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What now for India

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Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler
Mike Selig
Duty281
VTR
Shelsey93
Gerry SA
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Mad for Chelsea
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What now for India Empty What now for India

Post by dummy_half Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:12 am

So India have lost a home Test series to England, and to be honest after the first match have been fairly thoroughly out-played. Not as embarrasing as their last tour to England, but they still look a team that gets down very easily (particularly in the field) when they get behind in the game.

They are a team that still has a foundation of aging stars (and one superstar), and a selectoral panel that has a habit of reverting to experrienced 'has-beens' (Harbijan) and 'never quite weres' (Youvraj) when things have gone wrong.
A few youngsters have come though and done OK to well - Pujara and Kohli definitely have a future in Test cricket.

The first change is clearlly that Dhoni's captaincy is at an end - he's had his moments tactically, such as starting this Test with a heavily defensive field and stifling England's batsmen, but too often it's captaincy by numbers, such as having an off-side field for the left arm spinner even against Trott (who just picked off anything loose through mid wicket). I think on playing form he should remain in the side, but there is need for a smarter captain.

The biggest question is over Tendulkar - if he doesn't formally retire, do the Board have the brains and balls to drop him? IIRC, he's had one good fighting innings and a couple of starts plus 4 scores in single figures for the series. He may have been a truly great player, but he is a shadow of that at the moment.

The next issue is with bowling - Zaheer is clearly not the bowler he was, although Sharma has come in and done quite well in the last couple of matches. They do though need to identify and persevere with a couple of other pace / seam bowlers to give themselves a chance when playing away from the sub-continent. Time for a few groundsmen to create wickets with a little pace and bounce so the quicker guys get some reward in the domestic game?
Spin bowling - Ohja is a pretty good little bowler, but are the others (Ashwin, Chawla) good enough at Test level? Maybe Ashwin should be pushed up the batting order a bit and be treated as a batsman who can bowl fairly well rather than a bowler who bats. Boycott has been saying all series that England's spin bowling with Swann and Panesar is much better than India's, and I think the results bear this out. Are there other young bowlers in the domestic game who could be given a few matches?

Opening the batting - Gambhir has battled through some innings without being in great form, while Sehwag has come off once in his role as hard-hitting opener. Add to this Sehwag's incompetence in the field and you have to wonder whether he's still worth his spot in the Test side (ODIs being an entirely different matter).

So there are definitely some areas that need addressing - the question is whether India are prepared to look at radical changes now or whether they'll be a bit more 'piecemeal' - look for someone to replace Tendulkar and for a second seamer to support Sharma (Is it Dinda that's the genuinely quick bowler? That would certainly be something different), while making do a bit elsewhere until these changes have bedded down.

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What now for India Empty Re: What now for India

Post by Mad for Chelsea Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:40 am

start at the top of the order:

Gambhir and Sehwag. Gambhir as we know hasn't made a century for donkeys years. He keeps getting starts which suggests his eyes are still there, but getting out. Is it a fitness issue? Sehwag played a great knock in the first test, but offered little to nothing thereafter. Looks more than his age, and very unfit. His slip fielding has gone down the drain too. I think at least one of these has to go. msp mentioned a young guy whose name escapes me as a possible replacement. Given I don't rate Vijay or Mukund, I think that might be the way to go.

Pujara stays, of course, excellent player in the making, even if he faded away here.

Tendulkar should go I'm afraid. Just one score of note all series, and barely made it into double figures otherwise. Simply put, I think age has caught up with him. England undoubtedly targeted him as they know that getting him out subdues the crowd for one thing, but it was a desperately poor series. Rahane should finally get his chance.

Kohli has a bright future, though needs to be careful the careless shots he played to get out in the first three tests don't become a habit.

Jadeja deserves a decent run. He's a good cricketer, and his fielding really lifted India in the first innings here. I'm not convinced on the basis of his innings here that his batting is international quality, but he won't be facing Anderson reversing the ball both ways every day.

Dhoni, I think, has run his course as captain. He looked short of ideas for most of the series, and has gone from a "controlling" captain to a "drifting" one. Too afraid to make the bold moves in the England second innings when India needed to force the pace. I'd keep him in the team though, his innings here was excellent, and concentrating on his batting and keeping could help him.

On to the bowlers, then. Yadav has great promise and India need to keep him fit. Zaheer Khan I think has run his race, he just doesn't have the fitness to bowl several spells in a day anymore. I think Sharma's done enough in these two Tests to suggest that he's at last getting there. Ashwin and Ohja should complete the attack, though Ashwin needs to learn how to bowl in Tests still.

Ashwin and Sharma also basically need to be told that if they don't improve their fielding they're not going to be in the side long. For young guys like this to be such awful fielders is not acceptable.

So there you have it:
Gambhir/Sehwag
the guy msp mentioned
Pujara
Rahane
Kohli (capt)
Jadeja
Dhoni
Ashwin
Sharma
Ohja
Yadav

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What now for India Empty Re: What now for India

Post by gboycottnut Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:45 am

Bring in a younger batsman for Sehwag in someone like a younger opener such as a Ajinkya Rahane or a Murali Vijay. Also the bowling attack urgently needs some more bite and power to it, which is why the likes of Umesh Yadav should come in.

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What now for India Empty Re: What now for India

Post by Gerry SA Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:57 am

Personally from what I've seen, and what a few Indian friends/colleagues have said, I've come to the following team.

Firstly Gambhir has to go. He's a poor fielder. Terrible runner between the sticks. Yes he gets a few starts, but 4 years without a Test hundred. Time has run out.

Sehwag, yes a fantastic player. You don't score 2 x 300 if you're an average player. He's ageing and the hunger to get the big hundreds seems to have died. This fellow has 15 100s over 150, but none since 2010.

Tendulkar, the best batsman since Bradman, but times up. He keeps getting bowled, this is a batsman who was nigh impossible to bowl just 2-3 years ago.

Dhoni, great ODI player. But never a Test player. A slogger with shocking wicket keeping skills.

Ishant, tries hard. But just doesn't have the talent for Test cricket.

The above 5 all get caned.

