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India's batting future remains uncertain

India's old firm of batsmen have played a big role over the years, particularly in the last three seasons, to install the team on top of the Test cricket ladder. N Ananthnarayanan reports.

india Updated: Jun 29, 2011 00:03 IST
N Ananthnarayanan

India's old firm of batsmen have played a big role over the years, particularly in the last three seasons, to install the team on top of the Test cricket ladder.

But the current West Indies tour has kicked off a transition period where the country looks to spot potential replacements for their ageing greats Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.

The series against the struggling Caribbean side is seen as a perfect opportunity for the young batsmen to pass their apprenticeships in the absence of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Tendulkar.

However, a consistent West Indies bowling attack has showed that they have a lot of convincing to do, leave alone force their way into the side.

While Rohit Sharma waits in the wings, openers Abhinav Mukund, 21, who made his debut in the first Test in Kingston, the more experienced Murali Vijay as well as Virat Kohli have not found ways to counter the pace and bounce.

With India due to play in England and Australia in the next few months, pace will be their constant companion.

Vijay, 27, had played 10 Tests as a replacement opener going into the Barbados Test and his technique and temperament have been exposed. In the two Tests he has played away from the sub-continent, in Durban last year (19 and 9) and in Kingston, where Ravi Rampaul knocked him over for 8 and 0 - he has flopped.

Virat Kohli has looked clueless against pace and bounce that has dented his reputation as a hot talent.

Suresh Raina has showed signs he is overcoming the short ball problem. But these are still early days.

Skipper MS Dhoni has told the youngsters not to be too hard on themselves.

"What is important is not to get desperate to score runs. When you are desperate you add more pressure on yourself."