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

Mithun to miss first Test, Munaf doubtful

32

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

  • couchpundit 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)

  • concerned_cricketer 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.

  • reghuh 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 ....

  • wolf777 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.

  • 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.

  • Maha_Fan 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.

  • gazelle79 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 .

  • KrazyCricketKid 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.

  • Ashu123 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.

  • skumar8494 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.

  • couchpundit 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)

  • concerned_cricketer 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.

  • reghuh 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 ....

  • wolf777 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.

  • 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.

  • Maha_Fan 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.

  • gazelle79 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 .

  • KrazyCricketKid 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.

  • Ashu123 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.

  • skumar8494 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.

  • on June 19, 2011, 9:01 GMT

    This is not an issue.. Praveen kumar is fit and firing and so are the 3 spinners. The main concern for india is who to choose for the top 6 batters. Vijay, makund, laxman and dravid are automatic selections, that leaves 2 slots. 1 slot i would nearly garuntee will be for virat kohli because of his great ODI record and also currently in good form. The other slot there is a huge battle going on, either suresh raina the flashy but more tested at the top level mostly in ODI's or badrinath who has scored very heavily in all domestic games and IPL and who looks a better player, but simply didnt perform in the 7 ODI's he has played in his career. I'd pick badrinath ahead of raina, but its gonna be a close call.

  • CandidIndian on June 19, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    India is clearly struggling as far as pace attack is concerned.RP Singh was very good for India in England and Australia but he is completely out of the scene now.People who are calling out the nam eof Irfan, well he wont even qualify for a Ranji or County team presently so how can he play for India.Sreesanth has his own problems .Omly promising bowler is Ishant but is he enough?This problem should be taken care of if Indian wants to remain on top, something is very wrong in the system.

  • Ahsan_Shere on June 19, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    Serious concerns over India bowling; Zaheer & Sreesanth not playing, Mithun & Munaf doubtful. Ishant is not in shape to play Test cricket. Mishra & Praveen quite inexperience. For Harbhajan & Co. it's really a hard nut to crack to bowl them out twice in 5 days. Dhoni is going short of ammunition to fire all explosive drums.

  • SamRoy on June 19, 2011, 6:50 GMT

    If any one thinks that Munaf Patel and Praveen Kumar in their current state (unless they show dramatic improvement) can win India test matches against a good team (like say England and SA) away from home on a good sporting wicket they are either seriously out of their minds or do not understand test cricket. These two don't have any pace at all. Even the edges won't carry to the slips. The only pace bowlers besides Zaheer with test cricket potential (although inconsistent) are Ishant, Sreesanth, RP and Mithun. Irfan can be good only on a swinging strip (till date his only notable performance against a good batting line up was against Australia at Perth. He average 46 with the ball against all test teams except Zim and BD).

  • moscowman on June 19, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    Strange to read that visa issues delays Mithun.I thought that the BCCI,the most powerful cricketing body in the world would have tied up this issue. Or,is it that,the players must process their visas? Cannot understand such slip ups. Better planning and coordination needed to avoid such mishaps in future

  • on June 19, 2011, 4:59 GMT

    @SamRoy.........RP has been given enough chances and he has successfully squandered all of them , besides he is not even consistent in his line and lengths which is vital in Test cricket..........Ishant is best suited for Carribean due to the steep bounce he gets from those wickets.......and last time Sreeshanth was in the carribean he was our most successful bowler and Munaf is turning out to be very consistent , so i think its a good choice by the selectors.....

  • lokeshwaran98 on June 19, 2011, 4:59 GMT

    This was a best team........BUT.....our selectors should have much more concentration....because out of 15 members only 4 were left hand batsmen....parthiv patel,suresh raina,ohja, and abhinav mukund (plays his first match)....also if mukund opens the bat then parthiv may not get a chance....So india may play with 9 right hand batsmen and two left handers.....suppose if the 2 LHB are lost early then it becomes very easy for the the WI bowlers to dominate the game without changing the field....also india lacks with experienced LHB......So players like Irfan pathan should be included.....

  • on June 19, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    I think that if the west indies board had any sense they would recall Jerome Taylor for this match here in Jamaica which happens to be the place where he demolished England almost single handedly and it seems is the only place where a true pace attack can thrive but i guess this board loves playing politics. Why is it again that Jamaica is not playing as a separate nation a mean Chris Gayle, Jerome Taylor, Marlon Samuel, Carlton Baugh and the team that just won the championship for the four day competition to choose from hmmm haha lol. Please keep it up so called Windies board you guys may just be the catalyst for the end of this notion of a Windies team and how ironic that the ones put in place to bring harmony to a region are doing more harm than good. I therefore will say it now lets stop this pretense of a regional board and go it as individual nations we might be better served at least that's my opinion.

  • solai_rajan88 on June 19, 2011, 2:59 GMT

    @Jerome: In your playing 11 where s sammy... dude he's d captain...

