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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
If the signs from India s net
sessions are anything to go by,
Ravichandran Ashwin seems
set to play his first Test of 2014.
It is not clear if he will take the
place of Rohit Sharma or
Ravindra Jadeja if he does so.
During their loss in
Southampton, India rarely used
Jadeja as a wicket-taking bowler,
but equally Rohit disappointed
with his shot-selection in the
first innings, stepping out and
hitting Moeen Ali straight to
mid-off five minutes before tea.
Rohit seems to be the likelier
one to go out, with India return-
ing to their five-batsmen for-
mula of the first two Tests.
India s other worry that was
accentuated in Southampton
was their slip-catching. Jadeja
dropped Alastair Cook on 15 in
the first innings, and watched
him return to form. Shikhar
Dhawan dropped one catch in
the second innings, a catch that
Mahendra Singh Dhoni should
have gone for. Dhoni later said
that slip-catching was an issue,
but added that Dhawan, Ajinkya
Rahane and Jadeja were the best
three he had as a cordon.
However, there were enough
signs in the nets two days ahead
of the Old Trafford Test to sug-
gest that that cordon will need
a rejig. Dhawan is now an
unlikely starter after six failures
with the bat, and when India
did their slips practice, Murali
Vijay had moved in at first slip.
Dhawan did not bat as much as
he has been doing, and Gautam
Gambhir can be hopeful of a
Test return after having last
played in late 2012. It is not a
given, though. Gambhir got a
hit just after Vijay but struggled
a bit, and spent most of the
remaining session sat on a cooler
box. There is a line of thought
that Cheteshwar Pujara could
be asked to open with the other
batsmen moving up one spot.
In that scenario, Rohit could be
retained, with Ashwin replacing
Dhawan in the XI.
There might be confusion
around the openers and No 6
but there was also good news
for India. Bhuvneshwar Kumar,
whose swollen ankle had been
a cause for concern, bowled for
about 50 minutes in the nets
without any visible discomfort.
If he can manage similar fitness
today, he should be certain to
share the new ball with
Mohammed Shami tomorrow.
Pankaj Singh, who was unlucky
in going wicketless on Test debut
in Southampton, is not likely to
witness a turnaround in his luck.
Jharkhand quick Varun Aaron
looks likely to replace Pankaj,
with the latter doing hardly any
bowling at the nets.
There has been another inter-
esting trend in the India nets
since they have arrived in Man-
chester. Their batsmen, mainly
Pujara and Virat Kohli, have been
going through stints in nets
where they sweep, sweep and
then sweep some more. That
India lost six second-innings
wickets to Moeen in Southamp-
ton is a big source of frustration
for them. Dhoni said he does
not want his batsmen to let
Moeen settle into a rhythm.
India were aggressive against
the offspinner, but lost Rohit in
the process in the first innings.
India batsmen are not natural
sweepers of the ball. They like
to use their feet to get to the
pitch of the ball. Before this Test,
though, the sweep, with the
batsmen consciously getting
outside the line of off and with
the bat coming down from quite
high, seems to be an addition
the coaches want them to make.
Mumbai seamer Dhawal Kulkarni, who was
picked in the ODI squad for the home series
against West Indies last year but was then ruled
out with injury, has been included.
Suresh Raina, who was dropped from the ODI
squad for the Asia Cup but led a second-string
team to Bangladesh in June, also makes the 17. Fast
bowlers Mohit Sharma and Umesh Yadav have also
been retained from the squad which played in
Bangladesh, while legspinner Amit Mishra misses
out due to injury.
"Only Amit Mishra had been ruled out of selec-
tion since he is undergoing treatment and rehab
following a back injury," BCCI secretary Sanjay
Patel said, after the squad was announced. "Con-
sidering the World Cup, the management as well
as the selectors have put more emphasis on selecting
some of the youngsters like Sanju Samson, Mohit
Sharma, Stuart Binny and Karn Sharma."
Samson, 19, was part of the India Under-19 team
at the World Cup earlier this year, and had also
impressed with his clean hitting and solid tem-
perament for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2014. He fin-
ished as India A s highest run-scorer in the recent-
ly-concluded quadrangular one-day series in
Australia, with 244 runs from seven innings at an
average of 81.33.