I'd go with:

1. A Rahane
2. U Chand
3. C Pujara
4. Rohit Sharma
5. V Kohli
6. R Jadeja
7. D Karthik/W Saha (w/k)
8. R Ashwin
9. U Yadav
10. Praveen Kumar
11. P Ojha

Rahane and Chand are very exciting. Both have better footwork than the current openers. Technically very good.

Rohit Sharma is probably the most talented, uncapped Test player, around at present.

Karthik or Saha are fantastic WKs. Both can bat. Pick whichever.

Still can't understand why P Kumar was dropped? He was excellent in England. Yet never been seen again.

Out Asia, Ojha drops out for another seam bowler.

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What now for India Empty Re: What now for India

Post by Shelsey93 Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:13 am

dummy_half wrote:Not as embarrasing as their last tour to England, but they still look a team that gets down very easily (particularly in the field) when they get behind in the game.

Not that much less embarrassing. This was at home, against a team playing less well than they were in 2011, and who had been humiliated by Pakistan earlier this year

dummy_half wrote:The first change is clearlly that Dhoni's captaincy is at an end - he's had his moments tactically, such as starting this Test with a heavily defensive field and stifling England's batsmen, but too often it's captaincy by numbers, such as having an off-side field for the left arm spinner even against Trott (who just picked off anything loose through mid wicket). I think on playing form he should remain in the side, but there is need for a smarter captain.

I'm not sure I agree. I think Dhoni is a little misuderstood over here and, whilst imperfect, is still the best candidate for the captaincy. In my opinion its too early to go to Kohli, who should focus on maintaining and improving his batting standards. Meanwhile, neither Sehwag or Gambhir would fill me with confidence as a forward move

dummy_half wrote:The biggest question is over Tendulkar - if he doesn't formally retire, do the Board have the brains and balls to drop him? IIRC, he's had one good fighting innings and a couple of starts plus 4 scores in single figures for the series. He may have been a truly great player, but he is a shadow of that at the moment.

For reasons I'll come on to I don't think Sachin should be picked v Australia. That's a big call and one I didn't think I'd be considering this soon, if ever.

dummy_half wrote:The next issue is with bowling - Zaheer is clearly not the bowler he was, although Sharma has come in and done quite well in the last couple of matches. They do though need to identify and persevere with a couple of other pace / seam bowlers to give themselves a chance when playing away from the sub-continent. Time for a few groundsmen to create wickets with a little pace and bounce so the quicker guys get some reward in the domestic game?

I'd be stunned if Zaheer plays again. Ishant's done OK. To be honest there is a dearth of Indian pace bowling talent, and as you say domestic wickets influence that. Dinda is due a go, and Awana should get his chance. Meanwhile, Yadav had a good Test at Ahmedabad. But, to be honest, none of them are world-beaters.

Changing pitches is probably easier said than done

dummy_half wrote:Spin bowling - Ohja is a pretty good little bowler, but are the others (Ashwin, Chawla) good enough at Test level? Maybe Ashwin should be pushed up the batting order a bit and be treated as a batsman who can bowl fairly well rather than a bowler who bats. Boycott has been saying all series that England's spin bowling with Swann and Panesar is much better than India's, and I think the results bear this out. Are there other young bowlers in the domestic game who could be given a few matches?

I quite like Ashwin. I'm not sure the pitches suited him here and for some reason England seem to prefer his type of spinner to orthodox left-armers. I'd persist with him. Ojha is very decent too. Chawla was a punt, which hopefully won't be repeated.

Ashwin is good enough to bat 7, but they need him at 8. You can't realistically go in with Ishant/ Dinda/ Awana at 8.

dummy_half wrote:Opening the batting - Gambhir has battled through some innings without being in great form, while Sehwag has come off once in his role as hard-hitting opener. Add to this Sehwag's incompetence in the field and you have to wonder whether he's still worth his spot in the Test side (ODIs being an entirely different matter).

This pair hasn't looked right ever since England in 2011, so I think it needs to broken up. Rahane averages 64 in FC cricket and even notwithstanding theories that he's better down the order and has been flattered by Indian pitches his selection as an opener is, for me, a must.

They've got themselves in a mess with Gambhir. His performances up to this series were so poor that he probably should have been dropped. But he wasn't their worst in this series and its now hard to do so.

I also think Sehwag has a role, if not necessarily as an opener. He can play the destructive knocks, and whilst he's far from the player of 2-3 years ago, he gives the team an X Factor. He makes things which would be impossible in normal circumstances possible

Thus, I'd move one of Sehwag or Gambhir to 4 to fill Sachin's place and break up the youngsters.

----

My team in Asia would thus be: 1 Gambhir/ Sehwag 2 Rahane 3 Pujara 4 Gambhir/ Sehwag 5 Kohli 6 Jadeja 7 Dhoni 8 Ashwin 9 Ishant 10 Yadav 11 Ojha with Dinda/ Awana replacing probably Ojha out of Asia.

----

A year ago I wrote this article on where next for India after the Australia tour: http://v2journal.com/where-now-for-india.html

In it I wrote: "The first name on my teamsheet remains Tendulkar - he is an icon who the youngsters should not be denied the chance to watch and play with until he retires and who can hardly be described as in horrendous knick. The 100th 100 will come eventually and he could well have another prolific year in him. He has made the No. 4 position his own and he stays there for me."

I have now changed my mind. Almost every innings of his (in fact, every innings in Tests) in the last year has been a struggle. It is now over two years since his 51st and last Test 100 - an innings which brought to an end an incredible two-year last hurrah in which he was back to his best. My impression is that India now rely heavily on Pujara and Kohli, with Sachin a weak spot. The youngsters are taking the lead. I have lost my confidence that he can have another good year in him, and it certainly seems inconceivable that he could go to SA in a year's time and succeed again. Do we really want to see such an incredible player as a weak link in his side?

This defeat must be seen as the nadir after which the team needs to be rethought. Once its been rethought it must then be backed. Can you justify picking Sachin just so that he adds another match to his cap tally? Is that in the interests of Team India?

If he scores runs I'll happily be proved wrong. I'm a big Sachin fan, and if he plays v Australia, I'll be cheering him on like always. But I have little confidence that he will.

