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Old 23rd January 2018, 17:10   #9856
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That's a tad unfair to Kohli. The SL series was more to blame for the delayed departure.
True, Kohli has been in sublime form in all formats and whatever lack of practice, time away for his wedding, reception, etc haven't affected his batting so far in this series.

I think it is more of a systemic/chronic problem indian test teams have exhibited when playing outside India - good batting and bowling performances are mutually exclusive, either one of them fails, depriving the team of victory. In short we lack team performances and there are a few individual performances that stand out, unfortunately in losing causes mostly.
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Old 23rd January 2018, 22:19   #9857
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The match begins tomorrow and it is funny & sad to realise that out of 11 players - only Virat is 100% certain to play. Anyone else could be dropped, although I am reasonably sure that Vijay and Pujara will be a part of the team sheet. For everyone else, we'll have to wait till the toss
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Old 23rd January 2018, 23:05   #9858
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Why will you drop Pujara? He had brain fade in last test with suicidal run outs but he is a solid bat. Also he made a 153 last time we played at this ground.
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Dropping Pujara appears suicidal in the current scenario. Puraja may not score fast runs, but on SA pitches, we need somebody to grind the bowling, be cautious, eat the balls, survive sessions.
On Pujara: I have slowly come to realise that Pujara too scores on flat decks. Despite giving us an impression that he had a solid defensive game, he just doesn't flatter anymore. He averages around 30 in these conditions and around 60 in home conditions. Let's not even talk about his frequent brain fades. He gets run out in Tests far too often and it's not like he is scoring at a rate of ABD or Kohli! What's the hurry? That to me is a sign of not trusting your game.

That 153 was the same game where Kohli scored a 100 and a 90 odd, SA almost chased the World Record to win in 4th innings. Yes the wicket was dead by the 3rd innings.

And considering that we will be on the road for a better part of 2 years, we should build a team around solid players and not those who only have the reputation of being solid without actually proving it.
It is a tough thing for me to say as for as long as I can remember, I have been a great admirer of Pujara.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 24th January 2018 at 09:56. Reason: typo
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Old 23rd January 2018, 23:08   #9859
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All of us may hate Shastri, but at least he has admitted to lack of practice contributing to the series loss. And with the clout that the captain-coach seem to have - if they can implement this - - it will be very nice.

The next tour is England where we play the ODIs & T20s before the tests so that should help.
Wait, there's more to this.

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India skipper Virat Kohli insisted his team didn't come under prepared for the Test series against South Africa, contradicting coach Ravi Shastri's views that the side should have spent more time preparing.
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...w/62624223.cms
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Old 24th January 2018, 13:06   #9860
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India wins the toss and elects to bat. No spinner today as Rahane comes in for Rohit and Bhuvaneshwar comes in for Ashwin. Parthiv retained as the keeper.
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Old 24th January 2018, 13:22   #9861
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I am looking forward to see how we cope on a green top - if it indeed is all that it is touted to be.
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Old 24th January 2018, 13:24   #9862
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Winning games the toss and choosing to bat with 5 batters is a brave move. How does the pitch look? Green top?
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Old 24th January 2018, 13:26   #9863
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I am looking forward to see how we cope on a green top - if it indeed is all that it is touted to be.
If it is a green top and we elected to bat, it might be masochism on the part of Kohli


PS: Just watched the first two overs. There is movement as well as bounce, so it certainly seems like kohli inflicting pain for himself and his batsmen.

Last edited by vamsi.kona : 24th January 2018 at 13:38.
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Old 24th January 2018, 13:27   #9864
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Now what if Rahane fails too ? The pressure will be too much on him to perform. However, I firmly believe that Rohit Sharma is an overrated player. He simply lacks the technique and agility to play the rising and / or moving ball. His lazy elegance looks very stylish in India but the moment he steps outside, the same laziness costs him his wicket.

The current Indian team may be no. 1 Test team as the number suggests, but if we remove the home matches from the calculation (that too matches against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh etc), then the picture gets more realistic. I firmly believe that there were only two world champion teams in the entire history of cricket, the West Indies team of 70s and 80s and the Australian team of late 90s. They were truly the world conquerors. They won everywhere across the world. (West Indies beat India 3-0 in tests and 5-0 in ODIs, in India after India won the World cup in 1983. Now thats the real "champion-ness")

May be the time has come to make two different teams, one for matches in India and the other for overseas matches with different players having different attitude and technique in different conditions.
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Old 24th January 2018, 13:37   #9865
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Bhuvaneshwar in place of Ashwin is a surprise to me. either Shami or Ishant should have made place for Bhuvi. This is only the third time since 1990 that a India test team is without a specialist spinner. Ashwin could also contribute a bit with the bat. Will be interesting to see how this XI of 5 batsmen, 4 bowlers, one keeper and one bits and pieces player will perform

Last edited by hemanth.anand : 24th January 2018 at 13:56. Reason: stat corrected from first time to only the third time
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Old 24th January 2018, 13:47   #9866
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Going by the first few overs it is going to be tough for the opening batsmen. And the first wicket goes down as I am typing this. Rahul is the batsman out for 0. I think his days are going to be numbered.
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Old 24th January 2018, 13:50   #9867
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Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
Bhuvaneshwar in place of Ashwin is a surprise to me. either Shami or Ishant should have made place for Bhuvi. This is the first time since 1990 that a India test team is without a specialist spinner. Ashwin could also contribute a bit with the bat. Will be interesting to see how this XI of 5 batsmen, 4 bowlers, one keeper and one bits and pieces player will perform
I don't know if we, as fans, have to laugh or feel sad about the tactical decisions being taken. We select 4 pace bowlers as the pitch looks hard and has grass. Fine. But one would think a captain, having selected 4 pace bowlers would opt to bowl first after winning the toss. That seems a straight forward decision to me.
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Old 24th January 2018, 13:52   #9868
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Winning games the toss and choosing to bat with 5 batters is a brave move. How does the pitch look? Green top?
Yes, green top, 5 batsmen, an all seam attack with 5 bowlers and if at all we are able to set a 4th innings target we don't have a spinner!!
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Old 24th January 2018, 13:53   #9869
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i. This is the first time since 1990 that a India test team is without a specialist spinner.
Nopes. I remember 4 "fast" bowlers playing in a Perth test match. The match where Vinay Kumar debuted and was CLOBBERED.

Edit: http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/1...ralia-2011-12/
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Old 24th January 2018, 13:56   #9870
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Yes, green top, 5 batsmen, an all seam attack with 5 bowlers and if at all we are able to set a 4th innings target we don't have a spinner!!
Yes, another team selection that seems very odd. It isn't that getting 20 wickets was our problem, it was the batting. But what has been strengthened is the bowling with spin discarded. The management also seems to be taking Pandya's batting more seriously than he does.
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