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11 Jun 2011

What will be the best 11 for India in the upcoming test matches against West Indies?


The upcoming test series will be a big challenge for young Indian players. That will be the moment that can either make or break their dreams of playing test cricket in future. In absence of 7 first choice players, many new faces will fill up the empty spaces in the Indian test team. It is the right time that they hit the nail correctly, otherwise, they might need to wait for some more years. 

There is a high probability that Virat Kohli will make his debut in the test cricket. He has performed immensely well in ODI and T20. Taking his first guard as a test cricketer will be like a big dream comes true. But he might need to face a stiff challenge from Subramaniam Badrinath for the middle order place, as the later one has better reputation in  first class matches at domestic level. 

In absence of regular openers Sehwag and Gambhir, India's first headache will be to select players who can open the innings. Murali Vijay is the experineced specialist opener in the team, so he must probably play in the top 11. Young lad Abhinav Mukund is a good prospect for another opener as he has opened for his domestic teams and holds great batting records in domestic level. By any chance if Parthiv Patel fits into India's strategy, then Dhoni might opt to play himself as the specialist batsman and allow Patel to keep wicket. Patel might open with Murali in this case. 

I think Raina's place is secured in the middle order.Despite showing poor form in last few tests, he is still the best option India have for the number 6-7 position. 

The final 11 can look like a list given below:

1. Murali Vijay                                                                        
2.  Abhinav Mukund/ Parthiv Patel (w/k)                                                               
3. Rahul Dravid                                                                       
4. Virat Kohli/ Badrinath                                                         
5.VVS Laxman                                                                
6. MS Dhoni                                                                            
7. Suresh Raina                                                                      
8. Harbhajan Singh                                                                
9. Amit Mishra/Pragyan Ojha                                                
10. Munaf Patel                                                                     
11. Ishant Sharma                                                            

I don't claim the above list to be flawless. I reckon Ishant Sharma's place is confirmed based on his expertise in test cricket. Munaf Patel is more experienced than Abhimanyu Mithun and is in good form from the recent matches. Praveen Kumar is regarded as the ODI specialist. In this circumstances, I hardly believe that Munaf Patel will be replaced by either of the remaining bowlers. 

The young cricketers know that the performance here will not secure their position in test cricket. India hope to play their full strength side against England, so there is no question that the top 7 players will return back. However, the performance here in West Indies will certainly pave their ways to test side.  

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