India vs Australia: Some thoughts
The India vs Australia tour is something that will really be of importance for the Indian players. After suffering a 2-1 drubbing in the hands of the Englishmen in their test series, this will be a chance to redeem some of their lost glory. However, looking at the past will have no relief for the hosts. Last time the Indians met the Ozzies they were whitewashed 5-0. Of course, this time things will be much more different. No Ricky Ponting, Mo Micheal Hussey, No Rahul Dravid, No VVS Laxman, and no Gautam Gambhir. So India will have to rely heavily on Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar to keep the wheels moving. For the Ozzies, Micheal Clarke and David Warner will be the main guys to look out for. Clarke, however, is suffering from a hamstring, and it is possible that he may not play. In that case, Australia will rely a lot on Eddie Cowan and Usman Khawaja to keep the batting steady. In the field of bowling, India might miss Ishant Sharma, who is going to Melbourne to get his ankle looked out. Australia might have a troublesome task matching up to Praghyan Ojha, but considering that they have the left-handed Warner upfront, that night not be such a threat. The Ozzies might be tempted to go with four seamers in Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus. Starc and Johnson in particular should be able to produce some good swing, which when used properly might trouble India. If Johnson can bat at number 7, then going with Nathan Lyon as a spinner should be a good option. The Indian side, on the other hand, is recruiting several youngsters. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shakhar Dhawan, and Murali Vijy are three such youngsters. If they can play the seam bowlers out well, then I think that India shouldn’t have such a big problem, as Lyon is no Greame Swann. Bhuvi has shown incredible talent, and hopefully uses this opportunity to become one of India’s full-time seamers. Dhawan has also been brilliant, and hopefully can show some shine with the bat. Also, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli will be pivotal in India’s batting.
IND: Shikhar Dhawan, Virender Sehwag, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashok Dinda, Pragyan Ojha
AUS: David Warner, Ed Cowan, Usman Khawaja, Micheal Clarke (c), Matthew Wade (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Ben Hilfenhaus