Team to be announced today


Indian cricket fans are waiting curiously to find out what team the selectors are going to come up with today. There are several reasons why the team selection for a tour of a lowly ranked test nation like Bangladesh takes importance –

  • When the WC team was announced, most people knew what was coming. The team was going to be utmost a slight variation of the team that played WI and SL. Apart from Dravid, no one else’s place is certain in the team now.
  • Bangladesh under Whatmore are a much improved side than their world ranking suggests. The tigers have now defeated most of the top teams (South Africa and Australia included) in ODIs at least once and would like to carry their form into the test arena. An already wounded India wouldn’t want to take this team lightly by sending a second-tier team.
  • After the Worldcup debacle and the numerous rumours, debates, opinions and discussions that followed, no one knows for sure what the selectors are going to do. Whether the “seniors” are going to be replaced by “juniors” is a question only the selectors can answer. Everyone else (including people with their highly reliable “unnamed source”) are just waiting to find out.

In keeping with Mohan’s two team concept, I am going to name my own two teams (although one for tests and one for ODIs). Let me start with the test team first, which is fairly easy to do –

Test team

The test team has actually been fairly successful of late and their ODI failures tend to mask this fact. In my opinion, this team shouldn’t be messed around with much. Here is my team

  1. W. Jaffar
  2. Dinesh Karthik (wk)
  3. Rahul Dravid (c)
  4. VVS Laxman (vc)
  5. Yuvraj Singh
  6. Tendulkar
  7. Ganguly/Tiwary
  8. Zaheer Khan
  9. Munaf Patel
  10. Kumble/P Chawla
  11. Harbajan Singh/R.Bose

You may notice that Dhoni and Sehwag have been dropped altogether while Tendulkar has been dropped down the order. The main reason is that we still need an opener and that is why Karthik comes in to the team in place of both Sehwag and Dhoni. It will also allow us to play Yuvraj. Top players (including Lara, Richards and Inzi) have dropped down the order towards the end of the career and I think Tendulkar should do the same.

New entrants into the team are Bose, Chawla and Tiwary (more as backup cover than anything else). Sreesanth is apparently injured and will not be part of the tour. Depending on the pitch, it would be toss up between H. Singh and Bose.

I also think that Chawla should be picked for every tour so that we can groom him as a replacement for Kumble.

ODI team

The selectors have been given a directive to select a young team, and this is where I would make some “radical” changes. Here is my team in batting order

  1. MS Dhoni (wk)
  2. Tendulkar
  3. Uthappa
  4. Yuvraj Singh (vc)
  5. Dravid (c)
  6. Dinesh Karthik/(either Dinesh Mongia or Kaif)
  7. Tiwary/Rohit Sharma
  8. Joginder Sharma
  9. Zaheer Khan
  10. R. Powar
  11. Munaf Patel/R. Bose

(Raina is still injured and doesn’t find a place in the team)

Our experiments with Tendulkar batting in the middle have failed, so I would again move him up the order and get Dravid batting lower down. I have reserved 2 slots in the team for new comers and the team has a good balance of young and the experienced without overdoing either.

I don’t think we need to speculate too much as the “real” team will be announced in a few hours, but I would like to know what you think…

-Mahesh-

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2 responses to “Team to be announced today

  1. Sorry Mahesh. These teams are both a few chapters short of a good book, in my opinion.

    Issues:

    In the Test team, I do not see the need to bat till Number 7. I’d take Irfan Pathan at 7. I also do not think VVS should be there.
    I would like to know the reasons for the dropping of Sreesanth. He is a first pencil for me in the bowling department.
    Harbhajan Singh needs a vana vaas and Romesh Powar should be a shoe-in.

    In the ODI Team:

    I would drop Dhoni for Ganguly and open with Ganguly and Tendulkar with Uthappa as 1-drop.
    The ODI team is a bowler short.

    Mohan

  2. I had read that Sreesanth was injured (I’ve mentioned that in my post). Obviously, I shouldn’t believe everything I read…

    I can understand Powar for Bhajji, but I am not sure about dropping VVS from the test team. I am also not so sure about Pathan.

    The bowling in the ODI team is based on Joginder bowling his 10 overs (or close to it)

    But all this discussion is just academic – the team has now been announced.

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