The Indian team for the upcoming Srilankan tour was selected couple of days ago and predictably the seniors were back in the side. Gautham Gambhir made it back to the test team due to his great showing in the ODI’s and Twenty20 and Pragyan Ojha was also drafted in the 16. Gambhir’s inclusion in the side was expected as he has been our most consistant player over the last 8 months or so and deserved a chance at the top of the order in tests. Rohit Sharma also made it to the test squad owing to his great performances in the one dayers but I doubt that he will make it to the final X1.
The notable absentees in the test squad were Yuraj Singh and Irfan Pathan and Harbajan Singh made it back into the team after serving a ban for slapping Sreesanth in the IPL. Quite frankly I am not that surprised or puzzled on the omission of Yuvraj as he was given a long run in the middle order after his hundred against pakistan. Yuvraj has always produced that one special innings time to time but lacks the consistancy at the test level. Irfan’s was more of a shock as he had performed creditably in the test series in Australia bagging man of the match award in the perth test match.
But overall the selectors have done a great job. The batting looks solid and the bowling attack seems decent. India possess a great top six and I would go to an extent of calling them the best in the world when it comes of. Sehwag and Gambhir will open in the first test for sure, followed by Dravid, Sachin, Ganguly and Laxman. Parthiv or Karthik will occupy the number 7 spot. The advantage for the Indians with Karthik and Parthiv is that they can also open the batting if we decide to go with 5 bowlers. Pathan’s absence might leave a long tail for India but I guess thats the risk we have to take in the absence of a genuine allrounder in the squad.
The bowling will depend on the pitch conditions and I would prefer Ojha in the place of Harbajan if we go with two spinners. Ojha was very impressive in the Asia cup as he was able to get wickets in the middle overs, a department India struggle a lot in ODI. India will go with Zaheer and Ishant if playing only two pace bowlers. Overall the test series will be a great watch as everyone will be eager to see how the seniors handle mendis after his stupendous showing in the Asia Cup. Dhoni openly admitted in the media that the Indian batsmen were clueless against the genial spinner from Srilanka after the Asia Cup final.
Dhoni will not be playing in this series giving an opportunity to either Karthik or Parthiv to showcase their talent. All in all an interesting battle is on the cards when the two team meet on the 23rd of July at the SSC.