India to name Test squad against England

Updated: 04 December 2008 17:16 IST

K Srikkanth and his selection committee colleagues will go into a huddle on Thursday to pick the Indian team for the two-match Test series against England.

India to name Test squad against England

Chennai:

With the doubts over the series gradually dispersing, Krishnamachari Srikkanth and his selection committee colleagues will go into a huddle on Thursday to pick the Indian team for the two-match Test series against England.

The first Test will be played in Chennai from December 11 and the second in Mohali from December 19.

As the selectors sit to pick a squad, the first job for them will be to fill the void created by the retirements of former captains Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble after the memorable home series against Australia.

Even though Amit Mishra almost effortlessly filled the spin void, there is no automatic choice to step into Ganguly's shoe in the middle-order.

The agile S Badrinath was part of the Indian squad for the first two Tests against Australia but a maiden Test cap continues to elude the Tamil Nadu batsman.

Yuvraj Singh could have been the automatic choice but his inability to replicate his short game form in the longer version has been his bane and hence is not a certainty in Test cricket despite hanging around for quite a while.

From the side that played Australia in the fourth and final Test at Nagpur, Murali Vijay would be fancying his chances.

With Gautam Gambhir serving a one-Test ban for elbowing Shane Watson in the previous match, Vijay was plucked out of Ranji matches to open the innings with Virender Sehwag and he didn't let down.

Thirty three in the first innings and 41 in the second may not have set the record books on fire but Vijay still made his mark in the game.

With most in the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side picking themselves, selectors have a rather easy job this time.

Sehwag and Gambhir are in sizzling form at the top, while Rahul Dravid - despite his prolonged bad patch - Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman have made the next slots their own. In case Badrinath manages to sneak in, Dhoni would follow him at five down.

Kumble's retirement passes the spin spearhead's baton to Harbhajan Singh and the off-spinner would expect Mishra's prodigious spin to put the Englishmen on a leash.

In the pace bowling department, as Ishant Sharma keeps telling, Zaheer Khan has been a mentor for his pace colleagues and Ishant himself is a beneficiary.

Both the pacers made Australia's life difficult in the home series and Dhoni could not praise them enough.

Though Munaf Patel didn't get a chance to prove his mettle against Australia, his sterling show in the ODI series against England means RP Singh has reasons to feel insecure.



Topics : Cricket India
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