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I do think Team India can be competitive overseas: Gaurav Kalra

IBNLive.com
Mar 25, 2013 at 07:37pm IST

Can India hope to succeed overseas with the players who starred in series win over Australia at home? CNN-IBN's Sports Editor Gaurav Kalra shared his perspective in an interaction with IBNLive readers.

Q. Do you think we have the best resources as far as fast bowling is concerned? Asked by: Sohail

I do think Team India can be competitive overseas: Gaurav Kalra

Can India hope to succeed overseas with the players who starred in series win over Australia at home?

A. That will be a key area in South Africa...Bhuvneshwar Kumar's emergence is a great sign...and a fit Umesh Yadav will be crucial...Ishant has been a let down and one isn't sure he can claim to be the leader of the attack..if Zaheer has another wind left, he should be considered...am also keen to see if Sreesanth can be back to full fitness because he can be devastating in those conditions.

Q. We did clean sweeps against ENG and SL in 1994 also that too with some seniors. But, they all failed miserably when India went to SA and Eng in 1996. So what are the chances now for India, considering the youth, when it goes to SA at the end of this year? Asked by: Prem Chand Ch

A. I think this is a generation of cricketers that feels naturally confident about challenges...the last two overseas tours have been bad but I don't see them scarring the players...they will be aware that South Africa will be hard, and very different to doing well in India...but I do think India can be competitive- key areas: determined batting and sustained fast/medium bowling discipline.

Q. The batting technique of Vijay and even to an extent Pujara were suspect in this series. One of Pujaras defects that VVS pointed out, was that he hardly left any ball? Kohli's form has been suspect for some time now. Other than Tendulkar in the current side, there is no accomplished batsman. Who do you think would be go to men for the SA tour. Asked by: Narayan

A. Sometimes cricketers surprise you...who would have imagined that debut from Dhawan for instance...some experts believe Pujara can do well in South Africa because he is a good back-foot player, cuts and pulls well...will have to wait and see...I think he will be a key player with the bat...as will Virat.

Q. The only bowler who looks a decent pick for Me is Umesh Yadav. Would be very difficult for Zaheer IMO. We don't have the Fast bowler to win in those conditions. Ashwin won't be much effective. Asked by: Sohail

A. I agree Umesh will be vital...and I think if guys like Sreesanth and Bhuvneshwar are on form that will make a good combination...whatever we saw of Shami Ahmed in the ODIs was impressive.

Q. Gaurav, India for all practical purpose cannot dream of a series victory in SA or Oz until it has quality seamers who can deliver regularly and take atleast 15 of the 20 wickets. Questions is why the MRF pace foundation and NCA not able to produce such talent? Asked by: Oliver

A. I think India has produced gifted seam bowlers...but somehow fitness issues have cropped up and there have been unfortunate injuries...there is certainly much more talent now than in previous years.

Q. Shikar Dhawans century is purely luck. He doesn't look like a sound batsman Asked by: Kiran Bayari

A. Disagree...he barely hit a ball in the air...was an exceptional innings.

Q. India team has become more like CSK team. Is this is not bad? Asked by: Kiran Bayari.

A. Sometimes its easy to say such things but look closer..we all doubted Jadeja's ability in test cricket...but didn't he justify his selection? Ashwin would have been out had he not improved on his efforts against England..Vijay sat out throughout the series against England and only got his chance after Gambhir was dropped..and made 2 100s...the CSK argument is too simplistic sometimes.

Q. This 4-0 result is more because of weak Australia team rather than our success? Asked by: Kiran Bayari

A. India won each of these tests after losing the toss...that's a big factor in India...its easy to look down upon home wins but I think that's being unfair to the players...takes hard work to win test matches.

Q. India lacks the experience in overseas conditions. The technique of many players in SA or in other bouncy wickets, with relentless attacks is questionable. There is also a complete lack of experience in the current squad. One tends to think, Gautam Gambhir (in form) opening and Sehwag (in form) in the middle order may be useful. Also India needs bowlers who are fast, like Umesh Yadav, Shami Ahmed, and even Zaheer Khan? Will the BCCI announce the 21 members in say June-July and help them prepare for the arduous tours ahead. Asked by: Narayan

A. There is an A tour scheduled in June-July to SA am told..that will give the selectors some clues...I am in favour of Sehwag getting a chance in the middle order...have written about it...if Gambhir can sort his issues out, then he should be in the plans too

Q. Gaurav, this is undoubtedly a sterling India performance given their lacklustre show against England earlier. But foreign tours have known to be disastrous since the hard bouncy tracks are hard to cope to. Do you suppose India has enough fuel in their engine to nullify Steyn and Co? Asked by: Mansoor

A. South Africa start favourites to win the series...big favourites...especially as India's batting line up will be very inexperienced...but that can work in India's favour too as they won't be scarred from previous defeats...very important to get a functional fast/medium pace attack.