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What now for India Empty Re: What now for India

Post by VTR Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:33 am

Get rid of the selectors first!

Otherwise its all ifs and buts and they'll probably "fix" the team by recalling VVS Laxman and dropping Pujura for the Aussie Tests.

Of course a few players need to go, but clearing out 6 or 7 as has been suggested seems a bit extreme. Someone like Gambhir may have to survive as at least he is getting a few 50's so not outright rubbish. Similar with Ashwin who has a lot of potential and has just had his first bad series.

What does annoy me is England never get full credit for these wins. We always seem to beat teams when they were going through a rubbish period so of course the win was easy. India weren't so rubbish 3 weeks ago when they thrashed us by an innings, but we start to win and suddenly we're playing against the 11 worst cricketers in the history of the game.

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What now for India Empty Re: What now for India

Post by dummy_half Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:25 pm

VTR

"Of course a few players need to go, but clearing out 6 or 7 as has been suggested seems a bit extreme. Someone like Gambhir may have to survive as at least he is getting a few 50's so not outright rubbish. Similar with Ashwin who has a lot of potential and has just had his first bad series."

This was really the crux of my question - there are really only a few of the Indian team that have performed consistently well enough through the series to guarantee themselves selection (Pujara, Kohli, Dhoni as a batsman, Ohja and perhaps Sharma and Ashwin). However, ripping out 4 or 5 members of a team in one go (and leaving the batting with very little experience considering Pujara and Kohli have perhaps double figures caps between them) is probably too big a step - one that the selectors have to take a large part of the blame for, because of their insistence on looking backwards.

I think Shelsey's right in contemplating moving Sehwag down the order to 4 in place of Tendulkar, while keeping Gambhir as an opener for now (noting that he needs to convert some starts into big scores rather than the 30s to 70s he's been getting). Get the youngsters bedded down over the next year or so then look at phasing at least one of Sehwag or Gambhir out.

You're right that the first test seems a long time ago and the turn-around has been huge - the first test all went wrong for England because of poor team selection (3 seamers and only Swann as a front-line spinner) and a collapse induced by scoreboard pressure. Perhaps notable that it was the only match where Sehwag came off as an opener (a run a ball century). Once we got the balance of the team right, we've been able to contain the Indian batsmen much better and then had plenty of our bats contributing (only Compton of the top 5 not getting a century, with good runs also from Prior on a couple of occasions).

India are not a terrible team, but they are a team with weaknesses especially playing away from home - they are probably the poorest fielding team of the major Test nations, and currently lack a match-winning bowler (Zaheer was that for a number of years, but he's run out of gas), so if their batting doesn't come off in the first innings they struggle to turn games around.

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What now for India Empty Re: What now for India

Post by VTR Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:35 pm

Fair enough dh. It does annoy me that a team loses to England and certain quarters call for the whole team to be scrapped! Happened with the last Ashes and unsurprisingly 3 or 4 changes have revitalised them because they weren't as bad as a very good England team made them look. Even England after '99 only really made a few changes.

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What now for India Empty Re: What now for India

Post by gboycottnut Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:01 pm

What about bringing back some of the old guard such as Laxman, Ganguly and Dravid. Better still, how about going back to the great players who played for India in the 1980's such as Gavaskar, Armarnath, Azharruddin, Vengsarkar, Kapil Dev and Maninder Singh.


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What now for India Empty Re: What now for India

Post by Duty281 Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:04 pm

VTR wrote:Get rid of the selectors first!

Otherwise its all ifs and buts and they'll probably "fix" the team by recalling VVS Laxman and dropping Pujura for the Aussie Tests.

Of course a few players need to go, but clearing out 6 or 7 as has been suggested seems a bit extreme. Someone like Gambhir may have to survive as at least he is getting a few 50's so not outright rubbish. Similar with Ashwin who has a lot of potential and has just had his first bad series.

What does annoy me is England never get full credit for these wins. We always seem to beat teams when they were going through a rubbish period so of course the win was easy. India weren't so rubbish 3 weeks ago when they thrashed us by an innings, but we start to win and suddenly we're playing against the 11 worst cricketers in the history of the game.

Very true, when England beat Australia 3-1, Australia were 'rebuilding'. When England beat India 4-0, India were struggling with injuries, and poor preparation. The Indian team we just beat is apparently the worst Indian team in decades.

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Post by gboycottnut Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:12 pm

Duty281 wrote:
VTR wrote:Get rid of the selectors first!

Otherwise its all ifs and buts and they'll probably "fix" the team by recalling VVS Laxman and dropping Pujura for the Aussie Tests.

Of course a few players need to go, but clearing out 6 or 7 as has been suggested seems a bit extreme. Someone like Gambhir may have to survive as at least he is getting a few 50's so not outright rubbish. Similar with Ashwin who has a lot of potential and has just had his first bad series.

What does annoy me is England never get full credit for these wins. We always seem to beat teams when they were going through a rubbish period so of course the win was easy. India weren't so rubbish 3 weeks ago when they thrashed us by an innings, but we start to win and suddenly we're playing against the 11 worst cricketers in the history of the game.

Very true, when England beat Australia 3-1, Australia were 'rebuilding'. When England beat India 4-0, India were struggling with injuries, and poor preparation. The Indian team we just beat is apparently the worst Indian team in decades.

Well it does seem true that a lot of England's test match series wins since 2005 have come about when the opposition teams cannot get their best XI out onto the park. What is very noticable as well is that when the opposition team can get their best XI out onto the park as was the case in the summer when South Africa toured England, is that England then genuinely struggle with posting decent enough batting totals on the scoreboard for their bowlers to bowl to, whilst the main strike bowlers at the same time such as Anderson and Swann struggle to get the opposition batsmen (Amla, Kallis etc) out before they pile on the runs against us.

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Post by Guest Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:00 pm

I pretty much agree with with MFC's assessment.

I do feel for India. I don't think Dhoni has led them well on the pitch at all. Almost reminiscent of Ponting in the Ashes 2010/11.

The BCCI face some tough decisions ahead. Not just with the squad but also in regards to DRS and the control the coach has on matters regarding the team. It needs a captain that can work in tandem with the coach like Flower did with Strauss. It is a long process, but one that does work.

