Varun Aaron had shown good control over the ball in the recently-concluded ODI series against England while Umesh Yadav on the other hand, has gone for too many runs and bowled too many "boundary balls" © Getty Images
Varun Aaron had shown good control over the ball in the recently-concluded ODI series against England while Umesh Yadav on the other hand, has gone for too many runs and bowled too many “boundary balls” © Getty Images

 

By Dhananjay Devasper

 

The revenge is complete. England have been beaten in the ‘Backyard Bully Contest’, as far as the One-Day Internationals (ODIs) are concerned. And everyone’s started talking about the tour Down Under. They seem to have forgotten the West Indies series completely. It’s almost as if the West Indies are not considered to make a mild impact in India. With the announcement that Chris Gayle would not be a part of the squad, it was almost inevitable, that the interest factor in this entire series is almost non-existent and would depend on whether the West Indies cricketers can put up a fight.

 

True, the West Indies team is not what it was under in its glory days under Clive Lloyd and Viv Richards; at best, it’s capable of a few interesting moments in the game. However, one cannot discount the fact that India has also gone for a bit of youth and inexperience in their side (at least in the bowling department) which could even up the scales a little bit.

 

While the Indians need to win and win convincingly, all eyes will be on the young fast bowlers in the squad. Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav have generated considerable pace in the recently concluded ODIs. I believe Aaron deserves a place in the squad over Yadav (since Ishant seems to be almost certain to be the frontline pace bowler). Aaron’s control over the ball and his ability to reverse swing the red ball earlier might just be the tipping point in his selection. Umesh, on the other hand, has gone for too many runs and bowled too many “boundary balls”. But the Indian captain has made decisions in the past which defied logic, and Umesh Yadav’s selection might just be one of them. It’s almost unfathomable that three fast bowlers will be selected in Delhi.

 

The selection of the spinners is where things get interesting. The entire spin department is relatively inexperienced. Ravichandran Ashwin and Rahul Sharma are the potential debutants.  Pragyan Ojha has played 11 Tests. With Yuvraj Singh in the squad, the question arises whether it’s prudent to take two left-arm spinners or two right arm bowlers. Hence, Ashwin might just make his debut ahead of Rahul Sharma, since he bowls off-breaks, and Dhoni might prefer taking an extra batsman like Yuvraj, who’s also a very useful bowler.

 

This series will also serve as a good series for some of the senior players like Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag to get some cricket under their belt after injury, right before the Australia series.

 

While the series may not have generated interest in India, it needs to be looked at as a stepping stone towards breeding potentially good cricketers, who could make an impact Down Under.

 

My stab at who might get selected to play in the 1st Test: 1. Virender Sehwag, 2. Gautam Gambhir, 3. Rahul Dravid, 4. Sachin Tendulkar, 5. VVS Laxman, 6. Yuvraj Singh, 7. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, 8. Ravichandran Ashwin, 9. Ishant Sharma, 10. Pragyan Ojha, 11. Varun Aaron.

 

(Dhananjay Devasper is an “IT guy” by profession and a sports fanatic at heart. He has an unbridled passion for sports and Indian achievements in sport. Extremely opinionated, he attempts offering perspectives around sports which are simple to understand and easy to relate with)