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Australia in India - Tour Preview

February 16th 2013 16:54
A Test tour to India is renowned as one of the toughest tours in International cricket. Their knowledge of the pitches and their ability to play anything that is thrown down on a home track makes an Indian opponent, a tough opponent. This winter though, India have proved that they don't really care about Test cricket as much as they should, and that their team is only just better than average. Australia are coming off a tough home Test summer where they were well beaten by South Africa and then beat Sri Lanka well.



India

England proved that the Indians aren't the world beaters they or their fans think they are. MS Dhoni's wicket keeping and captaincy is very mediocre in the longest form, his team seem lethargic and cocky, as does he. The great Sachin Tendulkar is a true professional, and deserves more from his team-mates, but the only show that the India Test team seems to give, is a show of arrogance. Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh are the biggest examples of this. 2 players who work for their team and earn their spots, Gautam Gambhir and Zaheer Khan, have both been dropped from the squad for the first 2 Tests. Khan always puts in the effort for his side, while Gambhir seems to get a harsh press, it's going to be worth remembering that today he scored a century against the touring Australians. Is this a sign?
However, India do have a history of nurturing future stars from their youth. Cheteshwar Pujara proved against England that he is going to be a world-beater, if he isn't all ready. Bhuvneshwar Kumar proved to be a huge talent with the ball against England in the recent ODI series and he will be hoping to prove his worth with the red-ball from now on.

Likely India XI
1. Virender Sehwag 2. Ajinkya Rahane 3. Cheteshwar Pujara
4. Sachin Tendulkar 5. Virat Kohli 6. MS Dhoni
7. Ravindra Jadeja 8. Ravichandran Ashwin 9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
10. Ishant Sharma 11. Pragyan Ojha

Could this be the last series for the Little Master?


Australia

The Australian summer of 2012-13 has proved to be similar to that of 2006-7 when some of the greats of the game decided to end their careers. Then it was McGrath, Warne, Langer etc. now it's Ponting and Hussey, 2 stalwarts of Aussie cricket for a long, long time. Since coming into the Test side, Hussey has scored a century every year. While the exploits of Ponting are well known. Is he the best captain ever? No though, Australia have to start again, the beginning of a new era, and I'm 100% sure that Michael Clarke is the right man to take them forward. He is a prolific run-scorer and a superb leader of men, but can he cut it on the toughest tour of all?
As I've mentioned, Australia's batting line-up has taken a real hit over the last few months, and now needs some big rebuilding work. Warner and Cowan have formed a formidable opening partnership, but the players that come next can be shuffled around into many different configurations. Phil Hughes has honed his technique while in the International wilderness. Shane Watson has just returned from another injury, and captain Clarke could make it into any Test side, but where to bat them?
Mitchell Starc is proving to be one of the great bowlers in Australia and with Siddle, Hilfenhaus, Pattinson, Bird, Johnson and Henriques, the seamers outfit looks strong. However, spin options are a little short on the ground for the tourists, Nathan Lyon is a class act but are Steve Smith, Xavier Doherty and Ashton Agar going to cut it? I'm not sure.

Likely Australian XI
1. Dave Warner 2. Ed Cowan 3. Phil Hughes
4. Shane Watson 5. Michael Clarke 6. Matthew Wade
7. Mitchell Starc 8. Nathan Lyon 9. Peter Siddle
10. Ben Hilfenhaus 11. Xavier Doherty

Nathan Lyon's spin will be key if Australia are to win on India's big turning pitches.

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1 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by Anonymous

February 18th 2013 08:35
This should prove a very interesting series. Looking forward to it. Keep up the excellent commentary, this is a great blog

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