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Sight Screen

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Kumble and Agarkar to open

No, seriously. If you recall the recent stories, the fact of Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag opening in the nets the day before the Test was enough to let loose a firestorm of comment and analysis. Turns out, per this Deccan Herald story, that it was actually Kumble and Agarkar who opened, so what do you deduce from that? And Jaffar -- who some reports said did not get a net -- apparently did bat.
As the day wore on, news trickled in from well-placed sources that he had been asked by the team management -- which was pretty firm in its opinion that Yuvraj Singh shouldn’t be kept out -- if he was willing to open the batting, an invitation Ganguly gleefully accepted.
Even as the Ganguly-Sehwag combine was succeeded at the nets first by the Rahul Dravid-V V S Laxman pairing and then by the Yuvraj-Sachin Tendulkar duo, it became increasingly clear that as things stood then, there was no place in the scheme of things for either Jaffer or indeed Gautam Gambhir, who has opened for the country in 13 straight Test matches since his debut against Australia in Mumbai in November 2004. If, as appears imminent, neither Jaffer nor Gambhir partners Sehwag in the first Test, why India then brought three specialist openers on tour will be a big question, for they could so easily have instead drafted in an additional paceman who could at least have helped the side out in the ‘nets.’

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