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Post by Mike Selig Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:48 pm

There are a couple of points I would make:

1) When considering changes, you have to wonder whether the replacement is actually getting you a better deal. Take Dhoni (in all aspects): people are saying he shouldn't be captain anymore and some are saying he should be dropped. The question people should be asking is "is there anybody better?". As captain, possibly, but I fear it's too early for Kohli (I'm not really concerned about his impetuous nature - Ganguly and Ponting (and to a lesser extent hussain) all made successful captains), and the only other serious candidate (Gambhir) is surely too close to being dropped. As a player, does anyone really think Kartik or Saha are going to score more runs? Dhoni's keeping is at times shoddy but he misses precious few chances (and is brilliant at catching edges off the spinners).

2) More than a change in (playing) personnel, what is surely needed is a change in outlook. When a side reaches rock-bottom, it's important to have an honest review of things. This is where I think India will struggle, it's not really in their nature/culture. Australia have to some extent lifted themselves from the previous ashes, and of course England went through this in 99. You need to look at your structure, and what needs changing. After the Australia series I argued that a couple of things would have to give:
- Professionalism. Not only fitness, but also analysing opposition (e.g. mid-wicket far too square to Trott throughout), yourself, learning from defeats and importantly victories. The indian commentator on TMS raised this point and it was a good one: there was IMO too much back-slapping after the 1st test. No one was concerned enough that Cook looked like he could bat for weeks, that Swann took 5 wickets in the first innings, that India's fielding had been dodgy. A win is THE best time to put things right: after a loss the team is downhearted so you have to try and raise morale as best you can; after a win everyone's happy so it's the best time to tell people some home truths.
- Gloryfying the individual ahead of the team. Seriously, this has to stop.

Off those general points and onto the actual team. Shewag, Tendulkar and Zaheer have had it. Too old and not fit enough. Dhoni as captain is a judgement call, a change could bring about a new enthusiasm, but do you give that burden to Kohli so soon?

Rahane should come into the team. For me, he is a top order batsman, but if you want him in the middle-order then fine. Tiwary should also be looked at. Mukund, Vijay aren't good enough. Rohit Sharma is seemingly out of things.

Sharma should be given the chance to lead the attack. He bowled a fuller length in the 2 tests he played and got his rewards. Yadav looks like he'll get wickets, and is a good bet. Aaron and Dinda are probably the next best seamers. Ashwin is ok, I wouldn't give up on him just yet, and Ohja is a good bowler. Harmeet Singh may be worth a punt sooner rather than later. Importantly all the bowlers should play as little T20 as possible and play as much first class cricket as they can to learn how to work over a batsman. Ashwin in particular.

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Post by gboycottnut Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:03 pm

Zaheer Khan can still play an important role as the spearhead of India's bowling attack in test match cricket, but in order to do this he has to I believe give up playing in the IPL and other forms of T20/ODI types of cricket as at his current age his body just cannot cope with such constant quantities of cricket all through the year. So if I were an Indian selector, I would go up to Zaheer and advise him that he can still play in the India test match team but he has to give up all the other forms of the game to do so.

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What now for India Empty Re: What now for India

Post by msp83 Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:59 pm

Well, this has to be a tragic moment for Indian cricket.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who asaw his home being attacked after the horrer world cup in 2007 reckons this is not as bad as that. Regardless of that, this has been a moment of introspection.
The first person I'd drop from this side is Gautam Gambhir. He has got a few starts. So what? He has been doing it for the last 3 years, getting starts, throwing it away. For a test opener that is criminal. The team has given him enough backing, he's an intense character, send him packing to domestic cricket, he'll be knocking the selectorial doors in some time. Make him stay, all that you will get is this criminal underperformance, as Gauti things he's making some important contributions to the side. Clearly doing that in ODIs, but not in tests.
Virender Sehwag is an impact player, and untill the NZ series he has been getting more 30s and 40s than Gambhir was managing. A Sehwag 40 is very different to a Gambhir 1, and if Sehwag goes on then that almost wins the match for India. He scored a test hundred in this series, he should stay as there are many options who could come in.
As I have been saying here for long, I am not a big fan of Ajinkya Rahane opening. The tallented player that he's he should be able to make a decent fist of opening, but most of his FC runs have come at 3 and his opening in the WI with the A side wasn't all that good. I see Rahane as the one to step in when Tendulkar goes. I am not that confident in Vijay, and I think Mukund has to do more learning. U19 winning captain Unmukt Chand is the other option. He has a decent technique and a fine temprament. Hasn't been a big success in FC cricket as yet. Ideally he should have got at least a couple of solid seasons before being considered for the national side. But these aren't the best of times, and perhaps the selectors should go for him, hoping his temprament will help him learn on the job. Punjab's young opener Jivanjit Singh has already scored 4 Ranji hundreds in his debut season. Hopefully he should be able to step up in a couple of years.
Well on Sachin. Like shelsey said, I have been backing Tendulkar throughout his struggles. But this series has been a real struggle for the great man. Seems age has at last caught up with him. I wouldn't drop Sachin, but I hope he calls it a day.
Pujara, Kohli, Jadeja and Dhoni would stay in.
Ashwin and Ojha aren't in the class of India's top spinners from the past. But they are the best available. Hopefully they'll take something to learn from this series.
Umesh Yadav, when fit should be the first seamer for the side. Praveen Kumar, when fit on form could be the 2nd option. PK is injured for now. Ishant Sharma has done just enough to be the 3rd seamer, first reserve in Asia.
On the captaincy front, I wouldn't have Sehwag or Gambhir leading the side. It has to be Virat Kohli if he and the selectors feel he's ready. Otherwise MSD to continue for now.
Virender Sehwag
Unmukt Chand
Cheteshwar Pujara
Ajinkya Rahane
Virat Kohli
Ravindra Jadeja
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Ravichandran Ashwin
Praveen Kumar
Pragyan Ojha/Ishant Sharma
Umesh Yadav.
Sandeep Sharma, Parvinder Awana and Ashok Dinda pace backups, Shahbaz Nadeem/Piyush Chawla to be spin backups.
Manoj Tiwary/Rohit Sharma/Manish Pandey to be middle order batting backups. Vijay/Mukund/Jivanjit opening backups. Wriddhiman Saha wicket keeping backup.
Rishi Dhawan, Harmeet Singh, Shami Ahmed, Ashok Menaria, Ashish Reddy, Baba Aparajith, all to be closely watched.

