Its time for the Indian team to forget the dissapointment of the Champions Trophy and concentrate on their SA tour. Well the tour in itself did not start on a happy note as Sehwag injured himself during the practice session and has been ruled out of the first one-day. The Indians had a disastrous first outing in SA as they lost their practice match against the South Africa A team. The Indian team is already without the injured Yuvraj Singh and now Sehwag joins that list.
The Indian batting failed again in their practice match as only 3 batsmen managed to make a decent contribution towards the final tally. Dravid as usual was the saviour with some decent contributions from Kaif and Pathan. This tour is very important to India in finalizing the middle order before the world cup. The Indian team has been chopping and changing the middle order especially the positions from 3-6 for the past one year.
Sachin and Sehwag at the top with kaif at number 3 would be a good option for the Indian team to try out in this series. Rahul Dravid at 5 and Dhoni following him in the batting order should be the best option for the team. I think Suresh Raina needs to be sent back to play some domestic cricket before he can come back to the national team. The yuvraj should bat at number 4 which is the ideal batting position for him in one-dayers. India will be in deep trouble if yuvraj is not fit for the world cup. In the absence of yuvraj India should be choosing between Laxman, Mongia and even sourav ganguly.
The Indians should be happy with the return of Anil to the Indian one-day team after more than a year. Zaheer also made it back to the Indian team after a long absence owing to injuries and bad performances. Its great to see two experianced bowlers in the team on one of the most difficult oversees tours for the team. Munaf and sreesanth got wacked around a bit in their final spells against the South African A team with both of them going above 6 runs/over. Irfan bowled a decent spell in the match but we have seen him to inconsistant over the last few months. Irfan has to work on his consistancy in bowling. Munaf Patel had a forgetful match as he was India’s major performer in the last couple of one-day tournaments.
Ajit Agarkar did not play this match but I am sure that he would be in the playing X1 for the first one-dayer which starts on 16th of this month. Indian team should be contemplating going with 2 spinners and three fast bowlers combination for the first one-dayer. Anil doing so well on his come back has put pressure on the selectors for the spin bowling spot in the team. Munaf Patel and Sreesanth may lose their spot to a much improved Zaheer in the first match. The batting order must be easier to pick with sehwag out of the game it should be Jaffer to open with sachin with Dinesh or Kaif at number 3 followed by Dravid, Dhoni and pathan.
All in all it seems a very interesting contest with hopes of india winning is not too high. The Indian team would be hoping to put up a better show against the SA in the first one-dayer. Being an Indian fan I will watch this match with keen interest and hope that the Indians put up a decent show.