The 2012-13 home season began early for India, in fact the earliest till date. New Zealand were not expected to be more than a warm-up for the tougher challenges coming up in the form of England & Australia. Here is the immediate post-series review.
- If India had been on the receiving end of as many dubious decisions as the Kiwis had, am pretty sure enough hue and cry would have been raised and the umpires would have been removed from officiating in any India matches in the future. But we hardly hear the Kiwis complaining.
- For dodgy umpiring there is a very simple solution which for some reason ICC does not want to use. Give review powers to the 3rd umpire. Any “obvious” error can be overturned at the the 1st replay itself. Marginal calls stay with the field umpires.
- The Kiwi bowling lineup of Martin, Bracewell, Boult & Southee can trouble many a batting lineup. But their batting lineup remains a worry.
- India went into the series with 2 gaping holes left by VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid and many questions about the lineup. Unfortunately most questions have still not been answered and some new ones have been created.
- The openers continue their dodgy form. Gambhir and Sehwag are not providing the solid starts that they used to. Maybe it’s time to bring in Rahane and maybe put Sehwag down the order.
- Virat Kohli continues to impress.
- Cheteshwar Pujara‘s comeback beginnings are good. But he is not the new “Wall” as everyone has started projecting him. As of yet.
- Raina at no. 6 is not working out well. Either try out someone new (Badrinath, Manoj Tiwary?) or bring down Sehwag and put in Rahane at the top.
- Ashwin & Ojha have made a decent spinning pair. Their record, albeit after 5 tests at home against West Indies and Kiwis, is staggering to say the least.
- The slip catching by Sehwag & Kohli was excellent. At least Dravid & Laxman were not missed in that department.
- Sachin Tendulkar has given more ammunition to his critics. But he is needed in this lineup for now especially with Dravid & Laxman gone. Maybe he can let Kohli take over the No. 4 position and drop down the order.
In all, India won the series but questions remain unanswered.
P.S. Suggested lineup for the England tests – Gambhir, Rahane, Pujara, Kohli, Sachin, Sehwag, Dhoni, Ashwin, Zaheer, Yadav, Ojha.
Published with permission from Slipstream Cricket.