  • theswami on June 19, 2011, 2:36 GMT

    Mukund, Vijay, Dravid, Laxman, Badri, Raina, Dhoni, Mishra, Praveen, I.Sharma, Patel .... best squad, in case Vijay is injured Dravid opens the Batting with Kohli @ no.5 & if Patel is injured, we have no choice but to replace him with a spinner Hrbhajan

  • on June 19, 2011, 2:18 GMT

    can anyone said why ishanth was in the team

  • CricketChat on June 19, 2011, 1:57 GMT

    I hope Badri will not be selected. More than the number of runs he scored (or the lack of), his lack of self belief which was clearly evident in the manner he played in the ODIs that tells me he is not fit to be at international level. I am almost certain his ODI days are over. So is Raina. WI pace bowlers will bounce him out if he plays at all. Mark my words. This not T20 or even ODI where he can hide his weakness behind field restrictions. Dhoni is also declining in Test cricket. Without Dravid and Laxman, Ind batting looks like Ind A rather than senior team.

  • devil_in_details on June 18, 2011, 17:48 GMT

    Loosing Munaf IS a big hit. He bowls consistent line and length which is needed as at the other end we would have an erratic but occasionally devastating Ishant. With two batting debutantes and two less experienced batsmen (Vijay and Badri) in Monday's match, we need a steady bowling line up. Hope Praveen would be consistent. @Samroy- agreed in that the WI pace bowling looks comparatively good- though not by much, but a bouncy pitch should level things up. Besides there are not many test matches where the opposition bowling doesnt look better than India's :) @Jerome_Fidel dont worry, WI would not be able to avoid defeat against this Indian team even if they had their first choice players available on the bounciest tracks possible.

  • Jerome_Fidel_Russel_Roach on June 18, 2011, 16:53 GMT

    If Gayle, Russell and Jerome Taylor could play instead of Simmons, Sammy and Bishoo in the 11 in a bouncy pitch, WI would have won easily. My 11 1. Gayle 2. Barath 3. Darren 4. Sarwan 5. Chanders 6. Samuels 7. Baugh 8.Russell 9.Taylor 10. Roach 11. Edwards

  • slowerball on June 18, 2011, 15:59 GMT

    No sweat... we have cricket players available by the kilo. Guess we've have a good run, now to set the record straight by losing with a whole bunch of sub-par players. ;)

  • SamRoy on June 18, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    Our bowling stalks look horrible. The only positive I saw was RP getting back close to his best by bowling consistently around 85 mph. Ishant is good one day and dreadful the next and so is Sreesanth (who also gets injured every other game). Yet, Sreekanth, who has extremely poor understanding of test cricket (admittedly by his exclusion of Rohit from test squad) did not pick RP for this tour of WI. How is India going to take 20 WI wickets? In fact with Rampaul, Edwards, Bishoo and Roach WI bowling is a lot stronger on paper.

  • KrazyCricketKid on June 18, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    1.Abhinav Mukund 2.Murali Vijay 3.Rahul Dravid 4.Virat Kohli 5.VVS Laxman 6.Subramaniam Badrinath 7.MS Dhoni 8.Harbhajan Singh 9.Amit Mishra 10.Munaf Patel 11.Ishant Sharma

  • KrazyCricketKid on June 18, 2011, 13:53 GMT

    Selectors can choose the following replacements: 1.RP Singh 2.Irfan Pathan 3.Umesh Yadav 4.Abu Nechim 5.Varun Aaron

  • CricketChat on June 18, 2011, 13:38 GMT

    Lack of fitness had always been Munaf's major problems in the past that kept him out of Ind team. Thought he overcame that through some disciplined fitness regimen and help from team physios. Obviously, he hasn't managed to keep himself fit. Better to play him short formats only. With his lack of pace, he won't get the same success in Tests as in short formats. I don't think it would be a big loss to Ind if doesn't play in 1st Test.

  • on June 18, 2011, 12:51 GMT

    So india is back to its old self i.e start losing . I watched the match and was shocked by the 'donkey drops' bowled by Raina !!! Suddenly the "Bench strength Indian team " looked 'thin ' in bowling and Raina was out of sorts as what to do! They way Darren & Sarwan first and then Samuels & pollard collard our bowling it send out ominous signals for the Tests ahead. Hoepfully Dhoni will bring some calm and Dravid & Laxman the batting class to see us through as victorious in the series . But mind u Fidel Edwards is back & with Roach and Rampaul we are in for a quite hand ful. If India dishes out this mediocre bowling in England we are sure for a ' pummeling '

  • STARFISH14 on June 18, 2011, 9:58 GMT

    This is the time to bring Irfan Pathan back into the test side because he was bowling really well in the last part of IPL. Moreover 4 out of top 6 batsmen in indian batting lineup are very much inexperienced so addding Irfan to the side will strengthen the batting and he has it in him to spearhead the indian bowling attack and Subramanium Badrinath should be given a chance in first test because he is more suited for tests ALL INDIA ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • on June 18, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    Hope Praveen & Munaf Bowls Pace...! Harbajan & Mishra Bowls Spin...! Let Patel & Mukund Open The Batting...! Let Dravid, Kohli, Laxman Bat At Middle Order....! Let Badrinath & Dhoni Bat At Lower Middle Order...! Hopefully India Will Win It In Final Day First Season....!

