Although there are some who may feel unmotivated by an India-Bangladesh series, these matches have assumed some importance for Team India and the Team India fan. In a way, to have a not-so-hard series at the start of a re-building phase can be a good thing. It is, however, a series that India must win — and win handsomely. It will serve to partially erase the demons of a totally dissatisfying World Cup 2007 for Team India.
The team has been selected. A few injuries have hit home (Tiwary is heading back home). The conditioning camp is over. Team India is in Bangladesh. It is time for the buglers to kick the games off.
Bangladesh are not going to be push-overs. They will have new found energy and spring in their step. Their spinners will find more purchase on spin-friendly pitches.
I suggest the following team for the ODIs (in batting order):
* Robin Uthappa
* Dinesh Mongia
* Rahul Dravid
* V Sehwag
* Yuvraj Singh
* Dinesh Karthik
* M. S. Dhoni
* Romesh Powar
* Zaheer Khan
* Munaf Patel
* RP Singh
Gautam Gambhir may play instead of Robin Uthappa, but I doubt it (atleast for the first match).
Sreesanth may get a bowl ahead of R. P. Singh, but I doubt it. Given the accuracy, pace and movement Singh has been getting in the nets, I feel RP is a shoe-in for a starting spot. After all, cracking the nose of your captain in the nets comes with some privileges when it comes to putting pen on team-sheet!
Finally, I think Piyush Chawla will be overlooked in favour of Romesh Powar.
In the end analysis, Dravid’s men have to pull all stops and give off their best. Nothing short of a terrific performance will help their credibility. They may not accept it. They may not admit to it. But this is a redemption tour…