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Monday, 8 June 2015

INDIA VS BANGLADESH: FIVE TALKING POINTS

The one off test match between India vs Bangladesh will be starting tomorrow with a tough challenge expected from hosts and India playing without MS Dhoni for the first time in a bi-lateral series. It will be interesting to know how will he marshal his troops and how will his boys perform. Here are some of the things that can be expected from the Indian team.

1) HOW WILL VIRAT COPE IN THE ABSENCE OF DHONI?

Though he has played two test matches in his absence but this time it would be a lot different since he is also the senior most player in the squad after Harbhajan. We have already seen how effective he bats when he is the skipper of the team but his over aggressive approach sometimes backfire against his own team. He must learn to mix caution with aggression so that the team can perform well.


2) WILL PUJARA REDISCOVER BATTING MOJO?

He was touted as the next wall and his performances was absolutely world class till the tour of New Zealand began where his batting form began to dip and the bowlers used to bowled him between the bat and pad gap. Since 2014 he has played in 10 test matches all outside India and has only scored mere 483 runs at an average of 24.15 with the highest score of 73 runs and only two scores of fifty or more. Whats more interesting to know that out of the 20 times he has been dismissed since 2014 he has been dismissed to pacers 16 times. His county stint to Yorkshire has helped him to gain the mental toughness to bat overseas and given the match is in Indian subcontinent it would be no brainer that he will be expected to score heavily in the single test match.


3) HOW WILL BHAJJI PERFORM?

After strings of some good performances in the IPL, he was given the chance to shine again in the Indian test outfit. After the ICC World Cup 2011 to February 2013, he played 10 test matches and managed to take only 33 wickets. This resulted in him being dropped of the Indian team and with the emergence of Ashwin and Ojha, it became even more difficult to cement his place in the Indian team. Since then two years have passed and it was looking like that we would not be able to see the Turbinator spinning the ball again but his dedication to the game has bring him back to the Indian team and with the match being played in Bangladesh, Bhajji would be given more overs to bowl and can be expected to take some wickets.


4) IS SHIKHAR GOING TO MAKE THE OPENING SPOT HIS OWN?

Some days ago news flashed on our TV screen that KL Rahul has been ruled out of the series due to illness. This meant that Gabbar will have one last chance to prove his worth in the test squad after a series of disappointing performances in the year 2014 and 2015. After the tour of New Zealand, he has played 6 test matches and has only managed to score 289 runs at an average of 24.01 with only one score of 50+. Like Pujara, majority of his dismissals came against pacers which strengthens the fact that he has some problem with deliveries going away from him at pace. After a year or so India will be playing their first test match in the Indian subcontinent and our Gabbar will be itching to score some runs off his bat.

5) THE EMERGENCE OF WRIDDHIMAN SAHA


Will the real Saha please stand up? Probably the most unluckiest Indian player of this era. He is the best wicket keeper in India but his real problem was that he was born in the era of the Captain fantastic MSD. This ensured that he has to work harder than others to stake a claim in the Indian side. Having been around the selectors radar for the past 7-8 years, he has only played four test matches and more notably three in the absence of MSD. In those 4 test matches he has scored a mere 147 runs which does not justify his talent as a batsman. Now that MSD has retired from the test arena, he will be looking to cement the wicket keeper slot in the Indian team with stiff competition coming from the Samsons and the Kartiks. An extended run would in the team would help his cause and as it is said that the wicket keepers are late bloomers, we would surely hope that Saha lives upto the expectation.