Will Nagpur Test lead to a change in Indian Test scenario?

When India hosts England for the fourth and final test of the series, there is more than just pride at stake. Reputation, leadership, skill; everything will be under scrutiny.

4th Test: India vs England at Nagpur

4th Test: India vs England at Nagpur

There will be huge pressure on the Indian batsmen. Of these, some big names will have to answer with the bat or they may face the dawn of their careers.  Notable among them is Sachin Tendulkar. The Little Master who has been the , heart, spine and soul of the Indian team for over two decades. The huge fan favorite will have to ask question to himself, now after going through one of the biggest slumps of his career. No doubt Sachin is still giving his best, but as he reaches the door of the forties’ the huge question arises – Can he still deliver for team India? There are divided opinions on the matter. Some former notable players have announced that it is time for him to call quits. While some believe that Sachin will shrug of the matter like he has done one many previous occasions and come out in flying colours.

Sachin did perform in the first innings of the third test, but that was nowhere close to his usual self. One watchful innings out of 5 cannot justify his selections. Is he turning into a liability rather than an asset? Maybe it is time he retired gracefully just like Ricky Ponting did a few days back. The former Aussie captain felt that he is not contributing enough and decided to leave before fingers were pointed or before he was asked to leave. Sachin can also learn from his long time team mates Dravid, Laxman and Ganguly.

Like Sachin there is another proven man who has been under immense pressure. The Captain MS Dhoni. Dhoni who led the men in blue to a World Cup T20 victory and a World Cup win has been under the scanner recently.

Dhoni has been under fire recently. His decision making abilities were questioned more than before when he dropped Sehwag for the T20 match against Australia, in the recently concluded T20 World Cup. Dhoni had asked for spinning tracks during the current test series but got a taste of his own medicine when England picked Panesar from the second Test onwards.

India had picked three spinners for the second test but were humiliated by England. Many feel it is time for Dhoni to step aside as Test captain and maybe hand over the reins to Gambhir or Sehwag. Afterall they are the only two players who are regular in the side.

Some even feel it is time Dhoni was dropped from the side and replaced by Parthiv Patel or Saha.

When the fabulous four were playing for India, there was very little to worry for the Indian selectors as it was assured that at least one of them would perform. The damage started when Ganguly retired. India could not find an apt replacement for him. They tried Yuvraj, Rohit Sharma, Kohli, Reina and many more but they came and went. None of them could give the consistent performance required in test match cricket.

The damage was complete when Dravid and Laxman hung up their shoes one after the other. In came Pujara, Yuvraj, Kohli.

Pujara has performed well in the test, but a lone man battle is scarcely won. Yuvraj chipped in decently, but it was not enough to save his place in the squad and was subsequently dropped for the Nagpur Test. Kohli has been the poorest so far, but he is the future of Indian cricket. At a very young age, he has the capabilities to be a future captain and star. Jadeja who has been roped in for the final test has been in good form in the domestic arena. If he can keep that up then he can maybe secure a regular spot in the Indian team.

Now the discussion shifts to the bowling line up. There is very little for India to be happy about here. India’s most consistent bowler for the past few years since his return was dropped from the team. Yes we are talking about Zaheer Khan the man whose comeback sparked a new era in Indian pace bowling. India’s selection of Ishant Sharma is also confusing. The pace man has failed to do much ever since his amazing spell down under which troubled the great Ricky Ponting.

Picking Piyush Chawla who has not done anything spectacular in the domestic arena shows that India’s arsenal is almost empty. Harbhajan Singh will have to wait for a long time to play his 100th test unless he can re-discover the form that tormented the Aussies earlier in the decade.

India have changed the pace bowling line up more than Kevin Pietersen has changed his hair style.

Right now the openers and the spinners are the only people who can take their spot in the team to be granted. Even the captain has no security. If India fail to win the test or put up another dismal performance then there will be a lot changing in the team.

The Nagpur test no matter what the end result might be, will change the face of Test Cricket in India.

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