India v Zimbabwe and other stuff that doesn't matter

India play Zimbabwe tomorrow in the first match of a tri-series. There are so many reasons not to bother with this series.

For one, it involves Zimbabwe, which is still a long way from a quality side. And there's Sri Lanka. Again. Between all the tests, ODI's, T20I's and the IPL, our players and their players are either sick of each of other or really good buddies. I suspect the former.

I also don't care much for ODI's. It's sort of a confused format - we know that tests are long and batsmen are all blocky, and we know that T20's are slambangy and really short. I don't know why, but for some reason I can watch five whole days of test cricket, and still am unable to sit through 100 overs of an ODI.

But I will be watching this tri-series, or at least India's games. One obvious reason is that India's playing. Another is that this mass resting of players actually has me intrigued - I don't think I've ever seen an Indian side devoid of its stars. The fact that Suresh Raina - who has only recently cemented his spot in ODI's - is the skipper, will go some way in showing us what we can expect from the future.

Sri Lanka hasn't rested as many players as India, and we can be sure that the 'bounce us out' strategy will be employed at some point by them as well as Zimbabwe. ODI's may be less manic than T20's, but this is a superb test of temperament for the likes of Raina, Kohli, Karthik and Rohit Sharma. Yusuf Pathan has a good chance of doing well this series, but he's still rubbish. Kieron Pollard has a similar reputation as a slogger and is doing a far better job than Yusuf. Naman Ojha is not ready for this level, and Jadeja lacks confidence as well as any sort of definition of his role.

The quicks will be observed closely, none more so than Umesh Yadav, seemingly the only bowler in India who bowls 140+ right now. Vinay Kumar is an old-school Indian medium pacer whose strength lies in accuracy, while I see limited opportunities for Pankaj Singh and Ashok Dinda.

PS. Also, this blog has been added to, the blogroll for Cricket Blogs.