My Test XI


1. Gautam Gambhir
2. Virender Sehwag
3. *Rahul Dravid
4. Sachin Tendulkar
5. VVS Laxman
6. +Mahendra Singh Dhoni
7. Irfan Pathan
8. Ajit Agarkar
9. Anil Kumble
10. Harbhajan Singh
11. RP Singh
Batting back-up (and 12th man): Mohammad Kaif
Bowling back-up: Ashish Nehra
Keeping back-up: Dinesh Karthik

I expect having just five specialist batsmen to be the most contentious issue among the readers.  But Dhoni and Pathan are working out to be good all-rounders, and there might be some wag in a tail of Agarkar (another potential all-rounder), Kumble and Bhajji.  Plus, the bowling attack looks to be genuinely good and I think we can use the extra ammunition.  Some might complain of promoting RP Singh too soon (based on just a few ODIs), but the kid has a lot of promise.  Remember, that’s how Pathan was brought to the team two summers ago.  And in the 12th man, we have an able fielder (after all, more often than not, that’s the only area where the 12th man can make a difference).

You have a better suggestion?


6 Responses to “My Test XI”

  1. Amar Says:

    I agree with most of your selections. But, as you pointed out, I have some doubts of playing 5 specialist bowlers. Not because I don’t have confidence in Dhoni and Pathan. Usually, in test matches, the fifth bowler does not get to bowl too many bowlers anyway. This is especially true on the pitches in the subcontinent, where the majority of the overs are going to be bowled by Kumble and Harbhajan. Therefore, in my opinion, it wouldn’t do any good to carry on a 5th bowler as opposed to an extra batsman.
    Being specific, I don’t fancy Agarkar as a test match bowler (although he has been improving), especially on Indian pitches. I would much rather have Sourav Ganguly in place of Agarkar. I just think that he needs a couple more chances to prove his point to the selectors. I agree that he hasn’t done much in the past year and a half as a batsman. But, now that the captainship burden is not on him, maybe he will be able to perform better. Looking back on his career, his average was almost 5 runs higher as a non-captain (45.54 vs. 41.18 to be exact).
    I know we have always had our difference in opinion about Ganguly; but I just think he deserves one last shot. It’s a win-win situation for the team and the selectors. If he performs, it’s only good for the team. And if he doesn’t, well, at least it will put an end to this whole Ganguly saga. The selectors and the team will be able to finally move on, having given him a couple of chances to prove his talent.

  2. Amar Says:

    Times of India piece (on Sourav Ganguly):

    It’s a one-off trial. If he scores big here, or takes wickets, he gets another shot. If he keeps succeeding, and the Jagmohan Dalmiya faction also pulls it off at the BCCI AGM next week, he’s in for the long haul
    If he doesn’t score, there’s no point in his bowling his heart out, he might as well pack up. That’s the end, finis, for him”

    That is exactly what I had in mind. It doesn’t hurt much.

  3. Amar Says:

    Sorry, it was not the Times of India. It was the Indian Express.

  4. Kartik Says:

    I agree with Amar that we do not need 5 specialist bowlers on indian pitches. I would go for Mohammad kaif to strengthen the batting, considering that even sehwag and sachin can be called upon to ball as well along with other 4 genuine bowlers.

    RP Singh is a pretty good bowler however I would like to see the return of Zaheer in the test matches considering he has been doing pretty good in the domestic matches.

    Thus there would be two changes in my team as compared to your’s with Kaif and Zaheer coming in place of Agarkar and RP Singh. Regarding Ganguly its all over for me even though he hasn’t done that bad in test matches. There are other players including Yuvraj singh and Kaif that can play at no.5 or 6 and need to be given a consistent run over time to prove their worth.

  5. Pratik Says:

    I am afraid it’s not as simple as that. What if he scores a brilliant century (like he did two years ago) and then is mediocre for the rest of the time? Is he going to keep a youngster out of the test team for another two years then?

  6. Pratik Says:

    Ganguly hasn’t done that badly in test matches? What’re you talking about. He’s been a dead weight in the middle order.

    Yes, considering the Chennai track, we might want to go for another batsman rather than a novice bowler. And it’s quite likely that that’s what they’ll do. Kaif would be my choice as well in that case, but there’s an outside chance that it might be Ganguly. I hope that doesn’t happen.

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