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Changes necessary, but give us options
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Kolkata, December 09, 2012
First Published: 00:30 IST(9/12/2012)
Last Updated: 12:30 IST(9/12/2012)

After back-to-back humiliation in this series, the BCCI selection committee led by chairman Sandeep Patil will sit down on Sunday to pick the squad for the final Test in Nagpur amid growing cries for major changes in the squad.

There was a similar rage after the 10-wicket loss to England in Mumbai. But instead of picking a squad for the third and fourth Tests, the new committee named an unchanged squad for the Kolkata match.

Logically, it would mean that the selectors wanted to give some of the under-performers another chance before taking a decision. India have been outplayed in all departments again. However, the two major issues that need attention are the middle order and bowling.

The performances of Yuvraj Singh, who has played in all three Tests, and Harbhajan Singh have been criticised as has been Virat Kolhi and Ishant Sharma’s. The selectors had picked four openers in the initial squad to put pressure on Sehwag and Gambhir.

Openers will stay
But now that they are among the top three run-getters in the series, Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane become redundant, even though Patil had said the latter was picked as a middle-order option.

If Yuvraj is left out, either Suresh Raina or S Badrinath could come in. But there is no real replacement for Ishant for the time being. Injured Umesh Yadav is out for at least three months. The only option could be a leg-spinner coming in for Harbhajan, who did not get a chance to bowl in Ranji Trophy on Saturday because Punjab are batting against Mumbai.

But Raja Venkat, who was in the last committee, felt the selectors do not really have much of a bench to fall back on. “They are not really spoilt for choice.

Look at the Ranji Trophy. Can you really name someone with outstanding performances. This is the best you have. An option could be to pick a leg-spinner and play five bowlers,” he said.


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