The first personally.
Have to agree with Aussie. Given that most Indian players see international duty by the time they're 21 or 22, there's not a 5 year or 7 year track FC record to go by.
Dhoni at 24 and Dravid at 23 when they first played internationally are almost the late bloomers among the recent bunch of players. Every one else I can think of (incl Laxman & Ganguly) were in by 22.
Only Gavaskar is truly considered great. Blokes like Mankad & Shastri although successfull where makeshift.
In an Indian All-time XI you would only consider Gavaskar, Sehwag, Mankad & Merchat as your options, which clearly shows that historically openers have been a problem for India. I thought this was obvious.
So this has zero relevance to India's FC structure which is average in many area's. Since genereally Australia FC system is strong, if it wasn't they wouldn't have dominated test cricket over various times in test cricket history.
You would never see an English batsman or bowler debut like @ 19 like Asian nations.
In the 20 year isolation they had Allan Kourie & Denys Hobson. Who where pretty good.
Yes since re-admission no WC spinner. But SA FC cricket since about the 1960s in Currie cup cricket has always been strong, no comparison to India yo.
If you want to look back in hindsight like that. Circa 2001/02, i still reckon India may have risked opening with Sehwag.
Katich opening shows his versatily. If he was batting in the middle order even he would still be making runs, because his record breaking FC season for NSW was not as an opener.
Yes for the period he made runs it was againts poor attacks on flat decks. But it was a good enough purple patch (similar to what Gambhir is in right now) before he did fail in AUS, he was backed ahead of Sehwag.
Lee was coming off an injury, Johnson although bowled better than his figures suggested was not the same bowler he was not same bowler he was not. Clark got his elbow injury during the series, McGain injured, Krejza not selected earlier & White's crazy selection.
Not saying better selection could have made Australia win. But months out before, it was always likely that Australia where going to loose in India really. So that Australian attack Gambhir destroyed in Indian conditions isn't nothing to go crazy about.
In NZ, although the Kiwis fought. The attack didn't have much penetration, the wickets where flat. Jaffer would have done the same.
Only thing the praise Gambhir about is his batting in SRI, which proves he is a fantastic player of spin really. He still has not yet faced a top-attack in testing conditions.
If lets say Irfan Pathan had evolved into a top young all-rounder today. It would be crazy to bat Dhoni in the top 6. Since India are highly unlikely to get a Gilchrist, Sanga, Stewart etc like performances like out of him in tests with the blade.
I admit, i was not thinking when i linked that to his FC performances. But actually your brought him up, so weirdly you kind of dragged me into commenting on him.
My main argument is as you would have read above with Silentstriker, is that IND FC structure along with those of WI, NZ, SRI, PAK are not sound like AUS, ENG, WI & SA. Thats why they are have never been able to dominate test cricket in the game's history.
NOTE: With West Indies FC structure i am referring to modern day of course.
The preparation of pitches to suit the spinners has been a detriment to top-fast bowlers being produced. This is like obvious yo...
If Tendy was Australian he would not have debuted at 16.
Also looking at the examples also of past Australian openers like Langer, Hayden. You could say the strenght of the FC system enabled them to go back to FC cricket after their intial failures & come back strong. You don't see Indian doing that...
You can't really have a go at a country of picking players on talent or ODI/T20 performances when they are playing as well as they are now. To an extent Australia and South Africa have done similar things. The likes of De Villiars, Duminy, Steyn, Smith, Boucher, Pollock, Ntini, Kallis, Ponting, Johnson, Siddle, Lee, McGarth, Warne, Clarke and Hughes were all basically picked on talent when other more experience FC players were overlooked.
Yeah there are other likes Hussey, Langer, Hayden, Katich, Clark, Prince and Amla that were picked on the back of lots of FC runs and wickets. But large percentage of top line International players were picked intially on talent, or runs in the shorter form.
The counter arguement is the performances of guys like Vandort, Chamara Silva, Hick and Ramps who were picked after a mount of FC runs and failed. Balance is the key. India probably go overboard on talent, but they are moving more towards FC/domestic performances over just talent.
The man, the mountain, the Mathews. The greatest all rounder since Keith Miller. (Y)
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