He kicked off the quadrangular with 81 against
Australia A, after coming in with his team at 70
for 4---and then 84 for 6---in a chase of 253. He
brought down the equation to 29 needed off 23
before he was the last man out. While he couldn t
get the team home in that game, later on in the
tournament he took them all the way in successive
chases with unbeaten scores of 55 and 49.
Kulkarni was the leading wicket-taker in the
quadrangular, with 14 scalps in six matches at 18.78,
including a five-wicket haul and an impressive
economy rate of 4.61. Karn was also part of the
India A squad for the series. While he got only
three games there, he managed to give a glimpse
of his batting skills against South Africa A, hitting
39 off 16 to take India A across the line in a nail-
biting chase. He was quite effective with the ball
for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2014, with 15 wickets
With Mishra---India s first-choice legspinner of
late---being ruled out, Karn will provide Mahendra
Singh Dhoni with the leg-spin option. The selectors
have included him as the third spinner in the squad
anticipating that an additional spinner may be
required during the series as it will be played towards
the end of English summer when the pitches start
assisting the slow bowlers.
Stuart Binny, who took a record-breaking 6 for
4---the best bowling figures by an Indian in ODIs---
in the Bangladesh series, stays on as the pace-
bowling-allrounder, but Test-specialist Cheteshwar
Pujara, who also featured in that series, misses out.
The first of the five ODIs will be played in Bristol
on August 25, with matches in Cardiff, Nottingham,
Birmingham and Leeds following. The T20 will be
played in Birmingham on September 7, rounding
off India s tour of England. (EPSNcricinfo)
NEW DELHI---Indian cricket authorities
expressed their disappointment yesterday
to the International Cricket Council after
England fast bowler James Anderson was
cleared of an alleged breach of the sport s
code of conduct last month.
"We were not happy with the verdict
and have expressed our displeasure in writ-
ing," BCCI secretary-general Sanjay Patel
told The Associated Press on telephone.
India was expecting Anderson to be
banned for up to four matches after he
allegedly abused and pushed Indian player
Ravindra Jadeja during the first test match
But ICC judicial commissioner Gordon
Lewis found both Anderson and Jadeja "not
guilty" following a hearing by video con-
ference which involved the players, wit-
nesses from both teams, the team managers,
legal counsel and ICC heads.
English media reported Lewis made his
ruling because the witnesses gave sharply
differing accounts of the clash between the
two in a corridor as the players left the
field and there were no independent wit-
nesses. Indian cricket authorities were
reported to be angry that CCTV cameras
in the corridor were not working at the
Only ICC chief executive David Richard-
son can appeal against the verdict and
though the BCCI may not have made a
direct approach, it will be hoping to per-
suade Richardson to overturn the verdict
and punish Anderson, England s top bowler.
"The ICC has got the right to appeal so
let s see what it does," Patel said about what
he expected in response to the BCCI s let-
The ICC is headed by India s Narain-
swamy Srinivasan, who is also the elected
president of the BCCI but who had to step
aside on a Supreme Court order pending
a judicial investigation.
Anderson and Jadeja exchanged angry
words as they left the field at lunch on day
two of the test at Nottingham, and it was
alleged that Anderson pushed Jadeja inside
the pavilion complex.
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni
backed Jadeja and is reported to have esca-
lated the matter.
Anderson is reported in England to have
used obscene language aimed at Jadeja and
Dhoni during play.
The ICC said in a statement yesterday
it would not make any comment till the
time a decision is taken on whether Richard-
son will lodge an appeal. (AP)
BCCI unhappy over Anderson's 'not guilty' verdict
Predictions for India team in third Test vs England:
Ashwin in, Dhawan
out for Manchester
Ravichandran Ashwin might get his first Test of 2014. PHOTO: ESPNCRICINFO
get India call-up
MS Dhoni (capt & wk), Virat Kohli, Shikhar
Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh
Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Stuart Binny,
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Mohit
Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Umesh Yadav, Dhawal
Kulkarni, Sanju Samson (wk), Karn Sharma
Uncapped Kerala wicketkeeper-batsman
Sanju Samson and Railways leg-spin-bowling
allrounder Karn Sharma have been named in
India's 17-man squad for the five ODIs and
one-off Twenty20 against England.
INDIA ODI SQUAD
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