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Who should open with Jatman?

by Gaurav Sethi

This was the last thing on my mind, and then I saw this dubious poll. It’s a no-brainer, but once you put the question, there’s an element of greed that creeps in. If Dravid opens, then we can play the extra bowler – read that as we can play Ishant, further read that as we can play Ishant back into form. And even further read that between invisible lines as you will.

Personally I’d like to see Amit Mishra in, but the way it is, even Mishra must not see himself playing. Instead he must hone his skills at carrying drinks, watch Cocktail, Tequila sunrise.

Now seeing that it’s Sri Lanka we’re playing, even MSD can take some much needed rest. Dravid can keep wickets. In that case, India can play another middle order batsman, why not Badrinath?

It’s not as if he has a test career to look forward to, give him a home game, once Gambhir is back, he’ll go back to where he came from.

Logic says Murali Vijay, opener for an opener; but what good is that – Jatman and Gambhir aren’t going anywhere till test cricket is dead and buried. And they pretty much got all forms of the game blocked, so give Badri a go, will you?

If nothing else, it will show the selectors in good light; which will compensate for all the bad light they’ll be subjected to for the rest of their terms.

This could backfire if Badri scores many, many runs, unlikely as it is. This is not first class cricket. He is not supposed to score 20 centuries in one game. His average cannot shoot to 56.54 overnight. And he is nearly over the hill, almost 30 next August. What use is a test debut now?

So as always the selectors will make the boring choice. Murali Vijay pad up please. But why do I get the feeling that Jatman and Vijay will not be a hot pair – if we go with Vijay, let’s just open with Dravid. And let Jatman attend Gambhir’s sister’s wedding – after all, your brother’s sister’s wedding is your sister’s wedding?

That way, Badri can play too, and we’ll all be happy, including the Lankans.

PS: This friend calls Badri Badz. Think it works?


Leela said...

I posted something about Badri too...

Rohit said...

That was exactly what I was thinking of too. I was planning a post on how the selectors do not seem to have any plans. It takes 2-3 years of playing test matches to groom a middle order 'Indian' batsman and there is no outstanding proven contender. We have to start now. I feel a rotation policy is the best way with only 2 of Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar playing every test. But if that's too drastic, we must at least take advantages of situations like the Brabourne test to blood someone. Badrinath seems like an ideal 'Aussie' solution. Tons of experience and good temperament will mean that he should acclimatize quicker. Thing is, I don't think he's that good. That's why I think M Vijay is the man for Brabourne. I think what we'll eventually have to do when 3,4,5 retire is drop our best batsman, Gambhir, down to 3 and pair Vijay or Mukund with Sehwag. That is the only realistic solution I see. Any thoughts?

Mahek said...

Rohit, I don't think you realise NC is joking :)

But I do agree about planning for the future. Which is why they need to rest one if not two of Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman for the tour of Bangladesh. Give Badrinath and/or Pujara a chance.

Rohit said...

I know he's kidding...but there was a pertinent issue I thought I'll give my two cents about it!!

straight point said...

however i love badri... dravid should not be touched... the guy has barely found his groove and i am loving it already... :)

Anonymous said...

yes, Rahul should not be touched now, of all times. Let him cash in on his good form. OTOH, dropping him ensures that his average will not go down :-)

On Badri, yes, this is the opp to give him. And if he fails here, we can say goodbye to him forever. Because, Cheeka is going to keep including him as the reserve batsman until he is shown up as a total failure. MSD's got a chance here to put Badri in a spot and get rid of him forever...

M Vijay - I like him but I dont see him as a long term prospect given that Viru and Gauti are settled for a long innings now. It is so pointless playing him. I think Pujara should be simply blooded right away, squads be damned.

Mahek said...

So you blood a middle order batsman by making him open in his debut test? Really sound logic.

Anonymous said...

I should have been clearer - Rahul can always be asked to step up :-)

Gaurav Sethi said...

Leela, Badri sure had the sneezes last night.

Gaurav Sethi said...

Rohit, the series is still not won, nor is it a one day series. Bad enough GG isn't there.

But yeah, the next middle order test spot, as was with YS, will come from the ODI squad not from first class performance. Still they may just go with Rohit Sharma for a lark.

Leave Jatman-GG on top, no use messing with a good thing. M Vijay waits his turn - trouble with Vijay is, he doesn't fit into the scheme of things.

As he isn't selected for ODIs, that pretty much slots him in the S Das, Ramesh, Dasgupta, Jaffer group - he'll get a few breaks, but not long term, even in tests. That's the way it goes.

Gaurav Sethi said...

Mahek, why not rest all three - and make it a Ind A v Bangla series.

SRT surely, he should be thinking 2011. But so many runs to be made, not that it's gonna be a cakewalk vs B'desh.

Gaurav Sethi said...

SP, if they rest him now, there will a deep unrest within Dravid.

Anon, can it drop any lower than it did in the last few years?

Plain selfish, but like to watch some new guys play for India, without seeing wholesale changes and lame excuses, we're a team in transition, 2 years down. If they wanna beat transition, start now. Records be damned, personal conquests be damned too.