Monday, December 17, 2007

CAN THEY DELIVER?

Coming after the wins at home against Pakistan, hopes are high as the Indian team travels down under. The last series between the India and Australia resulted in victory for Ponting and company. Of course, the last visit by the Indians resulted in a series where the honours were shared.

The batting of the Indian team looks stronger. Sachin can be expected to add considerably to his tally. Laxman is always a good bet against his favourite opposition. Ganguly’s show against Pakistan is going to cheer up his fans. Yuvraj is in great form. Sehwag is back in the team. Jaffer appears sound at the top of the order. But the biggest worry comes in the shape of Dravid. The Karnataka batsman did not appear his usual self in the recent series. The run-ins with the selection panel chief seem to have had the impact on the batsman.

Apart from Zaheer Khan and Kumble, the bowling department does not inspire any confidence. The selectors have done the right thing in letting Agarkar sit at home but have erred in picking Harbhajan Singh. Pathan has lost the pace and his swing is only a thing of the past. Ishant Sharma is a dubious choice and even more surprising is the case of the inclusion of Pankaj Singh.

The choice of two specialist wicket keepers in the touring party is a bit of a gamble. If that were a necessity, then is it right to pick Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik?

It remains to be seen if some of the greats of Indian cricket deliver where it matters most.

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