Today is the first of the many nervous days that all of us Indian cricket enthusiasts have to go through. We have to win and win well.
So what is winning well? If we bat first we have to win by more than 253 runs (the margin by which Sri Lanka beat Bermuda).
If we field we have to skittle Bermuda out for a low total and then make the requisite runs very very quickly.
Will Sehwag play today? I think he will. In a match like this where runs have to be scored really fast, Sehwag and Dhoni will be crucial. But the most interesting talk doing the rounds is that Sachin may open! The team might get the old firm of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly back at the top to give it inspiration/impetus.
A good choice under the circumstances, I think.
In all probability Dhoni will bat at 3 whatever the situation of the match. With Yuvraj Singh and Rahul Dravid batting down the order, and an ‘out form but likely to score against a minnow in the true sense’ Virender Sehwag, they can afford to send Tendulkar up the order.
And the bowling?
I think Kumble should play. Minnows are not familiar with his brand of spin whereas they may be able to cope with any form of medium pace. Irfan Pathan should also play today.
So the likely team (in likely batting order):
Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, M. S. Dhoni, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Uthappa/Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel