Zaheer doesn't, but he still keeps it in the 130's and has more skill than the previous two.

  • Sankalp on June 19, 2011, 15:23 GMT

    What about RP Singh? He was part of tour to Australia and did well? Has done well in IPL and Ranji. RP has the speed and bounce that India need.

  • sunil on June 19, 2011, 15:21 GMT

    @lokeshwaran . That's such a long winded way of saying " Get Irfan in " . How many lefthanders did we have in the side when we won all those test matches recently ? Never more than 2- Gambhir and Raina or Yuvi . It made no difference because the righthanders we do have are classy enough . We need to play the best 11 now . Sadly Irfan doesn't fit in now. His bowling still hasn't reached his previous standards and he isn't good enough to be picked as a pure batsman .

  • Vivek on June 19, 2011, 13:51 GMT

    If Munaf Patel doesn't play, India should go with Praveen Kumar. Both Kohli & Badrinath should play this test match. India can win this test so easily.

  • Ashirvadh on June 19, 2011, 12:29 GMT

    lol. thanks skumar8494. i too was confused by that statement and was wondering who they were talking about.

  • S on June 19, 2011, 9:23 GMT

    "Abhimanyu Mithun will not be available for the first West Indies-India Test that begins on June 20 in Jamaica, due to visa issues. He is expected to arrive in the Caribbean only on June 20. Mithun and Praveen Kumar - who is already in Jamaica, since he was a part of the limited-overs squad" Please change to Ishant & Praveen Kumar - who is already in Jamaica, since he was a part of the limited-overs squad.

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