I was writing up my comments to Sanjay’s post, but decided to write a separate post as it was getting too long 🙂
In my opinion, here are the pre-requisites for picking up a Twenty20 side –
- For a batsman, you should have a good strike rate and the ability to improvise.
- All players in the team should be able to field really well (this probably disqualifies someone like Munaf and Ishant)
- As a bowler, you should have the ability to contain runs more than the ability to take wickets. If you can also take wickets, it is a bonus. (My logic is that if you can contain the flow of runs in Twenty20, the wickets will automatically fall)
- Wicket keepers must be good batsmen.
- The team should have a good mix of allrounders (at least 3 in the playing XI). The definition of an allrounder for a Twenty20 is very different to an allrounder in other forms of the game. In Twenty20, if you are batsman who can bowl at 2-3 overs every match, you can be considered to be an all rounder. Or if you are a bowler who can be relied to get around 25 runs. (I would consider people like Dinesh Mongia, Sehwag and Yuvraj to be “batting” allrounders, whereas people like Irfan Pathan can be considered “bowling” allrounders. It’s a pity Mongia wasn’t considered)
- Bowlers who can throw their bat about to score some quick runs is also a bonus.
So dividing up the team into batsmen, allrounders, bowlers and WK Batsmen, this is what we get –
Of this lot, Manoj Tiwary, Rohit Sharma, Karan Goel and Niraj Patel can bowl a few overs, but I have still listed them as batsmen. Similarly Agarkar, Powar and Chawla can bat a bit, but I’ve listed them as bowlers. In fact they have all got hundreds to their name either in tests (Agarkar), Ranjis (Powar) or U-19 cricket (Chawla). Zaheer and Bhajji are also capable of swinging the bat around for a few runs – but none of them can claim the tag of all rounder.
I can understand Goel and Niraj Patel being named in the short list – they had both scored over 300 runs in the domestic Twenty20 competition. Even Srikkanth Anirudha’s inclusion can be justified – he had scored 285 runs at a good strike rate. His fellow opener Devendran should consider himself very unlucky to have been left out of the squad after also making 285 in the competition. What baffles me is the selection of Abhishek Jhunjhunwala. Jhunjhunwala didn’t have a great Twenty20 competition nor a great Ranji One Day tournament. I hope he is not in to fill up the “zonal” quota. Maybe he is a really good bat and the selectors see potential in him.
Y Pathan, Behera and Praveen Kumar are probably in the team mainly because the selectors are looking for more allrounders.
I think the following 12 have a very high probability of being picked in the XV –
Sehwag, Uthappa, Raina, Yuvraj, Karthik, Dhoni, Tiwary, Z Khan, Sreesanth, Agarkar, Powar, Chawla
This makes up 5 batsmen, 2 allrounders and 5 bowlers.
The remaining three places could go to anyone, but I think it will be split between a batsman, bowler and an allrounder. Irfan Pathan could get the all rounder spot, while Goel, Patel, Rohit Sharma, Gambhir and Anirudha Srikkanth could be fighting for the one batsman spot. RP Singh will probably edge out Munaf Patel and Ishant Sharma. If the tournament was played in the subcontinent then Bhajji would have probably been a better choice. I would have personally preferred to go with one additional all rounder in the XV, but we may have to make do with the odd over from someone like Tiwary or Raina.
So, the likely XV could end up being –
Sehwag, Uthappa, Raina, Yuvraj, Karthik, Dhoni, Tiwary, Z Khan, Sreesanth, Agarkar, Powar, Chawla, I Pathan, RP Singh, Rohit Sharma.