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Session-dashboard - Tracking Test Matches as they progress.
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Monday, December 06, 2010

SA series - right moves made by the Indian team

The Indian team is making all the right moves to increase their chances in the forthcoming tour to South Africa. The team management had asked for senior players to go to the country earlier than their schedule - this was agreed by BCCI and a second-string team announced for the ODIs against New Zealand. Some consolation - the ideal situation would have been to have one (if not a couple of) warm-up match before the test series started.

Bowlers and Fielders are also provided in the camp - again, a good example of proactive planning by Kirsten and others - thereby preventing the situations that test teams have faced earlier on overseas tours where there were no backup players for the team. One has seen photographs were the coach, manager and even video analysts would roll up their sleeves and bowl - just imagine the plight of the teams then.

The first batch of the Indian team (Virender Sehwag, Cheteshwar Pujara, Umesh Yadav and Jaidev Unadkat) left for South Africa today along with the coach, Gary Kirsten. The team will face "hard, bouncy pitches with no lateral movement" - conditions that they will most likely be presented with, in the test series. This series will really prove Gary Kirsten's contribution to the Indian squad - a series against the No.2 team (which is his home country) outside India in conditions that are sure to test our legendary batsmen to the hilt.

Meanwhile, the war of words has been started already by the South African team - the reluctance of India to use the UDRS (Decision Review System) being argued by the host captain. The selectors have chosen to go with their strengths (which they feel will benefit their game-plan against the Indians) and selected a pace attack (Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Ryan McLaren, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Jacques Kallis) that will prove handful on their soil. There are a couple of injury concerns on the Proteas team (Hashim Amla and Greame Smith) that will decide what the final composition of the batsmen.

Given the constraints (of not having any warm-up matches before the test series), the Indians have made a good plan to the series. Hope they continue the execution in the same manner and return victorious :)
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