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What now for India Empty Re: What now for India

Post by Guest Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:54 pm

IMO..

Sehwag
Tendulkar
Dhoni
Yurvraj
Zahher
Harbajhan

are all done at test level..for their next series i would go

1.Rahane
2.Gambhir (needs runs or he's gone)
3.Pujara
4.Manoj Tiwary
5.Virat Kohli (c)
6.Ravi Jadeja (should get an extended run)
7.W.Saha (wk)
8.Ashwin
9.Yadav
10.Ishant
11.Ojha

12th man: Aaron

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Post by msp83 Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:52 am

The national selectors seem to still believe and hope that Zaheer Khan can offer a bit more to India in test cricket.
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/zak-won-t-be-back-for-pak-say-selectors/1048350/

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:48 am

To be fair MSP he probably could if he got fit
Yadav and Harma are the two to come out of this series with credit, but the injury rates are getting Australia like

Id also say if they are playing oustide Asia then one of Jadeja and Ashwin is surplus to requirements

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Post by msp83 Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:18 pm

PSW I will be very happy if Zaheer can still command a place in the side, because he's among the very best seamers that India have produced and a fit Zaheer will be an asset to the team. But I doubt whether his body will be up to the challenge at this age.

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Post by Shelsey93 Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:36 pm

I think a clean break with Zaheer has to be made.

I recognise that none of the bowlers coming through are world beaters. However, it often takes axeing someone for those below to step up. It happened to an extent with England. Hoggard and Harmison were surprisingly dropped in NZ, with Anderson suddenly asked to lead the attack and Broad to come into the team. Anderson almost overnight transformed himself into the bowler we all thought he'd be when he burst onto the scene in '03, having gone missing for five years. There might be parallels with Sharma there.

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Post by msp83 Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:43 pm

That's an interesting take shelsey. I think the selectors should still keep Zaheer in their plans, but only if he should prove that he's in a position to sustain his fitness and form for a long enough period. He's playing the next round of Ranji starting tomorrow.
And like England are doing, introduce and expose the likes of Awana, Dinda, Shami Ahmed....... to more limited over cricket, mostly in the ODI format. No Zaheer in ODIs any more, but I would hold on a bit before taking on tests although Zaheer struggled to keep himself going for 5 days in recent times.

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Post by ShankyCricket Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:59 pm

msp83 wrote:Well, this has to be a tragic moment for Indian cricket.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who asaw his home being attacked after the horrer world cup in 2007 reckons this is not as bad as that. Regardless of that, this has been a moment of introspection.
The first person I'd drop from this side is Gautam Gambhir. He has got a few starts. So what? He has been doing it for the last 3 years, getting starts, throwing it away. For a test opener that is criminal. The team has given him enough backing, he's an intense character, send him packing to domestic cricket, he'll be knocking the selectorial doors in some time. Make him stay, all that you will get is this criminal underperformance, as Gauti things he's making some important contributions to the side. Clearly doing that in ODIs, but not in tests.
Virender Sehwag is an impact player, and untill the NZ series he has been getting more 30s and 40s than Gambhir was managing. A Sehwag 40 is very different to a Gambhir 1, and if Sehwag goes on then that almost wins the match for India. He scored a test hundred in this series, he should stay as there are many options who could come in.
As I have been saying here for long, I am not a big fan of Ajinkya Rahane opening. The tallented player that he's he should be able to make a decent fist of opening, but most of his FC runs have come at 3 and his opening in the WI with the A side wasn't all that good. I see Rahane as the one to step in when Tendulkar goes. I am not that confident in Vijay, and I think Mukund has to do more learning. U19 winning captain Unmukt Chand is the other option. He has a decent technique and a fine temprament. Hasn't been a big success in FC cricket as yet. Ideally he should have got at least a couple of solid seasons before being considered for the national side. But these aren't the best of times, and perhaps the selectors should go for him, hoping his temprament will help him learn on the job. Punjab's young opener Jivanjit Singh has already scored 4 Ranji hundreds in his debut season. Hopefully he should be able to step up in a couple of years.
Well on Sachin. Like shelsey said, I have been backing Tendulkar throughout his struggles. But this series has been a real struggle for the great man. Seems age has at last caught up with him. I wouldn't drop Sachin, but I hope he calls it a day.
Pujara, Kohli, Jadeja and Dhoni would stay in.
Ashwin and Ojha aren't in the class of India's top spinners from the past. But they are the best available. Hopefully they'll take something to learn from this series.
Umesh Yadav, when fit should be the first seamer for the side. Praveen Kumar, when fit on form could be the 2nd option. PK is injured for now. Ishant Sharma has done just enough to be the 3rd seamer, first reserve in Asia.
On the captaincy front, I wouldn't have Sehwag or Gambhir leading the side. It has to be Virat Kohli if he and the selectors feel he's ready. Otherwise MSD to continue for now.
Virender Sehwag
Unmukt Chand
Cheteshwar Pujara
Ajinkya Rahane
Virat Kohli
Ravindra Jadeja
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Ravichandran Ashwin
Praveen Kumar
Pragyan Ojha/Ishant Sharma
Umesh Yadav.
Sandeep Sharma, Parvinder Awana and Ashok Dinda pace backups, Shahbaz Nadeem/Piyush Chawla to be spin backups.
Manoj Tiwary/Rohit Sharma/Manish Pandey to be middle order batting backups. Vijay/Mukund/Jivanjit opening backups. Wriddhiman Saha wicket keeping backup.
Rishi Dhawan, Harmeet Singh, Shami Ahmed, Ashok Menaria, Ashish Reddy, Baba Aparajith, all to be closely watched.
Whats the point of picking Sehwag for just one series? Surely he can't open in SA? After the home series against Aus, India have 3 consecutive Test tours of SA, NZ and England, places where Sehwag has barely scored a run, even in his prime. And given that he is now not even scoring big at home, to take him to those places would sound more than just a tad hopeful. I'd have Gambhir if he can start scoring runs at FC level again. He has a good record in SA and NZ. Agree on the Chand pick. Maybe a little too soon for him but hey, there aren't too many options. The other opener is a tricky one. I'd have Gambhir, if in form but not sure who to go for otherwise. Certainly not Sehwag though. SRT apparently is certain to play till AT LEAST the Oz series, which is a bit disappointing personally as I really don't want to see him struggle anymore. If I were a selector, I'd drop him. Zaheer shouldn't come back. Chawla is nowhere near international standard. Jadeja isn't Test class for mine. Tiwary and Nohit might have to come in. Rahane should be looked at in the middle order or possibly opening if Gambhir doesn't score runs soon. Like the Nadeem pick. Sandeep Sharma too. Ian Pont rates the Haryana seamer MM Sharma very highly and he could be on the radar too. If I had to pick 2 seamers, it'd be Umesh Yadav and Ashok Dinda. Ishant - 3rd seamer. Not sure PK is back to his best yet. Ashwin needs to be persevered with for one more series. Ojha looks good. I honestly don't think MSD is the best WKB in the country. Saha would be a better pick. I can understand the reservations over Kohli as captain but his brash aggressiveness could well just be what India needs right now. Pujara is the other option for captaincy, having captained the India A side for a while.

