India Vs England 2012 - Third Test : Match Preview

By Denzil Fernandes
Daijiworld Media Network

Kolkatta, Dec 3: The selection committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) may consist of players who have performed well for India in the past.  The committee is headed by Mumbai’s top Test player Sandip Patil while yet another member Roger Binny too had figured prominently for Team India.  However, when the Indian cricket team for the third Test in Kolkata was selected they seemed to have developed cold feet and went into the safety mode by retaining the same side which had done duty in the first two Tests. 

Generally, when a team loses, the selectors with an eye on  improving the team morale try and change a couple of players.  India was battered by England in the second Test and there was every reason to believe that some of the players would be axed.  But Patil and his team did not want to risk anything and safely retained the same set of players.

There were several questions raised on retaining spinner Harbhajan Singh who now is a thing of the past.  One saw him bowling aimlessly in the Mumbai test and even as a fielder he was a total misfit.  Although he is not a reliabale batsman, one saw him getting out without wasting time in the second innings in the Mumbai Test.  He was supposed to stay with not out batsman Gambhir and prolong the innings but had other ideas.  He has, no doubt, served India well in the past but surely it is time for him to make way for other spinners like Piyush Chawla and Amit Mishra.  However, the selectors did not think of the future.

Likewise, the openers have not risen to the occasion and have failed to make the required runs.  Both Sehwag and Gambhir have good past  credentials but in the ongoing series they are yet to hit top gear.  One can easily say that the entire team  banks on these two players to post a huge total.

Known as the ‘God of cricket’ by his ocean of followers, Sachin Tendulkar is  turning out to be a ‘non performer’ as far as the Indian team is concerned.  In the last 10 innings, Sachin has hit rock bottom and the average is a miserable 15.3 runs only.  The selectors are a gutless lot and will not touch Sachin even if he does not score for the next two years perhaps !  But, then, Sachin has to realize that he is on the wrong side of his youth and should  quickly call it a day before he is dumped out from the team.  He has everything to gain if he leaves the game gracefully sooner than later.  Youngsters like Manoj Tiwary, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Raina  and many others are all waiting to fill the breach when Sachin leaves.  It is not going to be easy for Sachin to survive for long.  One appreciated his contribution to Indian cricket but there comes a time when one has to go.  No one is permanent in any team.  Like Sachin, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting too was  fighting for survival in their series against South Africa.  Ponting was quick to realize this and has announced his retirement from Test cricket as soon as the Perth Test ends.  Ponting was also a terrific batsman in the same class as Tendulkar.  Ponting’s retirement should give a hint to Tendulkar.  But, then, when ?  is the question.

Our pace bowlers have not shown any kind of firepower and it is every one’s guess that Zaheer Khan is also playing one of his last series for India.  Young Umesh Yadav has been the only one to impress but due to heavy workload finds discarded due to injury.  Dashing Dinda has now a great chance to fill the slot especially in his own Kolkata premises and show that he is a good prospect.  Other quickies also need to be looked at instead of persisting with unfit horses. 

Poojara has taken Dravid’s place in a fine way and  shown good temperament in both the Tests played so far.  Laxman’s place is up for grabs and Yuvraj still needs to do a lot to seal that berth.  Manoj Tiwari is unsure of his future in Indian cricket with the selectors simply not interested in trying new blood.  One thought that chairman of selectors Sandip Patil would show some aggression in his policies just like the way he used to bat while at the crease during his younger days.  But, unfortunately, Patil with Binny look like taking it easy and enjohying their lucrative term in office ! At least young Tiwary should have been picked for the third Test to play in front of his home crowd in Kolkata in place of Yuvraj.

Although India won convincingly in Ahmedabad, it was very clear in Mumbai that England would hit back.  Bringing  spinner Monty Panesar as a wicket taker, they paid back in the same coin which the Indians could not.  India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (MSD) harked on a spinner friendly pitch and was made to eat humble pie when his batsmen fell like nine pins.  Indian spinners Ashwin and Ojha could not match Panesar and Swann’s performance and what followed was an astonishing defeat for India in the second Test in Mumbai.

