Test series 2016 (in WI; then hosting, BD, NZ, England)

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Test series 2016 (in WI; then hosting, BD, NZ, England)

Postby PKBasu » Wed May 18, 2016 12:55 am

India have a hectic schedule of test series later this year, starting in July-August in the West Indies (4 tests), then a home test against Bangladesh (the first ever in India), followed by a 3-test series against New Zealand in October, and a 5-test home series against England in November-December. After a long drought of test cricket, we will have a flood of 13 tests in 5 months!

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Re: Test series 2016 (in WI; then hosting, BD, NZ, England)

Postby PKBasu » Wed May 18, 2016 1:47 am

It is pretty pointless playing a test series against West Indies unless their best players -- currently starring in the IPL -- are available and actually selected. This list of players at a training camp inspires nothing but derision, frankly:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/westindies/ ... 14853.html

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Re: Test series 2016 (in WI; then hosting, BD, NZ, England)

Postby Sin Hombre » Thu May 19, 2016 1:17 am

Hopefully the likes of Kohli and Rahane use the WI series as an opportunity to push their averages closer to 50 :p

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Re: Test series 2016 (in WI; then hosting, BD, NZ, England)

Postby PKBasu » Tue May 24, 2016 1:56 am

Here is the Test team for the West Indies tour:
Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Stuart Binny

Five pacers (Shardul Thakur of Mumbai being the new face), an allrounder (Binny), three spinners (all of whom can bat), seven batsmen (one of whom, Rahul, will be reserve 'keeper) and a specialist 'keeper.
A well-balanced side, although Binny is the one guy who doesn't deserve selection.

I would go with a first XI for the first test of the following: Vijay, Dhawan, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Saha, Ashwin, Mishra, Shami, Yadav, Ishant.

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Re: Test series 2016 (in WI; then hosting, BD, NZ, England)

Postby prasen9 » Tue May 24, 2016 12:55 pm

The tail is too long. I would play Jadeja and Bhuvi instead of Ishant and Mishra. Have we not seen enough of Ishant? I would bring back Mishra quickly if Jadeja cannot get wickets. At Port-au-Spain, I would play three spinners.

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Re: Test series 2016 (in WI; then hosting, BD, NZ, England)

Postby PKBasu » Fri Jun 10, 2016 4:35 am

Here are the venues for the home tests:
http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/conte ... 24303.html

Bangladesh will play in Hyderabad.
New Zealand will play in Indore, Kanpur and Calcutta.
England will play in Mohali, Rajkot, Mumbai, Vishakhapatnam and Chennai.
Australia will play in Bangalore, Dharamsala, Ranchi and Pune.

I think this is madness, because test cricket is dying in India -- and will be cremated now at the altar of diversity. The traditional test grounds are the only places where there is a real audience for test cricket, so test cricket in India can only be saved by cultivating audiences in those grounds.

A test match in Rajkot, for instance, is ludicrous. That is a bowlers' graveyard. Similarly, Ranchi didn't even have first-class games until recently -- Jamshedpur was where Bihar (now Jharkhand) played most of their cricket. If a test had to go to that state, it should have gone to the Keenan stadium in Jamshedpur.

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Re: Test series 2016 (in WI; then hosting, BD, NZ, England)

Postby prasen9 » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:34 pm

I was hoping for an Australia game in Kolkata. Spreading the matches to small venues may not be a bad idea to get audience.

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Re: Test series 2016 (in WI; then hosting, BD, NZ, England)

Postby PKBasu » Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:09 am

Delightful news that Anil Kumble has been appointed the new India coach -- ahead of the worthless Ravi Shastri. Even better, it seems Ganguly (who, alongwith VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar, was part of the coach-selection panel), quietly boycotted Shastri's interview, citing an urgent prior CAB commitment (although he claims that he had already informed his fellow-panelists about this beforehand). Karma!

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Re: Test series 2016 (in WI; then hosting, BD, NZ, England)

Postby prasen9 » Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:42 am

Shastri was not bad as a coach. Worthless was Greg Chappell. Kumble is a smart person. He was no doubt a great player. But, he has no resume. So, his selection is a selection of hope. If none of the other applicants had a resume of winning anything of consequence or improving a team as a coach, then this is the right selection. Right now, it is hard to gauge whether this is a good selection or not given the lack of any information except that the person was a gritty cricketer who knows how to bowl at the highest levels. His stints at RCB and Mumbai as mentor did not produce much. That, maybe, is a small warning sign.

