Opening slot and keeping - Before 1st test against Australia
However, one thing puzzles me. Mumbai play against Australia and India (Seniors) play against India-A just before the first test on October 6. Ok, so when are we planning to check out Yuveraj's opening skills - straightaway in the first test?
First of all the Mumbai team ... there was a talk that the first practice match for the Australians would be the Board President's XI which was later changed to Ranji champions mumbai. So tell me, is the match simply meant as a practice match for the Australians or also for checking out the options we have? In the Mumbai squad, except for Powar (to a big extent) and Salvi (to a lesser extent), is there any possibility of any of the others walking out as part of the Indian XI on October 6? What is the point of this match?
Then to the India - India 'A' practice match ... According to reports, Sehwag and Chopra will open for the seniors and that means Yuveraj will play in the middle order. So does that mean there is no plan to make Yuveraj open at least for the first test? If Chopra - Sehwag combination fails in the first test, will Yuveraj be brought in then? Without a trial?
Seriously, if we had a Board President's XI against Australia match, we could have checked out S. Ramesh's form (though I doubt if they take him even if he scores a double century ... there is something rotten in Denmark where Ramesh and selection to the national team is concerned) and maybe made Yuveraj open alongside him. We don't really want to find out whether Chopra can open or not; we know he can; same with Sehwag. But we DO want to know if Yuveraj can open.
One good (or is it bad) thing in the practice matches also is the presence of three keepers ... Patel has done well in tests when u consider his keeping + batting (though keeping is still dicey) and with MS Dhoni and Karthik also in the match, we should get to see some serious competition out there, coz one of them will play the first test on October 6. On this note, wouldn't a Australia vs. Board President's XI match allowed us to play all three keepers - one in that match and two in the India - India 'A' match? What r Karthick and Patel gonna do - each keep for 15 overs each? A better idea might be - we know Patel's capabilities; check out Karthick and Dhoni and let Patel play simply as a batsman. Hell, why all this nonsense when they could have played all three keepers and let them keep for the full duration.