Even in Kolkata in the third Test which starts on Dec.5, England will have the upperhand without doubt.  Captain Alastair Cook has shone with his bat and done little talking unlike India’s MSD who wants to take advantage of home conditions.  What that means, one does not know at all.  As an international team, India should be able to handle any kind of conditions wherever they play.  They fell for blistering pace last time when they toured England and now have fallen for quality spin in their own backyard.  What is MSD expecting the curator to do one does not know !

The Kolkata pitch will be a different kettle of fish.  There will be both bounce and spin and the visitors will surely love the entire atmosphere which will be complete with the ocean of supporters.  It will not be easy at all for Team India to excel unless their batsmen put their heads down and record a mammoth total.  Sachin Tendulkar has to come good along with his colleagues and then only India can heave a sigh of relief.  Cook and Pietersen are in red hot form and not in a mood to relax.  Swann and Panesar too want to continue their winning ways.  A real tough battle for India with both sides having won one Test each.  Doctoring pitches to suit their home players seems to be the new theory.

Skipper Dhoni has been begging for spinner friendly pitches and has been irritating the curator in Kolkata to prepare a pitch that will help his bowlers.  But what is the guarantee that his bowlers will dismiss the England batsmen ??  What happened in the Mumbai Test ??

These are days for tough decisions as far as the Indian selectors are concerned.  There is no place for sentiments and personal relations when a team selection is made.  There is also no place for regionalism and past achievements when any side is picked.  The need of the hour is to look at current form and conditions before a winning side is picked.  Skipper MSD and the selectors have to ensure that the best eleven do duty for Team India as they get ready to tackle England who look determined to stun the Indians once again.    There are so many available but if the selectors do not want to pick the youngsters then we can expect a hammering from the England side.

Team India for the third Test in Kolkata: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ashok Dinda, Pragyan Ojha, Ajinkya Rahane, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, M Vijay, Zaheer Khan.


Top Stories

Comment on this article

  • R Singh, Noida

    Sat, Dec 8 2012

    Indian Cricket players ko ab bacho ke sath khelna chahiye bado ke sath khelne ki inaki aukat nahi hai

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • prabhakaran, karur

    Thu, Dec 6 2012

    this is final for us so that they will play carefully

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • noor, malakpet

    Wed, Dec 5 2012

    india was playing very bad last 2 test they have to give chance to youngsters like A rahane they have many youngsters ASHK DINDA they are playing very good cricket they have all rounder also

    DisAgree [2] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • vikas jagdale, pune

    Wed, Dec 5 2012

    i think indean team was better in past but today the indian player performence is not good,so i suggest whole team improve your performance.........

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse


    Tue, Dec 4 2012

    England are on a high after their second test win. Monty and Swann combined together well than our spinners. Great knock from KP, the man for big occassion. Eagerly looking forward to the Kolkata test. Let us hope that we will win and turn the tables on the English.

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Joe Britto, Nakre/Bangalore

    Mon, Dec 3 2012

    Very important critical review by Denzil. Indeed the ors should take some bold steps atleast for the Fourth and Final Test as India is bound to get a whacking at Eden Gardens. The ors will do well to consider promising youngsters especially amongst the regular Ranji Trophy Holders /Finalist like Rajastan-Bengal in the past 2 -3 years and pick players like Pankaj Singh, Manoj Tiwary, Manpreet Gony, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Wriddihman Saha, Shabazadeem and several others and pick a good wicketkeeper as well. It's
    really time for almost the entire Indian team to pack up and pave the way to the Future Team.Maybe it's time for the ors to retire !

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • R.Bhandarkar, M'Lore

    Mon, Dec 3 2012

    Never heard Sachin reacting to Ponting's retirement- Wonder why?
    Also Clarke 'shed' a tear at the
    Press Conference after Ponting announced his retirement... Wonder
    whether anybody would do the same on Sachin's.... Out of relief that is!!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

Leave a Comment

Title : India Vs England 2012 - Third Test : Match Preview


You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.

Security Validation

Enter the characters in the image