Selection dilemma ahead of Adelaide Test

Updated: 25 January 2008 13:22 IST

Now, the right stuff might have been a Hollywood movie about sending man in to space, but if India can produce it at Adelaide to tie the series.

Selection dilemma ahead of Adelaide Test

Melbourne:

Now, the right stuff might have been a Hollywood movie about sending man in to space, but if India can produce it at Adelaide to tie the series.

They will certainly be over the moon. But before that, they have to get certain key selections right.

With the Adelaide pitch expected to favour the spinners, Harbhajan Singh's inclusion seems almost certain could swap with Wasim Jaffer and Irfan Pathan might have to show the full face of the bat to the shining ball.

"Days 3, 4 and 5 are traditionally best for spin, but someone like Dennis Lillee has his best figures here. So there's a bit for everyone, both spinners and pacers," said Les Burdett, Curator, Adelaide Oval.

But if Harbhajan Singh comes into the side, India can either go drop one of the seamers or drop a batsman to accommodate the off-spinner.

Going by current form and indications, opener Wasim Jaffer is the likeliest to make way, with Irfan Pathan being promoted to his batting slot.

"Well you have to decide, you know, because if you are playing with five bowlers then you are ultimately sacrificing a batsman. So you have to assess the situation and the way your batsmen are performing, it also depends on that," said Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

"No, its always a pleasure to have five bowlers in a Test game, so you know every bowler has the capability of taking wickets and of being the spearhead.

"So it helps to have five bowlers, but at times you have to compromise on lots of things, to have those five bowlers in the side," he added.

For Australia, the choice is simple - drop erratic pacer Shaun Tait and bring back Chinaman bowler Brad Hogg.

Mathew Hayden's return will be a huge factor. But India's plan is simple win in Adelaide to make it 2-2 and get the bragging rights.

"Well we have played well, and of course it will be a moral victory, you know, coming to Australia and not letting the Australian side beat us comfortably, and giving them a tough fight," said Dhoni.

"We've been playing tough cricket for the last one month, since we got here. So of course it's good for the team's morale, and it's good for each and every player who's a part of the side," he added.

Ideally India would not like to disturb a winning combination, but with the wicket at Adelaide suited to spin, it is unlikely that Harbhajan Singh will sit out.

For Australia, the decision seems simpler. While they would love to give Shaun Tait another opportunity, especially on his home ground, it is unlikely to be at the cost of Brad Hogg.

Topics : Cricket
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