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Thatscricket - News - Jaffer, Sehwag are the ideal openers for first Test

Published: Saturday, July 20, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Team selection should be on the current form rather than past performances. So at the current form the following team will be the best for the first Test against England.
Be a selector: Pick your best Indian Test team
Openers: Jaffer and Sehwag. Jaffer of course is the best available at present in the Indian team to open. Sehwag will score at least 30 to 40 runs if he opens and is a bit lucky. After all we had Srikkanth, who was a successful opener just in the mould of Sehwag. Anyway it is difficult to put Sehwag anywhere in the middle order at least for the first Test.(Later surely there will be place when one of the famous "experienced batsmen" invariably fails to score). Das is good but at the present form he cannot open for the first Test. Bangar has failed time and again and unless he gets a decent confident score in the first class matches he cannot be put in the playing 11 not to mention in the opening slot.Middle order: Rahul Dravid, Tendulkar and Ganguly. No comments needed.Extra batsman: Mohammed Kaif. The man in form and one who has his stars at the optimum position. His fielding will be an added 20 to 30 runs and you can expect even a spectacular catch or a surprise run out to turn the match at a crucial stage.Instead of this brave selection, Laxman who will be selected in spite of repeated failures and one good knock every fifth Test will be a failure as usual.Mongia will have to sit out till one of these fails.Wicket-keeper: Ratra. Of course there is no choice. No question of asking Dravid to keep in Tests too.Pace bowlers: Nehra, Zaheer Khan and Ajit Agarkar. Three pace bowlers should be played in English conditions if we have to bowl them out twice. Keep our fingers crossed that their inexperience will not be costly. Even if one of them is unfit Tinu should be played rather than two spinners.[an error occurred while processing this directive]Spin: Harbhajan Singh. He is getting used to the English conditions and is bowling more confidently now. Kumble is just the reverse at the moment and unless Harbhajan fails I don't think Kumble should be the first choice at present. English batsmen are batting more confidently against Kumble than Singh.If the Indian batsmen bat a little patiently and take all catches coming their way there is no reason why India should not win the series 2-0 (weather permitting).But don't underestimate Nasser Hussain, who is one of the best captains in the world cricket today. He can out think Ganguly at his best though he doesn't have as much a talented side as Ganguly.Final 11: Jaffer, Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly, Kaif, Ratra, Nehra, Agarkar, Zaheer and Harbhajan. BEST OF LUCK TO THE INDIAN TEAM.

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