BCCI yet to ask CA for more tour ties

Mid Day - - SPORT - GAU­RAV JOSHI sports@mid-day.com

prob­lems for the In­dian bats­men — apart from Vi­rat Kohli — but it will be the ex­tra bounce in Aus­tralia that sorts the men from the boys.

A con­fi­dent and in-form Ro­hit Sharma would be an ideal player to bol­ster the bat­ting in Aus­tralia. His au­thor­i­ta­tive hor­i­zon­tal bat shots are per­fectly de­signed to cope with the test­ing ex­tra bounce, but sadly Sharma has never re­ally come to grips with bat­ting in Test cricket. His se­lec­tion for the tour would be a gam­ble.

On the sub­ject of fac­ing Aus­tralia, the Eng­land selectors have done lit­tle in prepa­ra­tion for next year’s Ashes se­ries. It’s ex­pected selectors will pick a team to win the cur­rent se­ries but they also have to have one eye on the fu­ture. The Eng­land selectors have been myopic when it comes to the next Ashes se­ries.

It’s fine for all English­men to bask in the glory of Alas­tair Cook’s fairy­tale fin­ish to his ca­reer but this shouldn’t blind ev­ery­one to the team’s short­com­ings. Cook was more re­laxed hav­ing made his de­ci­sion to re­tire and that helped con­cen­trate his mind to pro­vide one last graft­ing mem­ory. How­ever those sug­gest­ing that Cook could have played on are com­pletely ig­nor­ing the blind­ingly-ob­vi­ous ev­i­dence of the last 12 months — he was gone. If it hadn’t been for the pal­try out­put from his open­ing part­ners, Cook could well have been omit­ted a num­ber of times in that pe­riod. He was for­tu­nate to sur­vive but he made his luck count by go­ing out on an ex­treme high and en­joy­ing the heart-felt warmth that the English pub­lic bestowed upon him for his enor­mous con­tri­bu­tions to the team.

The selectors now need to un­cover two open­ing bats­men as Keaton Jen­nings’s flimsy de­fence won’t sur­vive against Aus­tralia’s premier pace at­tack. Adding to Eng­land’s prob­lem is that they still don’t have a vi­able num­ber three. Against Aus­tralia’s pace at­tack, Moeen isn’t the an­swer to the first-drop headache and he also hasn’t had much suc­cess as an off-spin­ner in Ashes se­ries. Con­se­quently, Eng­land’s pos­si­ble spin at­tack for the Ashes se­ries is far from set­tled as I don’t see Adil Rashid be­ing the an­swer. Whilst the Eng­land pace at­tack is good and per­formed bril­liantly against In­dia, it still lacks the op­tion of a gen­uine speed mer­chant.

At the un­der-19 level [in 2012] Jamie Over­ton ap­peared to be a pos­si­ble an­swer to that need. Fast and com­bat­ive, he looked to have all the re­quire­ments but a se­ries of in­juries and lim­ited op­por­tu­ni­ties with the new ball at county level have hin­dered his progress. His se­lec­tion would re­quire brav­ery but it could reap big re­wards.

If ei­ther In­dia or Eng­land un­der­es­ti­mate Aus­tralia be­cause of their re­cent tra­vails, they could well be pun­ished. I await the next few months with ea­ger an­tic­i­pa­tion. three-day tour match against Cricket Aus­tralia XI at the Syd­ney Cricket Ground from Novem­ber 29 to De­cem­ber 1 with the first Test com­menc­ing on De­cem­ber 6 at the Ade­laide Oval. Cricket Aus­tralia, how­ever, said that they have not re­ceived any for­mal in­ti­ma­tion from the In­dian cricket board. “We are happy to dis­cuss op­tions with the BCCI, but we have not re­ceived any for­mal no­ti­fi­ca­tion to in­crease the num­ber of tour matches prior to their se­ries com­menc­ing in Aus­tralia,” a Cricket Aus­tralia spokesper­son told mid-day on Satur­day.

PIC/GETTY IMAGES

Ro­hit Sharma bats on Day Four of the first Test v SA in Jan­uary this year.

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