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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Let the series begin

In a few hours the first Test of a four match series between the two best Test teams in the world will begin.

IMO India will, despite losing recently to Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka and some concerns about the age and, in some instances, form of many of their long-serving players, start favourites

One of Sri Lanka's strengths - spin bowling - is Australia's major weakness. The final place in the Australian XI will go to either Jason Krejza or Cameron White. I didn't see any video of Krejza's 0/199 from 31 overs in the last match but the figures speak for themselves. I know (thanks to The Match Referee for reminding me ) that Shane Warne didn't always dictate terms in India but Krejza's record in domestic cricket is, to say the least, modest. White's bowling has been damned with faint praise by many critics but I watched him on TV bowling in his last first class match, the 2008-2009 Sheffield Shield/ Pura Cup final , and thought that he did a reasonable job in the circumstances, spinning the ball more than I expected and taking 1/49 from 15 overs in the second innings.

Of course everyone hopes for a good, hard fought match, but without the rancour which tarnished the series here last season, but despite Australia's record at Bangalore and reports that the pitch may not be as spin-friendly as expected, India have a better balanced lineup with a body of experience even greater than Australia's.

Things I'll be watching: the batting of all the top notch players on both sides (I hope and expect that Ricky Ponting will demonstrate his underlying class) and, of course, the spin bowling.
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