> > Sourav Ganguly (capt), Rahul Dravid, Shiv Sundar Das, Connor Williams,
> > Sachin Tendulkar, Venkatsai Laxman, Virender Sehwag, Deep Dasgupta,
> > Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Sarandeep Singh, Sanjay Bangar, Iqbal
> > Siddiqui, Tinu Yohannan.
> I find this squad unbelievable. Not because of Sehwag,
> there are still games going on there.
FWIW, I agree completely.
> But we go to RSA with 5 (count 'em, 5) medium pacers.
> One of them (the best, of course, why have anyone else
> get injured) is unavailable, so we clean house, dump
> the other 4, and bring in a whole new squad of medium
> pacers for a Test at Mohali? Has Khan, in one year,
> gone from being our only medium pacer (against the
> Aussies; Srinath was unavailable) to 7th (or lower) on
> the totem pole? Or are Nehra and Khan injured?
Exactly. Theyve gone back to their "lets try everyone and maybe
we'll hit one by chance" method. Neither Nehra nor Zaheer are
injured, I dont think - only Srinath and possibly Prasad are.
So now in the past 4 months or so, we've had...hm...10 pacemen
in the squad? Amazing. Five for RSA, three new ones here, plus
Mohanty and Harvinder?
Yohannan is young and a real long-term prospect - but at 22 he is
only 3 months younger than Zaheer, and 2 months older than Nehra! He
has played only 8 fc matches in his career, and has never even played
for South Zone - earlier this year in the Duleeps, South Zone used
Srinath, Prasad, Ganesh and Kumaran ahead of him.
Yohannan looked very good in the Iranis against Baroda this year -
but even there he had 2/70 and 2/90 in the 2 innings (and apparently
didnt look very good in the 2nd innings). They thought of taking him
to RSA based on that performance but decided he wasnt ready. And, since
then, he's played one game - against England at Hyderabad - and looked
poor there (11 overs, 0/57; 7 overs, 1/38). He's a terrific long-term
prospect, but surely it would have been better to give him exposure on
a tour, or as maybe a 3rd seamer behind Srinath etc, than to throw him
into the deep end and expect him to lead the attack? I mean, the guy
hasnt even led his zone's attack yet, at least try and maximize his
chances of success!
Siddiqui used to be considered a great prospect about 7 years ago, when
he was fresh out of the India U19 side (he was Man of the Series against
England Under 19 in England, when their batting was opened by Trescothick
and Vaughan, and India had VVSL in its ranks). But he was discarded and
ill-treated for a very long time. He was always sort of over-aggressive
as well, and it didnt serve him well. He has bowled better over the last
few months - he was very good in the Ranjis last year, and just took
9 wickets (out of 13 to fall) against Bombay last week. He seems to
be a smarter bowler nowadays (though before the end of the Ranjis last
season, he took 8 wickets at 54 in the Duleep Trophy, worse than Zaheer
or Agarkar bowling for the same side).
But still, Iam convinced Siddiqui made it in almost entirely because
of one spell yesterday! On a very helpful pitch, he bowled 10 overs
on the trot to start the day, and claimed 4/19 with one dropped slip
chance. Excellent bowling, and great reward for someone who has worked
hard - but surely it should require more than that? We should have
treated him better over the years, should have nurtured him and allowed
him to develop etc. We didnt. But by the same token, to pluck him out
of the blue now instead of 3 far younger prospects is an unusual
decision, to say the least.
As for Bangar - yet another hard worker who has made something of himself
over the years. His bowling has improved a lot over the seasons. Would have
been ideal for the ODIs - he has actually been a performer lately, compared
to say Reetinder Sodhi, and is a similar type of player. But Bangar is
another who didnt even play for Central Zone a few months ago. His batting
is solid, but he is certainly not worth a spot in a test side on batting
alone - not in India. And while his bowling has improved, it isnt near
good enough for him to be a pure bowler for the national side either. So
he is the "all-rounder" - and we have been desperately looking for one,
but I still think you have to truly excel in one department.
Bangar has gotten quicker than he was - he looked better in the Ranji
finals last year, but he used to be a real pie-chucker, so that isnt
saying much. And he is a committed and smart cricketer who knows how
to bowl now - he will move it a little, keep it in the corridor, be a
good 3rd seamer type. Always will keep working, keep plugging away, and
that is a very good quality in India on the kinds of pitches he's seen
in his years. I hope he does well in this series, because Ive admired the
guy for a long time - I like the hard workers. But at his age and his
long-term upside-level... I just wish we hadnt abandoned all our RSA
pacemen so quickly. This was a bit of a chance to let our future high
upside guys have exposure, after all. Bangar might be a great 3rd
seamer who bats well in good bowling conditions (ie England next year?),
and hopefully a very useful allrounder if he develops. But Zaheer, Nehra
and Agarkar are all better long-term pure bowling prospects than he
is, surely - and that department probably requires more building than
anything else does.
> Why didn't they clean house with the batsmen, who
> failed on decent wickets against a limited attack?
> (Rhetorical question, of course).
Because India never cleans house with its batsmen. That is a menial
job, meant for bowlers only :-)
Sadiq [ 3 pacemen without a test cap between them - if Mohali
is a green-top, does England build an early 1-0 lead? :-) ] Yusuf