09 January 2008

Bowling at Perth

Unc J Rod reminded me that there was a Test series being played, and here are my thoughts on the bowling attack at Perth.

We don't need five bowlers. Sharma, Arpy, Kumble and Bhajji were able to take close to 25 wickets at Sydney, and my guess is that four bowlers will be more than adequate. Question is, do we need to go in with both spinners or do we need to shore up the pace attack with Pathan/Pankaj Singh? This is Perth. Oz will be throwing all four pacers at us.

Obviously, if one spinner had to sit out, it would have to be Bhajji since the other guy is a captain and a legend. I almost thought Procter had done us all a favour, and made the decision much easier. But now, it is not so simple - Ponting's been in Bhajji's bag for two matches now. I can't make this decision, I really can't.

So please people, for the fourth spot in the bowling line-up. Between Bhajji, Pathan and Pankaj Singh, but really it is between Bhajji and Pathan, isn't it?

17 comments:

TM said...

It is ridiculous to contemplate playing 2 spinners at Perth. For the picturesque city situated on the banks of the river Swan, no team (home or away) has an option but to play three pacers. Assuming that we must continue to play seven batsmen (which at Perth, we must), number eight gets taken up by Pathan (and shores up the batting), while Kumble (who continues to prove that he can bat), Arpy and Ishant continue to bring up the rear. Bhajji has got Ponting a couple of times, once when he was not out and the second time when the ball turned and held up on the pitch - the latter is unheard of at Perth. Go for the win, play Sehwag at the top- still give Yuvi a chance as it is his kind of pitch (and it seems unlikely that Hogg will play). Cant imagine a better response to the current controversy than beating Australia at Perth!

pervy said...

Pathan is definitely not the type of bowler who would be able to exploit a perth track.. he s a swinger.. on a bouncy track he might just be too comfortable to hit at his military medium pace.. Bhajji's spin relies on bounce to be lethal.. hence.. he might be more effective at perth than kumble or anyone else you can imagine..

John said...

Welcome TM,

I have written a post on why we need to persist with both Yuvi and Jaffer for Perth, it may interest you.

Thanks, Pervy,
Not sure even the Aussies will agree with playing two spinners at Perth.

TM said...

Pervy,

I accept that Bhajji relies on bounce for his wickets - but what he relies on is not consisten high bounce, but bounce that is unexpected. Which is why of his 50 plus wickets against Australia, before the start of the series, he had just one in Australia. As for Pathan and his medium pace, given the way he has been bowling and Wasim Akram's comments that the pace is back, and given his expeirence bowling to Australia in Australia, he may still be the wiser pick. That said, sometimes regional loyalties may take sway eh? John, will look at what you have to say about retaining Yuvi and Jaffer and I have a feeling that it is going to necessitate another comment

puresunshine said...

Bhajji will be IN. There is no doubt about that. And Kumble will be looking at picking his 600th wicket! The match will be TOO exciting!

Straight Point said...

my changes would be

sehwag for jaffer...
dk for dhoni...
pathan for yuvi

i would retain bhajji coz i would like to field best bowling combination irrespective of conditions...and two rookies would be one too many for me in potential pressure cooker conditions at perth...

John said...

Thank you for visiting, Pure Sunshine.

SP, You reckon Yuvi deserves to go, just two matches after a brilliant knock? Maybe one more Test match?

And Jaffer was the second best opener in the world in 2007. Also deserves one more opportunity.

As much as nothing would please me more than victory at Perth, we also need an eye on the future. We need a couple of settled batsmen in our lineup when the Four decide to call it a day - and it is increasingly looking likely that they will all leave together. Giving promising batsmen a long rope is an essential component of that strategy.

Ottayan said...

John,

Pankaj Singh is a sight to behold. Tall and strapping. I have never seen him bowl, but his height and girth inspires confidence.

If he lands the ball anywhere in the line with the stumps I am sure he will get a wicket.

pervy said...

TM, just one thing.. Bhajji hasnt ever played at Perth.. so the statistic about his wickets doesnt really apply.. because in the rest of australia.. he doesnt have as much turn as in india.. and the bounce isnt like perth

Soulberry said...

There is a school of thought that the quickening again pitch of Perth (had paled a bit in the past few years) is at just the right stage to provide good bounce to spinners. Kumble could enjoy it as well as Harbhajan...I'll take 4 - 1/2 bowlers and 6 - 1/2 batsmen.

John said...

Thanks, Soulberry. My guess is you'd like to see Yuvraj replaced with Pathan.
Can't bring myself around to drop Yuvi just yet.

TM said...

Pervy,

Like I said before, bounce can get you wickets only if it unpredictable. And maybe there is good reason why Harbhajan has not played in Perth before. I wonder if we should play arpy, pathan, ishant, pankaj and kumble and try to fight fire with fire? Too brave, u say?

Uncle J rod said...

I thin Pathan should be brought in, maybe even at the expense of Yuvraj, who failed again today. Bat Dhoni at 6, pathan at 7.

You may have got 25 wickets in sydney, but thats a wicket that favours indian conditions. Perth is not.

John said...

Unc J, Indian bowlers have consistently bowled better overseas that at home over the last year. In fact, it is our batsmen that have let us down when we lost in South Africa, and before that in Windies and England after. In SA and Eng, we had Zaheer and Sree, though.

Soulberry said...

My guess is you'd like to see Yuvraj replaced with Pathan.
Can't bring myself around to drop Yuvi just yet.


Didn't think I was that stark!...but I'll be watching the first session of day 2 at Canberra before I add meat to that thought. Pathan should be bowling then...the two overs he did bowl were ok...not exceptional but enough to suggest he needs a longer look. The ball swung for him.

Kumble and Sachin had a small soundbyte among th cacophony a couple of days ago...which I ignored along with the world. They are of the view that Yuvraj needs persistence with and more confidence reposed in him.

I have a tanker standing by ready to pump in all that's needed just so that I can predict when and where Yuvraj can play that brilliant match-winning innings.

What I do not understand till now is why Yuvraj has been denied one entire season of long games to help him become a better test player. Unfortunate, someone perhaps doesn't want him to be one I guess...and he's already 26+ and with a dodgy knee...

The best time was when the fab four were at their prime...this boy should have been made to play all the long-games and A tours we could stuff down his throat in readiness for this day. I'm certain a player of his calibre would have been a better wholesome player for a season or two of such inputs.

Soulberry said...

In fact, if Pathan doesn't fit in for whatever reasons, I'd take Laxman for Yuvraj and Draid for Laxman with Sehwag opening with Jaffer for Wasim has just purchased the registration renewal for his brand of software.

John said...

Well, Yuvi messed up again and isn't looking very excited about being on the field. Kumble's man-management skills are going to be severely tested.