Scotland yard test for rookies
The picturesque Clydesdale Cricket Club is set to host its first official One-day International (ODI), to be played between hosts Scotland and India for the Royal Stag Cup, on Thursday. However, the strong Indian local community will most likely not be able to see star batsmen Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly and pace spearhead Zaheer Khan as the trio is likely be rested considering the workload that they have borne in the just-concluded Test series.
Though India skipper Rahul Dravid did not commit when asked whether some of the seniors will be rested, he gave enough hints.
“I will play, the rest of the squad we will announce depending on the wicket, the kind of workload,” Dravid told a media conference on Wednesday. “We’ll take in a lot of factors into consideration, like who’s mentally fresh.
“A lot of guys who played all Tests would have gone through a lot mentally and emotionally. We’ll give them a chance to switch off over the next few days. We can’t give everyone a break but the guys who need it most, like the fast bowlers, will be looked after.”
On the other hand, Dravid said the eight players – three who didn’t feature in the Test series and five who have flown in from India for the One-dayers – are likely to feature in at least one of the next two games (against Scotland on Thursday and England Lions on Saturday), if not both.
“You should expect to see all of them tomorrow, (on) 18th and maybe more.”
Neither of Yuvraj Singh, Ramesh Powar and Gautam Gambhir, though they were a part of the Test squad, could find a place in the eleven for any of the three Test matches. Ajit Agarkar, Robin Uthappa, Rohit Sharma, Piyush Chawla and Munaf Patel were selected only for the One-dayers.
If all the above eight players and Dravid are to play on Thursday, two out of Dinesh Karthik, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Rudra Pratap Singh could complete the line-up.
Talking about the youngsters, Dravid said: “I spoke to the young guys today and they’re the ones who’ll have to drive us this week. They have to show the eagerness and keenness and raise the bar. (We are) looking up to them to put in the big performances.”
Though India will be playing their first official ODI against Scotland tomorrow, they had played them in a tour game in 1990. While Kapil Dev led India, Omar Henry captained Scotland.
Will the weather hold?
In Scotland, they say you experience four seasons in a day. And after a week of continuous showers, bright sunshine welcomed the Indians as they arrived for nets. Though they could not get a full-fledged session — they could not bat nor bowl due to the wet outfield — they did manage 90 minutes of fielding.
Things, however, don’t look too good for a full game on Thursday. The skies are predicted to be cloudy throughout the day and there could be rain.
‘Nice to see Munaf back'
Questions were raised when Munaf Patel, recovering from lower back strain, was picked for the One-day series without being inspected by the team physio John Gloster.
Dravid said that he was eager to see how Munaf has shaped up.
“I could not take a good look at him as he didn’t have nets to bowl,” Dravid said. “Venky (bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad) has had a look. Munaf has played in two games in Bangalore before coming here. He went through a good fielding session. Nice to see him back, after all he has been one of our better bowlers in ODIs over the past year. He has a good economy rate. I’m as keen as anyone else to see how he goes tomorrow.”
India: Robin Uthappa, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid (Capt), Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ramesh Powar, Piyush Chawla, Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan, Rudra Pratap Singh, Munaf Patel
Scotland: Fraser Watts, Navdeep Poonia, Ryan Watson (Capt), Gavin Hamilton, Collin Smith, Neil McCullum, Craig Wright, Majid Haq, John Blain, Dewald Nel, Paul Hoffman, Gordon Drummond.