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Post by ShankyCricket Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:10 pm

Gerry SA wrote:Personally from what I've seen, and what a few Indian friends/colleagues have said, I've come to the following team.

Firstly Gambhir has to go. He's a poor fielder. Terrible runner between the sticks. Yes he gets a few starts, but 4 years without a Test hundred. Time has run out.

Sehwag, yes a fantastic player. You don't score 2 x 300 if you're an average player. He's ageing and the hunger to get the big hundreds seems to have died. This fellow has 15 100s over 150, but none since 2010.

Tendulkar, the best batsman since Bradman, but times up. He keeps getting bowled, this is a batsman who was nigh impossible to bowl just 2-3 years ago.

Dhoni, great ODI player. But never a Test player. A slogger with shocking wicket keeping skills.

Ishant, tries hard. But just doesn't have the talent for Test cricket.

The above 5 all get caned.

I'd go with:

1. A Rahane
2. U Chand
3. C Pujara
4. Rohit Sharma
5. V Kohli
6. R Jadeja
7. D Karthik/W Saha (w/k)
8. R Ashwin
9. U Yadav
10. Praveen Kumar
11. P Ojha

Rahane and Chand are very exciting. Both have better footwork than the current openers. Technically very good.

Rohit Sharma is probably the most talented, uncapped Test player, around at present.

Karthik or Saha are fantastic WKs. Both can bat. Pick whichever.

Still can't understand why P Kumar was dropped? He was excellent in England. Yet never been seen again.

Out Asia, Ojha drops out for another seam bowler.
I'd have Ojha over Ashwin anyday in a one spinner attack. He has control. Ashwin struggles in unhelpful conditions.

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Post by msp83 Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:14 pm

Well Shanky, Gambhir on form should make it easily, but scoring 30s and 40s can't be considered anything other than an utter waste for a test opener. And all that he has been doing over the last 3 years has been that, wasting. Sehwag has that impact factor going for him. He scored his first test ton in SA although it was at 6 and not at the top, he started opening the innings in tests in England and started the process by smashing 84 in his first innings at the top and then scoring a fine hundred on a green top in the 2nd test. Sehwag has a superb ODI record in NZ.
All that is in the past and he struggled since then to score well away from the sub-continent, particularly in the last 4 years.
But as we both agree, there aren't many options knocking the selectorial dor for that opening position, and considering Sehwag's status as an impact player, I'd give him one more chance to revive and succeed. Gambhir has to go back and rediscover himself, will be a travesty if the selectors are lulled by those couple of 50s.

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Post by msp83 Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:19 pm

How many wicketkeepers averaged over 35 in test cricket for India till now? Dhoni may not be as brilliant as he is in ODIs when it comes to test cricket, but he has been India's best in a very long time. Not the most gifted in terms of technique, but has done the job alright with the bat.
Was India's 3rd best batsman in England last year, is good enough to set up an innings or even take on a challenge at 6 or 7 in Indian conditions. Even if Dhoni's keeping doesn't look very spectacular, again he doesn't miss many chances. I don't think he has missed as many chances as Prior missed in the test series.
Saha is a very decent bet with gloves and could be useful with the bat. Karthik isn't anywhere close to Dhoni with bat or gloves. Patel isn't as good as Dhoni is with the gloves and doesn't have the range of shots to be consistently successful at international level.

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Post by ShankyCricket Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:27 pm

msp83 wrote:Well Shanky, Gambhir on form should make it easily, but scoring 30s and 40s can't be considered anything other than an utter waste for a test opener. And all that he has been doing over the last 3 years has been that, wasting. Sehwag has that impact factor going for him. He scored his first test ton in SA although it was at 6 and not at the top, he started opening the innings in tests in England and started the process by smashing 84 in his first innings at the top and then scoring a fine hundred on a green top in the 2nd test. Sehwag has a superb ODI record in NZ.
All that is in the past and he struggled since then to score well away from the sub-continent, particularly in the last 4 years.
But as we both agree, there aren't many options knocking the selectorial dor for that opening position, and considering Sehwag's status as an impact player, I'd give him one more chance to revive and succeed. Gambhir has to go back and rediscover himself, will be a travesty if the selectors are lulled by those couple of 50s.
To put it simply, if Sehwag opens in SA, Pujara will be batting in the first 10 overs far too often. Gambhir can at least see off the new ball. I simply can't accept the idea of Sehwag opening the batting in swing/seam conditions. He hasn't done that too well even in his prime. And nowadays, he doesn't even do it at home. The "impact factor" is a thing of the past and he's never really had impact in overseas Tests anyway. Gambhir did really well in SA last time around but I agree that if he doesn't score runs (tons) in the Ranji Trophy, he should not be picked. But I won't write him off just yet. Sehwag? Well, I said before the 2010/11 series in SA (when he was actually heading into that series in absolute peak form) that he will fail in those conditions. He did just that. I said the same before the England series in 2011 and indeed the Australia series in 2011/12. He has done absolutely nothing to change my mind. Also think a more defensive player would be a better option alongside Chand. Although if the next best player is also an attacking one, then fair enough. But I really don't think Sehwag is that person.