On the other hand, the person who has done it right is Rahul Dravid. Typical to his style of meticulous preparation, he has coached the junior team. Maybe he thought that this is too early for him to be the head coach and he wants to perfect his "technique" wrt coaching in the little leagues before graduating to the big stage. Maybe his good friend Kumble wanted it and Dravid the gentleman did not want to compete against him. Whatever be the case, Dravid has more of a track record wrt coaching (and batting) than Kumble.

As always, at the end of all discussions, I end with nothing but the best wishes for the Indian athletes (and coaches or politicians) even though I may not be fully convinced that they are the right choice (notice the wording: I am not saying that they are the wrong choice). For at the end winning (with honor and integrity) is what matters.

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Re: Test series 2016 (in WI; then hosting, BD, NZ, England)

Postby PKBasu » Sun Jul 17, 2016 2:35 am

India weren't able to inflict an innings defeat on the WICB President's XI in the 3-day game at Bassetere. Ashwin found form with the ball in both innings, as did Jadeja (especially in the first innings). Shami, Thakur and Binny were disappointing with the ball. Mishra shone in the previous game, but didn't in this one.

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Re: Test series 2016 (in WI; then hosting, BD, NZ, England)

Postby prasen9 » Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:13 am

I would play three spinners: Jadeja, Ashwin, Mishra. Then, two pacers in Bhuvi and Ishant. Bhuvi can at least bat and thus the person is not a complete waste. Ishant by virtue of his experience and performance in the last couple of years.

I would consider playing Vijay, Dhawan, Rahul/Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Jadeja, Ashwin, Saha, Bhuvi, Mishra, Ishant. Pujara has not performed very well abroad. Maybe giving Rahul an extended run is not a bad idea.

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Re: Test series 2016 (in WI; then hosting, BD, NZ, England)

Postby PKBasu » Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:28 am

prasen9 wrote:I was hoping for an Australia game in Kolkata. Spreading the matches to small venues may not be a bad idea to get audience.


Nagpur, the recently added test venue, plays tests to almost empty stands. In Calcutta, Madras and Bombay, stands can still fill up for an exciting test match, and slightly less so for Delhi. Bangalore and Kanpur can fill stadiums too because they have test fans. Mohali reasonably so. The newer grounds like Nagpur and Hyderabad are generally much emptier for tests.

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Re: Test series 2016 (in WI; then hosting, BD, NZ, England)

Postby PKBasu » Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:30 pm

The first test in Antigua gets underway, with almost completely empty stands.
And the West Indies side is completely underwhelming: KC Brathwaite, R Chandrika, DM Bravo, MN Samuels, J Blackwood, RL Chase, SO Dowrich†, CR Brathwaite, JO Holder*, D Bishoo, ST Gabriel. (Only three who might make the first XI if all the best players were available).
India are playing with 5 bowlers (kudos to Kumble), with Mishra picked ahead of Jadeja (despite the latter's good form in the last test series against SA at home) and three pacers in Ishant, Shami and Umesh. Not sure about Shami's form, or Yadav's for that matter.

Opening batsmen (especially Dhawan) struggling against bouncers.

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Re: Test series 2016 (in WI; then hosting, BD, NZ, England)

Postby PKBasu » Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:36 pm

Vijay falls to a bouncer (caught at slip) for 7.

Dhawan needs to score if he is to justify being picked ahead of Rahul.

Poor decision to bat first. This pitch has a lot of awkward bounce from patches of grass.

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Re: Test series 2016 (in WI; then hosting, BD, NZ, England)

Postby PKBasu » Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:58 pm

At the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, the great IVA Richards is doing commentary. And he asks, "Whatever happened to that young man, Unmukt Chand, who led the under-19 team to the junior World Cup?" When Manjrekar says Unmukt has a first-class batting average of about 35, Viv responds "That's like Ashwin's batting average"! The legend pays close attention to so many aspects of the game!


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