Its always good to first loose and then win.. so that you return home with happier memories. This is what happened in the last tour of Pakistan for our Indian cricket team as they lost the test series by loosing the 3rd test and then, won the ODI series.
Now England cricket team is here in India, but the case is opposite for them.. they first won the Ashes series and then lost on Pakistan's tour. So it will be easy to say that confidence level of our team will be better than the English player... at least they will be in better frame of mind.. and playing on home soil, they must be eager to perform even better..
Today Indian team for the first test against England, starting on 1st of March at Nagpur was announced, and there were a quite a few surprises.. come, lets dig deep in Indian squad for the Nagpur test..
1) Rahul Dravid (Captain),
2) Virandra Sehwag (vice-captain),
3) Sachin Tendulkar,
4) VVS Laxman,
5) Mohammad Kaif,
6) Wasim Jaffer,
7) Suresh Raina.
"Recent performance and the future of Indian cricket were the deciding factors for the selection of this Indian squad ". this was said by chief selector - Kiran More when asked about why Sourav Ganguly was not selected. he added that they are looking for players who can feature Team India in both test and one day internationals and that's why Ganguly couldn't find a place.
These days, anyone who follows cricket, specially Indian cricket, can debate for long hours on why Saurav was not selected, but I feel we better concentrate on those who are selected, leave alone the dropped ones..
Suresh Raina - a left handed batsman has been given a chance in test cricket for the first time.. but its his fielding that makes him someone to watch out for. He is an elegant batsmen, reminding of former England great - David Gower and played a good innings of 39 in the 4th ODI at Multan to secure win for India.. Here is more about him.
Another new face is Wasim Jaffer. Although he has played some matches for Indian before, he makes a come back in place of Gautam Gambhir. Wasim Jaffer is a good player of fast bowling, so one can say that this England series will be a good chance for him. He is a strong player on the back foot.. so if a English cricket fan is reading this, try to pass on the message to your team. Wasim Jaffer - the opener rarely gets out on the back foot, so bowling shot pitched balls to him won't be a good idea for England team. He also plays one of the best cover-drives.. very copy book!!
8) Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Wicket keeper),
9) Irfan Pathan,
Both of these player are in ICC's allrounder's list and I will be wasting our time to tell you more about them. Try this for more info about them but let me remind you the biggest danger for England team - Irfan Pathan has the inswingers that come in to the right handed batsmen. England have quite a few right handed batsmen in their top order and they will be facing Irfan for the first time.. they better watch out. Irfan picked up a hat-trick in the last test he played.. all through those inswingers!!!
Fast Bowlers :-
10) Rudra Pratap Singh,
11) S Sreesanth,
12) VRV Singh,
England must have seen the abilities of VRV Singh in their second warm up match against Board President's XI as VRV bowled 9 expensive overs at the start of the day. Although England made 63 runs off his spell, he was selected because of his raw pace. India has been looking for a genuine fast bowler for quite some time now, and we have lots of expectations of Vikram Rajvir Singh. Here is more about him..
The other two fast bowlers - Sreesanth and RP Singh and new comers to international cricket, but they already have made a mark in Pakistan. RP Singh was adjudged man of the match in very first test match of his life and played a significant role in India's ODI series victory against the arch rivals. This left arm seamer has the ability to surprise batsmen with some unplayable deliveries while Sreesanth has a very good out swingers. Seems like India have build a good pace battery!!
13) Anil Kumble,
14) Harbhajan Singh,
15) Piyush Chawla.
If England can find a way to play Kumble and Harbhajan on this tour of India, they will be half way home. Playing them on Indian pitches is something very few batsmen have managed and task will be no easy for England batsmen this time around. I suggest them to ATTACK. This his how Australian's played them when they won the series here in India, and if someone tries to play on the merit of the balls that Harbhajan and Kumble bowl, they will be inviting problems!!
Piyush Chawla is a 17 year old boy from Uttar Pradesh, the third one in this Indian test Squad for the first test. He played in the under 19 World Cup in Srilanka recently and was very impressive. Here in India, Chawla is considered to be a good replacement for Anil Kumble. Piyush is a good all round leg spinner, with a "tough to pick" googly . He also has a good good control over his line and length and can bat as well. He nearly took Indian under 19 team to victory in the under - 19 world cup final against Pakistan, when they lost six wickets for just 9 runs. Piyush Chawla surely is a bright prospect for the future of Indian cricket..
The England Squad.
The schedule of India vs England - 2006 series.