The New-Look India Test Team

The Old Batsman wonders what the Australian team will look like if they planned a bit more for the future (or if they want to beat England this summer).  I wonder the same thing for the Indian national team, whose Test side has remained largely stable while the ODI team has changed immensely in the last few years.

So what would they look like sans Tendulkar, Laxman, and Dravid? Gambhir and Sehwag stay as openers, but a team with both Raina and Yuvraj makes me shudder (besides, I think Yuvraj at this point may need to look at the writing on the wall and focus on ODIs and T20s, where he is most needed). Let’s pick Raina ahead (for now), and bring in M. Vijay (who really impresses me, though I’d like to see him play outside India more), and S. Badrinath (whose relative experience at the first-class level might be a virtue).  That leaves one more spot — but for who? Rohit Sharma (too inconsistent)?  Virat Kohli (too much of a one-day player)? Manoj Tiwary? I see there’s a Twitter campaign to bring in C. Pujara.

So: Gambhir, Sehwag,  Badrinath, Vijay, Raina, Dhoni — how do we feel about that line-up? Are there other top-runners you think should be included?


10 thoughts on “The New-Look India Test Team

  1. greyblazer says:

    He didn’t score runs in the IPL T/20 competition as he isn’t suited for it yet Pujara’s technique looked better than other youngsters. I would definitely go for him and not Badri as against SA on some good batting tracks the Saffers were able to open him up quite easily. I am not sure about Vijay on tracks that help the quicker bowlers either.

    Pujara also had a good tour of England with the India A team.

  2. Rahul says:

    Gambhir, Sehwag, Dhoni, Badri, Raina, Vijay choose themselves by default.
    Kohli and Pandey are strong candidates but they will take a couple of more years to get considered for a long tenure.
    Presently, Pujara looks a strong candidate along with Sharma to threaten the places of Badri or Vijay or Raina or whomsoever runs out of form.

  3. praful says:

    the delhi dostana at 1-2, followed by Vijay at 3, Kohli at 4,dhoni 5, raina at 6
    zak,ishant, sree(inspite of him being a nut),mishra/chawla , irfan(yep, i’m living in fool’s paradise, even now)

    Even i believe that pujara should make it to the team. if the selectors do make a sensible choice, see him batting 4 or 5.

  4. Aditya says:

    Sehwag has already said he would prefer to come down the order, so that maybe satisfied sooner or later and give Vijay a chance to open with Gambhir. Pujara is a perfect replacement for Dravid and Badri for Laxman and Raina pips in for no 6 because he is left handed and adds variety and gives an attacking option down the order..his spot should be up for grabs and I see a 4 way fight for no 6 spot ( Raina,Yuvi,Kohi and Rohit Sharma)

    So the order should be :
    Gambhir,Vijay,Pujara,Sehwag,Badri,Raina,Dhoni or IF Irfan Pathan(his batting is getting better by the day) regains his bowling mojo he can replace Raina!

  5. Mahek says:

    Vijay can’t get get a hundred in subcontinent conditions man. Look how many times he’s wasted a start on flat tracks. The guy has virtually no backfoot game. Besides, why should he make the side in the middle order? Manish Pandey has just one good FC season behind him and people have gone crazy about him. He couldn’t score a run for his life on the A team’s tour of England.

    I doubt Badrinath will get a chance. He’s 30 already and the selectors have tended to overlook him whenever possible. Raina was good at the SSC and he’s been good in the shorter formats but the jury is still out on his batting when he’s not batting on a road. Ditto for Kohli and Nohit Sharma. Pujara has a brilliant first class record but he plays his home matches on a road in Rajkot, but to his credit he’s batted well elsewhere too. Probably the best bet but even I wouldn’t bet my house of any of these batsmen doing well.

    That said, we do have to replace the seniors when they retire so my top 6 would be Sehwag, Gambhir, Pujara, Kohli, Raina, Badrinath.

    • duckingbeamers says:

      That’s a rather depressing diagnosis of the future, Mahek: Pandey can’t score; Vijay doesn’t have backfoot; Kohli and Sharma are bad on challenging tracks; Badrinath is old (but 30 is just the starting point for Australian cricketers)…

      Sigh. This could be bad, huh?

      • Mahek says:

        You can’t really blame these guys for it, they just don’t get a chance to bat in challenging conditions. Most of our international cricket is in the subcontinent, the domestic setup hinges around winning points on first innings lead, while the IPL has flat pitches, short boundaries, fast outfields, and half the bowlers are there because teams have to have 7 Indian players.

        I think the selectors need to bring in two guys and drop Dravid & Yuvraj. Laxman and Tendulkar can anchor the middle order from positions 3 and 4 respectively while the two new batsmen get experience of international cricket and different conditions from the comfort of batting behind these two with Dhoni to follow. We’re seeing just how out of depth batsmen can be in England – Azhar Ali and Umar Amin are struggling and it’s just because they just haven’t played in these conditions.

  6. Kartikeya says:

    I would pick yuvraj singh ahead of Badrinath for sure. and Pujara ahead of Vijay.

  7. Mahek says:

    I’m curious as to how people have so much faith in Vijay, Badri and Pujara. Perfect replacements for Dravid and Laxman? Those are some big ass shoes to fill and considering how our batsmen look out of sorts on tracks that aren’t roads I don’t see how anyone can be so sure about the class of the next line of batsmen.

  8. I wrote about the imminent need for middle order replacements couple of months ago

    From what I have read/seen/heard about, Pujara seems to have “it” and If Rohit Sharma were to get his head screwed back on straight, he along with Vijay would get in, with Kohli and Raina knocking on the doors. Pandey has a while to go.

    That leaves: GG, VS, CP, MV, RS, SR/VK, MSD, 4 Bowlers


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