Umesh Yadav has been successful against Australia A with his all-round performance © Getty Images
Please note this is a humour article — work of pure fiction
With the Indian tail wagging and wagging hard against England in the first Test at Trent Bridge, the team management has decided to push Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami up the order in a bid to protect the struggling batsmen. David Sidrat analyses this strategy.
Any batsman, who scores 58 and 63 not out in the same Test in England, shows that he can be a very real prospect with bat in hand. Especially when one considers that he batted at No 9, and comprehensively outscored a batsman like Virat Kohli. Bhuvneshwar Kumar did just that. He, along with fellow tailender Mohammed Shami, put the Englishmen to the sword en route to a century stand for the final wicket. Shami got a half-century as well, while Stuart Binny scored a fluent 78 in the second innings. Far away in another continent, Umesh Yadav scored a whirlwind 66-ball 90 against Australia A to put India A into the driver’s seat.
A very high-up source in the Indian team management is quoted to have said off the record, “Our bowlers batted better than they bowled, so we thought we might as well stock our side with bowlers who can bat for the Lord’s Test.” This is very interesting indeed. Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli both failed to score big, and Ajinkya Rahane was unable to touch 40 either. With the tail-enders performing so well, it is quite likely that the bowlers will replace them in the batting order. Ravichandran Ashiwn — who could well have got a double century the way things were panning out at Nottingham — is likely to play as a specialist batsman who can bowl part-time as well.“Yes, Ashwin is very much a part of our plans at the moment. He has scored more hundreds and fifties than Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan, and he averages more than Dhoni. We might even open with him and [Murali] Vijay in this Test,” said the same unnamed source.
With the likes of Bhuvneshwar, Shami, Umesh and Ashwin all batting up the order, the pressure would be off the lower order batsmen like Rahane and Kohli, who will be able to bat themselves into form after the top order of tail-enders gets India off to a good start.
One of the Indian batsman, on condition of anonymity, revealed that the line-up was relieved to have a big hitter in Umesh at the top of the order. “With Virupa [Virender Sehwag] gone, India lacks someone who can get them off to quick starts. Umesh showed against Australia A that he can fill that void. With Bhuvi and Shami backing him up, the rest of us can bat aaram se down the order.”
The likely Indian line-up for the Test at Lord’s will be: Murali Vijay, Umesh Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Stuart Binny, Mohammed Shami, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (c&wk), Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan.
Complete coverage of India’s tour of England 2014
(David Sidrat is the pen name of a would-be comedian who tries his best to be taken seriously and inadvertently fails in the process. He doesn’t quite see the irony of his life yet. He can’t figure out Twitter, and does not know what a Face Book is. He can therefore be found on neither platform)