Just felt like comparing the strengths of the two teams - player wise.
Let me list the most likely (IMO) line ups first.
Indians : Aussies :
1. Ravi Shastri. 1. Geoff Marsh.
2. Krish Srikkanth. 2. Mark Taylor.
3. Sanjay Manjrekar. 3. David Boon.
4. Mohd. Azharuddin. 4. Dean Jones.
5. Sachin Tendulkar. 5. Allan Border.
6. Kapil Dev. 6. Mark Waugh.
7. Manoj Prabhakar. 7. Steve Waugh.
8. Kiran More. 8. Ian Healey.
9. Venkatapathy Raju. 9. Merv Hughes.
10. Javagal Srinath. 10. Craig McDormett.
11. Narendra Hirwani. 11. Bruce Reid.
(This I think is the most likely batting order. BTW, I am talking of
test matches and not one day internationals. I still don't respect
one dayers much. (:-) )
Now a player-by-player comparisions/analysis:
(When I say scale favors somebody in the following, it means that
somebody is more useful to the team than the other.)
1. Marsh - Solid; Mostly consistent; Especially good against Indians.
Shastri - Solid; Most likely to be consistent; Can be a real asset
if he helps Azhar in leading the team.
* Scale tilts in favour of Marsh.
2. Taylor - Good opener; Can be a prolific scorer of runs; Being a
leftie may prove to be an advantage against Indians.
Srikkanth - Flamboyant; Unpredictable; most likely to have a good
series just as he had on his previous visit(s).
* Scale <slightly> favors Taylor.
3. Boon - Performs; Especially against Indians; But may not be as
consistent as before.
Manjrekar - very solid; pure classic; the backbone of Indian batting.
* Scale favours Manjrekar.
4. Jones - Performs; Has capability to make high scores; Dependable.
Azharuddin - Delivers what is expected of him as batsman; Stylish;
But has to play more solidly; Should be more shrewd and
attacking as captain;
* Scale <slightly> in favour of Azhar.
5. Border - Great bat and great captain; Will lead Aussies to wins;
Tendulkar - Sparkling; Can rise to the need and play; Great batsman;
But need to be more patient at the wicket;
* Scale favours Border.
6. Mark Waugh - Good bat; Will score well in this series; Bowling can
help his team;
Kapil Dev - Almost a spent force; But still has the ability and drive;
May spring up some surprises both with ball and bat.
* No change in scale. (ok, ok - don't flame me! I, for one, am a great
fan of the Big Boss.)
7. Steve Waugh - Good alrounder; Batting will be an asset and bowling
can be quite effective.
Prabhakar - Good alrounder; Bowling, though not of a very high class
can be very effective; Team is yet to use his batting
capabilities fully; Will have a good series;
* No change in scale.
8. Healey - Can't say much of him; But I think, he is as good as (if not
better than) his counterpart in Indian, both with batting and
keeping; I remember some of his good performances.
More - Can bat well; Must improve his keeping (and not let Jones score
a triple ton (:-) ); Should be more consistent with bat;
* Scale <slightly> favors Healey;
9. Hughes - Good bowler; Can be far more effective with ball than the Indians
expect him to be; good supporting (and brave too) tail-ender;
Raju - Good spinner; Can be quite effective and attacking if the pitch
favors; Will be able to draw some *** anyway; good supporting
* Well you can't compare a spinner with a pacer, but given the Aussie pitches,
the scale should go with Hughes.
10. McDormett - Aussies bowling ace; Indians have to be very careful of him;
Will have a great series; a hit-all-around bat;
Srinath - good ***; But still raw; has to think more while bowling;
must see this series as a great opportunity and perform well;
(I hope at least this guy lasts long in the team, unlike Wasson)
* Scale falls over McDormett.
11. Reid - Another Aussie bowling ace especially against Indians (provided he
keeps fit). It will be a real battle for Indians if he gets going.
Hirwani - Good that the selectors finally picked him; Can be really good
and effective on Aussie pitches; Most likely to have a good
series; (and he bats better than Reid!) (:-)
* Scale favors Reid.
So that's the balance sheet. Quite well loaded in Aussies' favour. However,
a team may be far more effective collectively than when evaluated player-wise.
My predictions are :
Indians will lose the series. 1-0 is a definite one. 2-0 most likely.
3-0 not impossible. 4-0 - cut it off, maan! no way!
As far as the Indian team goes I don't think there will be any fitness
problems; but fatigue, exhaustion and homesickness may turn up towards the
end of the tour; which may effect our world cup performance.
Some more thoughts :
1. India is likely to go to the finals of the triangular series, but may
lose out to Aussies. (I see a possibility of 3 finals here).
2. India will go to semis in world cup, but after that it depends.
3. The is a do-or-die series for Srikkanth, Srinath, Raju and Hirwani.
4. The Waugh brothers should perform and make their places in the team
5. India will probably replace Hirwani/Raju with Amre/Vengsarkar for the
one days. (Its pathetic to see the Colnel in the reserves!)
6. Aussies will use Terry Alderman, Jamie (?) Siddons and Simon O' Donnel
for some matches.
So much for now! Lets hope some really high class cricket from down under!
And some great performances from Srikkanth, Manjrekar, Azhar, Tendulkar
and Kapil and from Jones, Border, The Waughs and McDormett.
BTW, can some Aussie post the scores of all the matches of the Indian tour
daily? (I mean on all the days of the matches.)
And, can some Aussie do this sort of analysis and post it on the net? (B'cus,
being an Indian, I may have over-looked some of the Aussie teams' merits and
To the exclusive e***ment cricket alone can provide,