Q. Do you really see Sachin playing for India in South African tour? Asked by: Praseed

A. The question we all need an answer to!! All indications are that unless he chooses not to, there is no question about his place..so we will just have to wait and see.

Q. Do you think Irfan Pathan should be selected to the South Africa tour because of the seaming conditions if he is recovered from the injury? Asked by: akash

A. I think he should be on the A tour to South Africa before that...because its been such a long time since he played tests for India...Irrfan is an attractive option, but he has to be able to be at his best....swing the ball and score some runs.

Q. Hi Gaurav, At this point of time I don't see India succeeding overseas. Players like Pujara and kohli would. As for 1 or 2 players the technique s not great for others. I feel players like Manoj tiwari and Rahane should get lot of chance instead of Sachin. What's your views. Asked by: Sam

A. Rahane made a mess of his chance in Delhi but in my view that shouldn't go against him...yes India will need for its young batsmen to do well, especially as the attack they will face is the best in the world...with regards to Sachin, the situation is this: he takes the call on his future.

Q. The 5 Bowlers you think could make it to South Africa? Asked by: Sohail

A. Seamers: Umesh, Bhuvneshwar, Zaheer, Sreesanth, Shami Ahmed spinners: Ashwin, Ojha and Jadeja.

Q. Will Jadeja, Vijay, Shikar Diwan Kohli, Ashwin even dhoni succeed in overseas series. Asked by: raju

A. It will be a massive challenge...but it will help to be fearless and I guess not being scarred by India's poor run overseas of late, some of these guys could do well.

Q. India can improve only when the base their selection on performance and not on reputation. The current result was possible only when 5 of the non performing seniors for long time quit. Will selectors ever have the courage to do their job? Asked by: Kannan.R

A. To be fair to the selectors they have taken some big calls..Sehwag, Gambhir, Harbhajan, Zaheer have all been dropped.

Q. Where do you see Praveen Kumar in current scheme of things? According to me, he could be crucial in England. He was no. 1 India l seamer in England tour. Asked by: sumit

A. Yes Praveen was very good in England...but given all that has happened with him in recent months, he is on a long road back to redemption...selectors will have to watch him carefully.

Q. Any Camps should be planned in Dharamshala or Lahli as a part of preparation? Asked by: Sohail

A. Not sure! tour is very long way off right now.

Q. India will loose, it's sure, the only question is by what margin they will loose.Opening will be big problem there. Bhuvnesh can be success there.CSK players in t20 mood, there will disaster? Asked by @cricketliveinfo/twitter.com

A. Looks like you have already decided on the series!

Q. Can this current Indian squad will be able to face the fury of steyn and co. in their backyard? and do you think India should play Umesh, Aaron and Irfan Pathan in the place of Ishant, Bhuveneshwar Kumar and Jadeja? Asked by: deepak

A. Ishant doesn't convince anyone that he can lead an indian attack...even in better bowling conditions, can he do the job? i am not so sure...I definitely would like to see Bhuvneshwar in the XI as he can swing the ball...Aaron, well who knows what his injury situation is...he seems to get injured too often.

Q. An India-A team with Sehwag, Gambhir, Raina, Zaheer and Harbhajan isn't a long shot. But do you think these guys should be given the opportunity, rather than a younger lot comprising of Manoj Tiwary, Rayudu, Rahane, et al. Asked by: Manish

A. The A tour is a great opportunity...and india should send a team of players who will be contenders for the tour later in the year.

Q. What's the status on Varun Aaron? Asked by: Shishir

A. Last I was told he is getting another injury concern looked at

Q. Do you think bowlers like Zaheer and Umesh Yadav should not be allowed to play in the IPL to ensure they are fully fit for SA tour. Asked by: Mohit

A. Zaheer is someone to keep an eye out for...unfortunately in the IPL, players are under the control of the franchises...so we will have to wait and see how much they play.

Q. S Ramesh, Devang Gandhi, S S Das are some who scored hundreds of runs on Indian pitches and couldnt reach 50 in whole series overseas. Can Dhawan, Pujara and Murli be added to this list? Asked by: Ketan

A. Not until they have had the opportunity to!

Q. Why we all keep asking this perennial question when 90 percent of total test results go in favour of host team? Asked by: tonythegreat

A. Every cricketer has aspirations of succeeding overseas..that is what they aim for...that's why overseas wins are treasured.

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