Cricket

India minus Dravid, Laxman

2012-08-21 09:10
Rahul Dravid (File)

Hyderabad - India were gearing for life without retired batting stars Rahul Dravid and Venkatsai Laxman as they begin a two-Test series against New Zealand in Hyderabad on Thursday.

Dravid bid farewell in March and Laxman called it quits last Saturday, leaving Sachin Tendulkar the only surviving veteran of the golden generation of Indian batsman that included Sourav Ganguly.

The main task for India in the busy home season that also features four Tests each against England and Australia is to find replacements for Dravid and Laxman, who had a combined tally of 22 069 Test runs in 298 matches.

The batsmen in contention for the two vacant slots, Cheteshwar Pujara, Suresh Raina and Subramaniam Badrinath, have a combined tally of just 20 Tests. Ajinkya Rahane has yet to debut in the five-day game.

India will also miss Dravid and Laxman in the slips. Both were gifted with safe hands with Dravid taking a Test record 210 catches and Laxman 135.

"It will be tough to replace Rahul and Laxman not only as batsmen, but also as slip catchers," Tendulkar said ahead of the first Test.

"They were great in that region and to replace them we are going to need someone to be there for an equally long period of time."

The series against eighth-ranked New Zealand provides the hosts an opportunity to return to winning ways ahead of tougher assignments against England and Australia.

India lost much of their reputation in the past 12 months - and the number one ranking - when they crashed to eight successive overseas Test defeats, four each in England and Australia.

But they remain a force at home because conditions are not as seamer-friendly as in England or Australia and spinners usually call the shots on low, slow pitches.

India will be delighted that New Zealand are without their match-winning spinner Daniel Vettori for the two Tests due to an injury.

The Black Caps need to regroup and put in an improved showing to avoid a second successive Test series defeat, having recently lost both Tests in the West Indies.

"We didn't play as well as we would have liked (in the West Indies)," Kiwi skipper Ross Taylor said. "India is a familiar place for our batsmen. We have played well here and we are looking forward to this series.

"It is a huge challenge to face the Indians on their home grounds. They are a very tough side in home conditions. We need to have plans in place to counter all possible challenges."

India have the resources to start the season on a winning note, with openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, and middle-order batsmen Tendulkar and Virat Kohli all capable of putting pressure on the opposition.

Tendulkar, the world's leading scorer in both Tests and one-dayers with an unprecedented 100 international centuries, was in April nominated to the upper house of parliament, the Rajya Sabha, for his contribution to the nation.

In-form Kohli, who has played only eight Tests, has been growing in confidence since hammering his maiden Test century against Australia at Adelaide this January.

India have effective spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha to test the touring batsmen, the duo having played major roles in their team's victory in the last home series against the West Indies in November, 2011.

After the Tests in Hyderabad (August 23-27) and Bangalore (August 31-September 4), the two teams will play two Twenty20 games in Visakhapatnam (September 8) and Chennai (September 11) ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka from next month.

The Test squads:

India: Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Subramaniam Badrinath, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Ravichandran Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Piyush Chawla, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma

New Zealand: Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor (captain), Kane Williamson, B.J. Watling, Kruger van Wyk, James Franklin, Tim Southee, Jeetan Patel, Tarun Nethula, Daniel Fynn, Doug Bracewell, Trent Boult, Chris Martin, Neil Wagner

Read more on:    rahul dravid  |  venkatsai laxman  |  cricket
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014
 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

Which cricketer is currently of most value to the Proteas' Test team?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.