Gearing up for Boxing Day – I

Posted on December 18, 2011

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India and Australia have more than rankings to play for when the series starts on December 26. The teams have been dwelling in deep introspection after their recent unsatisfactory and unforgettable campaigns.

The skippers, Michael Clarke and M.S.Dhoni will have their first outings as captains in Boxing Day tests. While Clarke has a handful of problems to address in his fourth series since he took over the mantle, the experienced Dhoni will look heal the raw wounds that were inflicted by England earlier in the summer.

Not much time for Punter and Hussey

The role of senior players – Ricky Ponting, Micheal Hussey and Brad Haddin – have come under the scanner with their near negligent contributions against South Africa and New Zealand, both of which were two-test affairs.

 Harsha Bhogle put forth Clarke’s case akin to Allan Border’s, but the Sydneysider has the leverage of time and freedom to experiment. The team has the option to bank on the experience of Ponting (both as a batsman and captain) and resilience of Hussey, while young guns are given a chance to prove their mettle.

This will materialise if only Ponting and Hussey build their run bank during the course of the four-test Border-Gavaskar series.

The establishment of Shane Watson and Shaun Marsh and rise of David Warner have not just strengthened the batting backbone, but have added the pressure to perform on the two, whose call for ouster will snowball if they fail any further.

Running to rise - David Warner

Phil Hughes, who benefited from the Argus Review, has squandered his golden comeback chance. Phil Jacques, the former Australian opener who was given the blatant cold shoulder would know more on how to savour such chances.

To salvage some pride for the senior bench, opener Simon Katich, if recalled, will have the last laugh in the fiasco which erupted after the left-hander was denied a central contract.

James Pattinson will most likely join Peter Siddle to form the pace battery complemented by the off-spin of Nathan Lyon. The unfortunate injury to Pat Cummins and Mitchell Johnson would relieve John Inverarity the tough task to choose. Shane Watson’s all-round prowess would bolster the attack with his experience coming handy.

Meanwhile in the Indian Camp……..

 To be continued

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Posted in: Cricket, Sports