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Post by msp83 Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:37 pm

Perhaps Sehwag might fail in SA if he manages to make that tour. But Gambhir's performance against the moving ball wasn't great since that SA tour which was the last time he made a meaningful contribution with the bat as a test opener.
Like you said, I certainly won't write him off, but he has to now earn his chances, he has run out of all the acumulated credit and the England series didn't give him any, only criminal underperformance and some rather selfish batting and club level running.

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Post by msp83 Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:01 am

The India squad for the Pakistan series have been announced. The T-20I squad remains unchanged, meaning no place for Virender Sehwag or Zaheer Khan. Parvinder Awana and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are retained.
The ODI squad has changes though. Manoj Tiwary, Umesh Yadav and Irfan Pathan are out with injuries. Rahul Sharma, Zaheer Khan and Pragyan Ojha are left out.
Bengal's young seamer Shami Ahmed has got his first national call up and there are call ups for Bhuvneshwar and Awana as well. Amit Mishra makes a surprise return to the ODI side on a day he completed a fighting ton for Haryana in the Ranji trophy to build up an unbeaten 200+ partnership for the 8th wicket. Yuvraj Singh, Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja are also back.
ODI squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Ashok Dinda, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shami Ahmed, Amit Mishra.

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Post by msp83 Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:03 am

By the way Sachin Tendulkar has retired from ODI cricket. Despite the obvious hype, not much of a big news, as Sachin has played only 10 ODIs since the WC 2011.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:39 am

msp83 wrote:By the way Sachin Tendulkar has retired from ODI cricket. Despite the obvious hype, not much of a big news, as Sachin has played only 10 ODIs since the WC 2011.
Comes across as putting his toe in the water and that he can't quite yet bring himself to take the big decision about retirement.

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Post by Shelsey93 Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:44 am

I think the decision is a statement of intent to play on v Australia, and if he goes well, perhaps even to SA. Some have mentioned the 200 Test landmark as something he's after.

Not big news as he's been picking and choosing ODIs for about five years now, and at some point in the not to distant future there will be a proper opportunity to look back over his career (including one-dayers). I reckon he'd have stopped playing ODIs after the World Cup, were it not for the 100th 100.

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:19 pm

Youd think he wouldve stuck with them rather than the pain of test cricket. I always found it bizare he never really played international T20, given hes been one of the top performers in IPL history (till this year, where he seems to be sh1te in all formats)
Looking at his ODI record hes had a far better last few years in that format than he has tests

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Post by gboycottnut Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:40 pm

What now for India?

Well as the so-called champions/best team in the world have lost a test series to England in their own backyard for the first time in 27 years and now it seems cannot even beat a second string/reserve England XI in a T20 format which is supposed to suit many of the best Indian cricketers, how about the Indian Board just stop the Indian national team from playing all formats of the game against all the other cricket playing nations altogether and just play themselves in a India V Rest of India T20 style cricketing bash format. That way the Indian public will be guaranteed to see at least one Indian team winning!

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Post by ShankyCricket Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:27 pm

http://www.espncricinfo.com/india-v-england-2012/content/story/597140.html

This is a cracking article. Hits the nail right on the head. clap clap clap

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:30 pm

Indias "Ramprakash jnr"?

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Post by Shelsey93 Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:56 pm

ShankyCricket wrote:http://www.espncricinfo.com/india-v-england-2012/content/story/597140.html

This is a cracking article. Hits the nail right on the head. clap clap clap

Agree. That he hasn't debuted in a period when the team has been doing so badly is most bizarre.

I accept that FC pitches in India are flat, and that the stat which at one stage gave him amongst the best FC averages of all time was hence a bit skewed. But his record is surely good enough to at least be given a chance to play Tests.

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Post by JDizzle Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:33 am

To be fair to the Indian selectors they aren't the only ones who pick players in their weaker formats first and England are even worse for this, but not to pick him at Test level yet is ridiculous. And having seen him bat in England last year, he looks ready. Solid technique to go with the record. He needs to be in ASAP.

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Post by ShankyCricket Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:26 am

Ridiculous that a bits and pieces cricketer was selected ahead of him.

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Post by msp83 Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:23 am

Siddharth Monga writes a lot of utter tripe at times, and this article also had a bit of that. But the larger point, that Ajinkya Rahane, one of India's finest young tallents not being given an opportunity at the test level not making sense is fair enough.
But I don't think the attack on Ravindra Jadeja is fair. Jadeja did earn his chance, and any day, everyday, he's miles better than the likes of Piyush Chawla who has become below average over the last couple of seasons.
His love for Mr attitude, Rohit Pampered Useless otherwise IPL Sharma is also rridiculous.
When Jadeja debuted above Rahane in that last test, it was certainly tough on Rahane, but circumstances demanded playing Jadeja rather than Rahane and to his credit, Jadeja didn't disgrace himself by no means. He was a refreshing presence on the field and bowled more than 70 overs, giving nothing away and picking 3 wickets.
If Rahane has to be included it has to be in place of one of the openers or Sachin. Jadeja at 6 or 7 gives Dhoni a propper extra bowling option, and his accuracy would give Dhoni the control that he most likes and doesn't usually get from Ravichandran Ashwin.
Rahane's time would surely come sooner rather than later. I wasn't a fan of him opening as I believe he's more suited for a middle order role, but considering the terrible form of Gautam Gambhir, and as Sachin is set to go on for at least a couple more tests, I'd prefer Rahane opening along with Sehwag rather than M Vijay, Abhinav Mukund or Gambhir himself for the Australia series.
This England ODI series could be crucial for Gambhir and Rahane. Cheteshwar Pujara is in the ODI side, and Gambhir is fast running out of time. If Rahane can produce the goods in this series consistently, then it will be dificult to keep him out any longer.

