Should Pathan replace Agarkar?

Mohan’s excellent blog ‘Team and approach for the Sri Lanka match…’ got me thinking about the team composition, and more so about Pathan’s possible role. Pathan or Agarkar?  is the question Indian fans will be asking after Agarkar’s insipid effort against Bermuda.  

Agarkar’s batting has fallen away by the wayside and there has been no innings of note recently. In comparison, Pathan’s batting ability is not in question and if required, he can be used in a floating position anywhere between No 3 to No 8. 

Stating the blooming obvious, it is his bowling that is a cause of worry. This is where Dravid should not look to bowl Pathan his full quota. If he can get 7 overs off him for around 35, that should suffice. Even better, if he can squeeze out around 4 overs during the power plays. 

But it is up to Pathan to bowl a consistent line on one side of the wicket and not try too many variations. I guess if the in-dipper is not working well, let him stick to the delivery going away.  In my opinion, too much is made out of Pathan loosing pace. Ian Bradshaw and Syed Rasel bowl around 125 kph and don’t ever look threatening but are very effective.  

Having said that, there is a big risk in selecting Pathan and Dravid should have a mitigation strategy or Plan B.  

Plan B  – If Pathan gets clobbered, take him out and put him back in after the power plays. Do not expose him to Jayasuriya. If after 3 overs Pathan is a liability, the back up bowlers should step up.

If you think about it, Pathan, Sehwag, Tendulkar and Yuvraj together need to contribute only 20 overs. Dravid has played enough cricket with Agarkar to know that there are no guarantees that Agarkar will bowl much better than what Pathan might have. So, will India choose Pathan over Agarkar and play the percentages or stick to Agarkar?

Any thoughts? …But before that have a look at what Travis Basevi and George Binoy have to say about Agarkar’s economy while Anand Vasu discusses our perceived notions and actual facts of his performance 



12 responses to “Should Pathan replace Agarkar?

  1. So what are our options? Sreesanth for Agarkar? Or two spin two pace with Irfan and Sehwag doubling up in the 5 th bowlers role?

  2. Homer, i think the author was suggesting replacing agarkar with pathan.

    another option is to replace utthappa with pathan.

    i feel agarkar should play. one poor outing should not disqualify him. he’s been pretty good the last several matches before the wc

    i think the key question is the choice between the spinners. I would play Bhajji.

  3. Bhajji is my choice too. My team in batting order will be:


  4. I tend to agree with this team…

    Munaf, Zaheer and Bhajji can bowl 10 overs each. But, I think that Pathan is just a 6-7 over bowler at present. Sehwag, Tendulkar and Pathan together should complete the remaining 20 overs.

    Yuvraj and Ganguly can roll their arms over if needed..


  5. Regarding, Ajit and stats – “statistics can be misleading”.

    Let us take Bermuda match. Ajit took 3 wickets. That is a very good showing in 10 overs. Do you conclude, based on bowling figures that Ajit bowled well ?

    My view is based on is a bowler is able to bowl good line, length, beat the batsman or keep him guessing. In one-day matches, when batsmen are going to swing the bat around, there are going to be some random fours – edges and nudges – that is part of the game. There are two ways to bowl.

    1. Containment at both ends and when runs dry down at “both ends”, that is when batsmen go for the exorbidant shot and get out. But if you give 4 runs or more in over (as claimed by Anand Vasu) there is no pressure for batsman.

    2. Aggressive (wicket taking) bowling – like Brett Lee or Shaoib Akhtar. They were always to get a couple of wickets early in the game to put the opposition on the backfoot.

    I think Sreesanth, fits the second role – He will take wickets. But I am not sure that young lad is good for 10 overs against a good side and India does not have many options to complete 50 overs.

    Drop Uthappa, bring in Karthick,
    Drop Ajit Agarkar – bring in Sreesanth
    Drop Kumble – bring in Harbhajan, with an ultimatum – if you don’t perform …..

  6. I am puzzler and I am puzzled by many things 🙂

    I am not sure why Uthappa gets the “Lawrence Rowe” treatment from the selectors, fans. In 1975 WI team selected Lawrence Rowe almost for every match, since Rowe was known to be a great batmen, technique, …. I looked at Uthappa’s average, it is rather mediocre.

    As Anand Vasu mentions, he wanted Badrinath in the team for his average. I can write a seperate column on factions/forces within the Indian team.

  7. Pingback: News in brief: Wednesday 21 March 2007 « i3j3Cricket :: A blog for fans of Indian cricket…

  8. I think Pathan is overall a better allrounder and a better bet.

  9. hai ……….its me saber
    def Pathan has to be play under 11 squad.Remove Agarkar ,He is good for nothing.
    my team for the next game is ( 23mar SL ) is as follows

  10. Yaar too much is made of agarkar’s performance:

    In WI last year everyone know he bowled excellent overall in ODIs barring one bad match in Port of spain. So far agarkar has played 6 matches in port of spain in WI and his average is 22 (which if you consider is bad then be it). Now ready for the face off: His cumulative average in all other grounds in WI is just 15 better than any other baller in the world. Moreover overall his economy rate in WI is just 22. So he will have to play in WC

  11. For the Sri Lanka vs India match, I feel that Agarkar should definitely be included in the squad due to his past record against both Jayasuriya and Jayawardene who have been in very good form in recent matches. Also, both these players, especially Jayasuriya, normally lay a solid foundation for the Lankan team to consolidate their innings upon.

    Jayawardene’s recent comments: “Bangaldesh did not meekly surrender to us,”, “we made them surrender.” And if India “showed us a few things when we were in India, it is now our turn to show them.” clearly reveals his overconfidence and aggression which the entire Indian team should read as an additional motivation whilst preparing for the crucial encounter.

  12. in my opinion .zaheer khan should be out from the indian cricket team as he is out of form and in the place of khan .pathan should play .agarkar is the very best bowler of india in todays time.we having a lots of good bowler like balaji but no boody is watching about this.

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