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  • on June 18, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    Hope Praveen & Munaf Bowls Pace...! Harbajan & Mishra Bowls Spin...! Let Patel & Mukund Open The Batting...! Let Dravid, Kohli, Laxman Bat At Middle Order....! Let Badrinath & Dhoni Bat At Lower Middle Order...! Hopefully India Will Win It In Final Day First Season....!

  • STARFISH14 on June 18, 2011, 9:58 GMT

    This is the time to bring Irfan Pathan back into the test side because he was bowling really well in the last part of IPL. Moreover 4 out of top 6 batsmen in indian batting lineup are very much inexperienced so addding Irfan to the side will strengthen the batting and he has it in him to spearhead the indian bowling attack and Subramanium Badrinath should be given a chance in first test because he is more suited for tests ALL INDIA ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • on June 18, 2011, 12:51 GMT

    So india is back to its old self i.e start losing . I watched the match and was shocked by the 'donkey drops' bowled by Raina !!! Suddenly the "Bench strength Indian team " looked 'thin ' in bowling and Raina was out of sorts as what to do! They way Darren & Sarwan first and then Samuels & pollard collard our bowling it send out ominous signals for the Tests ahead. Hoepfully Dhoni will bring some calm and Dravid & Laxman the batting class to see us through as victorious in the series . But mind u Fidel Edwards is back & with Roach and Rampaul we are in for a quite hand ful. If India dishes out this mediocre bowling in England we are sure for a ' pummeling '

  • CricketChat on June 18, 2011, 13:38 GMT

    Lack of fitness had always been Munaf's major problems in the past that kept him out of Ind team. Thought he overcame that through some disciplined fitness regimen and help from team physios. Obviously, he hasn't managed to keep himself fit. Better to play him short formats only. With his lack of pace, he won't get the same success in Tests as in short formats. I don't think it would be a big loss to Ind if doesn't play in 1st Test.

  • KrazyCricketKid on June 18, 2011, 13:53 GMT

    Selectors can choose the following replacements: 1.RP Singh 2.Irfan Pathan 3.Umesh Yadav 4.Abu Nechim 5.Varun Aaron

  • KrazyCricketKid on June 18, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    1.Abhinav Mukund 2.Murali Vijay 3.Rahul Dravid 4.Virat Kohli 5.VVS Laxman 6.Subramaniam Badrinath 7.MS Dhoni 8.Harbhajan Singh 9.Amit Mishra 10.Munaf Patel 11.Ishant Sharma

  • SamRoy on June 18, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    Our bowling stalks look horrible. The only positive I saw was RP getting back close to his best by bowling consistently around 85 mph. Ishant is good one day and dreadful the next and so is Sreesanth (who also gets injured every other game). Yet, Sreekanth, who has extremely poor understanding of test cricket (admittedly by his exclusion of Rohit from test squad) did not pick RP for this tour of WI. How is India going to take 20 WI wickets? In fact with Rampaul, Edwards, Bishoo and Roach WI bowling is a lot stronger on paper.

  • slowerball on June 18, 2011, 15:59 GMT

    No sweat... we have cricket players available by the kilo. Guess we've have a good run, now to set the record straight by losing with a whole bunch of sub-par players. ;)

  • Jerome_Fidel_Russel_Roach on June 18, 2011, 16:53 GMT

    If Gayle, Russell and Jerome Taylor could play instead of Simmons, Sammy and Bishoo in the 11 in a bouncy pitch, WI would have won easily. My 11 1. Gayle 2. Barath 3. Darren 4. Sarwan 5. Chanders 6. Samuels 7. Baugh 8.Russell 9.Taylor 10. Roach 11. Edwards

  • devil_in_details on June 18, 2011, 17:48 GMT

    Loosing Munaf IS a big hit. He bowls consistent line and length which is needed as at the other end we would have an erratic but occasionally devastating Ishant. With two batting debutantes and two less experienced batsmen (Vijay and Badri) in Monday's match, we need a steady bowling line up. Hope Praveen would be consistent. @Samroy- agreed in that the WI pace bowling looks comparatively good- though not by much, but a bouncy pitch should level things up. Besides there are not many test matches where the opposition bowling doesnt look better than India's :) @Jerome_Fidel dont worry, WI would not be able to avoid defeat against this Indian team even if they had their first choice players available on the bounciest tracks possible.