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Post by gboycottnut Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:18 pm

How about India just select the Delhi side that beat England?

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:11 pm

In a similar Dhoni has responded to the news that Pujara completed another triple century by stating he was unlikley to play in the ODIs
Why would you want to pick a player who averages 57 domestically?

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Post by msp83 Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:26 pm

Dhoni said he's unlikely to play tomorrow. Things could change soon if Gambhir continues to flounder.
As I mentioned earlier, 5 propper bowling options have become the norm of the day with the new regulations and hence Jadeja has to play. Kohli, Yuvraj, Dhoni and Raina have been performing well. Sehwag is rightly dropped and Rahane should get a run. That leaves Gambhir as the seriously vulnerable player. But howsoever dreadful his test form has been, Gautam did score a couple of ODI tons last year, and his last ton came 6 ODI innings away. But his overall form has been patchy, and further failure can't get him into serious trouble, particularly as Pujara is in the squad. Unlike Rohit Sharma, Pujara did open in List A matches in the past, and if Gambhir fails or Rahane failes to take his chance in the first few matches, Pujara could come in.
Like Rahane in test matches, Pujara's time will come in ODIs for sure.

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Post by ShankyCricket Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:03 pm

msp83 wrote:Siddharth Monga writes a lot of utter tripe at times, and this article also had a bit of that. But the larger point, that Ajinkya Rahane, one of India's finest young tallents not being given an opportunity at the test level not making sense is fair enough.
But I don't think the attack on Ravindra Jadeja is fair. Jadeja did earn his chance, and any day, everyday, he's miles better than the likes of Piyush Chawla who has become below average over the last couple of seasons.
His love for Mr attitude, Rohit Pampered Useless otherwise IPL Sharma is also rridiculous.
When Jadeja debuted above Rahane in that last test, it was certainly tough on Rahane, but circumstances demanded playing Jadeja rather than Rahane and to his credit, Jadeja didn't disgrace himself by no means. He was a refreshing presence on the field and bowled more than 70 overs, giving nothing away and picking 3 wickets.
If Rahane has to be included it has to be in place of one of the openers or Sachin. Jadeja at 6 or 7 gives Dhoni a propper extra bowling option, and his accuracy would give Dhoni the control that he most likes and doesn't usually get from Ravichandran Ashwin.
Rahane's time would surely come sooner rather than later. I wasn't a fan of him opening as I believe he's more suited for a middle order role, but considering the terrible form of Gautam Gambhir, and as Sachin is set to go on for at least a couple more tests, I'd prefer Rahane opening along with Sehwag rather than M Vijay, Abhinav Mukund or Gambhir himself for the Australia series.
This England ODI series could be crucial for Gambhir and Rahane. Cheteshwar Pujara is in the ODI side, and Gambhir is fast running out of time. If Rahane can produce the goods in this series consistently, then it will be dificult to keep him out any longer.
Your faith in Sehwag is unbelievable.

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Post by ShankyCricket Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:05 pm

msp83 wrote:Siddharth Monga writes a lot of utter tripe at times, and this article also had a bit of that. But the larger point, that Ajinkya Rahane, one of India's finest young tallents not being given an opportunity at the test level not making sense is fair enough.
But I don't think the attack on Ravindra Jadeja is fair. Jadeja did earn his chance, and any day, everyday, he's miles better than the likes of Piyush Chawla who has become below average over the last couple of seasons.
His love for Mr attitude, Rohit Pampered Useless otherwise IPL Sharma is also rridiculous.
When Jadeja debuted above Rahane in that last test, it was certainly tough on Rahane, but circumstances demanded playing Jadeja rather than Rahane and to his credit, Jadeja didn't disgrace himself by no means. He was a refreshing presence on the field and bowled more than 70 overs, giving nothing away and picking 3 wickets.
If Rahane has to be included it has to be in place of one of the openers or Sachin. Jadeja at 6 or 7 gives Dhoni a propper extra bowling option, and his accuracy would give Dhoni the control that he most likes and doesn't usually get from Ravichandran Ashwin.
Rahane's time would surely come sooner rather than later. I wasn't a fan of him opening as I believe he's more suited for a middle order role, but considering the terrible form of Gautam Gambhir, and as Sachin is set to go on for at least a couple more tests, I'd prefer Rahane opening along with Sehwag rather than M Vijay, Abhinav Mukund or Gambhir himself for the Australia series.
This England ODI series could be crucial for Gambhir and Rahane. Cheteshwar Pujara is in the ODI side, and Gambhir is fast running out of time. If Rahane can produce the goods in this series consistently, then it will be dificult to keep him out any longer.
I don't see why India need 3 spinners.

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Post by msp83 Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:19 pm

Because there are no 3 quality pacers to play. Turning tracks, 3 spinners. Jadeja as a containing option, Ojha a mix of control and attack, and let Ashwin try and attack the batsman.
It didn't quite work to plan against England, but Australia aren't England, and don't have the likes of Swann and Panesar in their lineup, and the new look batting may not be doing all that great against spin. Two spinners and 2 seamers would have been enough had Ojha and Ashwin were of the same mold of Indian spinners from an earlier era.
On Sehwag, I'd prefer him over Gambhir at this stage due to the impact factor. Remember India won the Ahmedabad test against England and Sehwag had scored a hundred. Gambhir has been patchy for a long time and the team fairly gave him a run for long. A Sehwag 40 is more impactful than a Gambhir 40. Both of them struggle to get pass that these days. I don't think Mukund is up to the task as yet, Chand isn't quite ready, Jiwanjot is in his debut season, and Vijay has had his fair share of inconsistencies and although he started the domestic season well, has struggled since then.

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Post by ShankyCricket Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:33 pm

I think Jiwanjot's form is quite tempting. Hard to see how he can do worse than Sehwag at this stage.

On Jadeja, always feel 3 spinners is an overkill. Spinners like to bowl long spells and with 3 spinners, there is the tendency to chop and change too much and you don't allow the spinners to settle into a proper rhythm. If at all you play 5 bowlers, it should be 3 seamers and 2 spinners. No side should play 3 spinners for the reasons mentioned. Personally think 2+2 should be enough against Oz given how poor the young batsman are against spin.

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