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Monday, October 25, 2004

Cricket: 3rd Test from tomorrow.

Category: Misc. Cricket.

Cricket: 3rd Test between India and Australia.
To be played in Nagpur from tomorrow onwards.
26th to 30th Oct. 2004

Thoughts on the 3rd test starting from tomorrow.

Sachin is back—and so is Ricky Ponting.

The last day's play of the second test was washed off.
Australia is leading the test series by 1-0.
As per news reports, the pitch is going to play fair. It won't be a turner. However, it is expected to be a good batting track with help for the bowlers early on during the day.

Sachin has always played well at Nagpur, scoring centuries versus the West Indies and Zimbabwe.

The Australians will test Sachin outisde the offstump. Especially, inviting him to drive on the rise, getting the tennis-elbow into play.

It is time for Laxman to play a big innings.

We should win the toss and bat first.
On current form, Sachin should be taking Yuvraj's place. With Irfan unfit, India may go in with Ajit Agarkar or Ashish Nehra in his place. If Kaif is in the team, then would he be given the responsibility of opening the innings with Sehwag? The team selection will be interesting.

Yuvraj has been given a lot of chances, even sacrificing Akash Chopra to allow him to open the innings. Now it is time for Sachin to come back to the middle order, and as Mohammed Kaif performed well in the 2nd test, he should retain his place. If Zaheer is picked and we need an opener, then Mohammed Kaif too will have to sit.

The most likely playing team:
Virender Sehwag, Akash Chopra, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Parthiv Patel, Ajit Agarkar, Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan.
or Mohammed Kaif instead of Chopra. Then who will open?
Let's see what team is selected to play the test.

It will be an interesting test match, and a sporting wicket will go a long way in helping that.