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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Cricket Columns

Two spinners not a bad option
Saurav Ganguly
January 24, 2012
First Published: 00:25 IST(24/1/2012)
Last Updated: 00:28 IST(24/1/2012)

There has been an unexpectedly long gap between the third and the fourth Test because the game at Perth finished within three days. Sometimes in these situations, when the chips are down, it helps. It gives you time to iron out your faults.


I hope the team has made use of this gap in the best possible manner. India will have a new captain for the Adelaide Test and the entire country will be watching him closely. Hopefully, he can rejuvenate the team.

India have everything to play for. They will be bolstered by the sweet memories of Adelaide, where they have not lost to Australia for a long time and came out victorious in 2003-04. This is where Virender Sehwag scored a belligerent hundred the last time he played on this ground.

Adelaide is considered to be the most batting-friendly wicket with regard to the sub-continent outfits. There is true bounce to hit through the line.

India will be without their regular captain, which means there will be a change in leadership and sometimes, this unusual change helps. There has been speculation about the Indian eleven for the final Test, but, going by reports, except for the forced sitting out of MS Dhoni and the inclusion of a spinner, there doesn't seem to be much reshuffle.

Go with Ojha

I would like Pragyan Ojha in the attack. Australia are generally not comfortable against left-arm spin and, maybe, Ojha's inclusion will lend that extra edge to the bowling. There are reports that R Ashwin will make the grade ahead of Ojha because of his batting ability lower down the order. Now, that, to me, is defensive mindset, because if the top six can't get you the desired runs, strengthening the lower order will not help either. The pitch will also be the key for deciding the combination. If the grass is sparse, I think two spinners will not be a bad option.

Ishant Sharma has not been among the wickets and Ojha will not be a bad option. Bowling maidens and creating pressure has been difficult for Indian fast bowlers on this tour, so the visitors could well do with picking their four best bowlers.

Again, the onus will be on the Indian batsmen. There is tremendous pressure on some because of the team's poor show in the last one year and it will be important to see how they battle it out. The Australians, on the other hand, want a whitewash.


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