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Selectors' meet: Bhajji faces axe, but will Sachin be dropped too?

  • Dailybhaskar.com
  • Nov 27, 2012, 09:49 AM IST
Selectors' meet: Bhajji faces axe, but will Sachin be dropped too?
Mumbai: The Indian squad for the third and fourth cricket Tests against England to be played in Kolkata and Nagpur will be picked on Tuesday.  But as the team selectors meet today, they will have few issues to address which have been the causes of Team India's debacle in the Mumbai test. 
Sachin Tendulkar: The Mumbai Indians' batsman has been a major cause of concern for the Indian side. The Wankhede Test saw the collapse of star-studded Indian batting line-up against the English attack. Amid growing critcism, Sachin has failed to dispatch a reply to them. Sunil Gavaskar is among those, who have raised questions over Tendulkar's tendency to get bowled in the home series against New Zealand. On Sunday Gavaskar told a news channel that it was time Sachin discuss his plans with selectors. 

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    Selectors' meet: Bhajji faces axe, but will Sachin be dropped too?
    MS Dhoni's captaincy: Mumbai's debacle has once again unleashed the debate of different captains for different forms. We saw Dhoni's decision of spinning track in the Mumbai test backfired as Monty Panesar and Swann bundled up the Indian side on Wankhede pitch. Whereas, our spinners failed to perform on the same track. 
    Questions are also being raised over Dhoni's decision to bring Harbhajan Singh into attack too late in the first innings.   
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    Selectors' meet: Bhajji faces axe, but will Sachin be dropped too?
    Harbhajan Singh: No other pitch than that of Wankhede stadium could have been a better comeback ground for the spinner, who spent almost one year outside the team. But Bhajji miserable failed to in-cash this opportunity. 
    In the post-match press conference, skipper MS Dhoni also expressed that he was disappointed by his spinners in the Mumbai Test. So it's high time that selectors get rid of carrying extra baggage and give chance to the new faces in the queue. Ojha, Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh allowed rival captain Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen to rattle up a double century stand to help England cross 400 on a helpful track in the second Test.
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    Selectors' meet: Bhajji faces axe, but will Sachin be dropped too?
    Yuvraj Singh and Middle order: Mumbai debacle also exposed the fragile middle. Selectors will also have challenge to bring variety in the middle order. With talents like Manish Tiwary and A Rahane in the waiting line to get a chance, Yuvraj Singh has a tough task to prove himself. Having failed to deliver in the last two matches, Yuvraj needs to prove his selection in the next two Tests. 
    So, selectors should keep these factors in mind before picking the squad for next two games.  
    However, if captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who will be part of the selection panel discussions without a vote along with coach Duncan Fletcher, has his way, not many changes are expected in the composition of the squad for the next two games.
    "Not much. We have replacements but you don't chop and change or rotate the players just on the basis of one or two Test matches. You have to give them a fair run. That's what it's all about," Dhoni said after India suffered a humiliating 10-wicket loss in the second Test here.
    "Otherwise we will keep changing players in every game. So it's good to give the players a fair amount of games so that they are also comfortable and are not thinking about the selection," said Dhoni.
    Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha and R Ashwin's ineffectiveness could be a cause of concern for the selectors.  
    This may provide some thinking on the part of selectors to have a look at the option of a leg-spinner being drafted into the squad to provide the spin department more variety and the front runners if this view gets support are Amit Mishra and Piyush Chawla.
    The star-studded Indian batting also failed to click, barring Cheteshwar Pujara's classy 135 in the first innings total of 327 and Gautam Gambhir's return to some form in the disastrous second innings with an innings of 65 out of 142.
    But, with Dhoni exuding confidence that his batsmen will come to the party for the remaining games, there may not be many changes in this department too.
    The third Test begins from December 5 while the fourth Test will be played between December 13 and 17. (With inputs from PTI)

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