Sydney Test: Batting Order Still a Challenge

The decision not to play Virender Sehwag in the second Test is a clear sign that the Indian think tank is not ready to abandon its team combination as yet. This might be a sound decision given Sehwag’s extended poor form. If its a toss up between Dravid’s return to form and the chances of Viru clicking as opener, the choice should be obvious.

Open with Sachin (or Dada)

L. Siva recently suggested that perhaps Sachin should open the innings ahead of Dravid. It might be a worthwhile strategy given that he is clearly in good touch. In fact, Ganguly might not be a bad bet at the top of the order either. Dravid can then swap positions with whoever steps to the top, since VVS appeared to be very comfortable at number three. Its best to lead with the men in form rather than pressurize those who are struggling to deliver.

Pathan for Yuvraj?

The other worrisome factor (that appears to have been overlooked) for India is the failure of Yuvraj Singh in both innings of the first Test. Yuvraj has always had problems facing Hogg (and Muralitharan). He was out to Hogg in the second innings and was lucky not to be given out to a bat-pad catch in the first. Given that he bats low down the order, he is likely to face Hogg very early in his innings. This would be a serious challenge for him to overcome. Given this scenario, Irfan Pathan might be a better bet for Yuvraj’s spot, especially if Zaheer misses out because of injury. This will mean five bowlers, and an equally good batting line up, at least on paper.

My guess however, is that India will play the same team with Dravid as opener for this Test at Sydney. If it fails again the third Test will see significant changes.

Author: Pran Kurup

Pran Kurup is founder and CEO of Vitalect, Inc.

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