Probably the best team that could have been chosen?

First up, I think it is a good thing that the selectors decided to delink the selection of captain and vice-captain for the shorter version of the game and the longer version of the game. It is good, in my opinion, that the choice of captain for the Tests will be delayed until after the ODI series against Australia.

M. S. Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh were probably the best choices for captain and vice-captain respectively.

The dropping of Ajit Agarkar and Munaf Patel is also a step in the right direction. The ODI game is not for sloppy cricketers who need to be hidden on the field. Ajit Agarkar needs to be hidden when he is bowling and batting while Munaf Patel needs to be hidden when he is fielding. Unless Ajit Agarkar and Munaf Patel improve, respectively, on their mental and physical approach to the game, they may well have played their last ODIs for India.

Venkatesh Prasad, who was quite open and scathing in his criticism of Munaf Patel’s selection for the ODI tour of England has been heard. The coach, particularly a specialist coach — in this case, a bowling coach — should be consulted on matters of form and fitness. Munaf Patel was just not fit enough and played a very small role in the ODI series against England. After having let India down on her tours of South Africa (broke down midway through a Test after being selected), Bangladesh (had to return home after breaking down) and England (played a bit-role in one ODI), the player needed a kick up his backside and that is precisely what he got.

Ajit Agarkar will remain an enigma lost to Indian cricket. He arrived with a lot of promise, delivered for a while and then, despite a string of no-shows and oh-oh-I-got-up-on-the-wrong-side-of-bed-again-appearances, has continued to hang around like a pimple that will just not go away!

Gautam Gambhir continues to get a spot, perhaps as a result of his 50 against New Zealand in the T20 World Cup. He did play brilliantly in that game. But I continue to be amazed by this persistence in Gautam Gambhir. I am not quite convinced of Gambir’s place and his role in the team. Time will tell.

I do not see the need for 3 spinners — Piyush Chawla, Harbhajan Singh and Ramesh Powar — in the team. That is a luxury in an ODI series, in my view. I am not sure why spinners cannot be rotated in much the same way as batsmen are. An extra bat or an investment in a potential future allrounder may have been a better option. I’d have gone with someone like Badrinath for one of the spinners.

Sreesanth appears to have served his penance and is back in the fold.

Irfan Pathan had two good outings in the T20 series and gets the nod. He appears to have lost a bit in pace and is only bowling at about 130kmph. But his accuracy and swing — his forte — appear to have re-appeared and that can only be good. His fielding also appears to have improved!

Dilip Vengsarkar did talk about a rotation policy. Hopefully, this policy will allow them a look at players like Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina, Manoj Tiwary, S. Badrinath, Mohammed Kaif, Rohit Sharma, Joginder Sharma, Ishant Sharma, et al.

The team (in possible batting order):

Sachin Tendulkar
Sourav Ganguly
Robin Uthappa / Gautam Gambhir / Dinesh Karthik
Rahul Dravid
Yuvraj Singh (vice-captain)
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt)
Irfan Pathan
Piyush Chawla
Ramesh Powar / Harbhajan Singh
RP Singh / Sreesanth
Zaheer Khan

— Mohan

5 responses to “Probably the best team that could have been chosen?

  1. Should chose Dhoni for the captaincy. He is really agressive, it would be the best. And India would be the best

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  3. On the surface picking 3 spinners may seem a bit odd, but the series is being played in India and 2 spinners (out of 3) are sure to play, as would 2 seamers (out of 3). Pathan will fill in the 3rd seamer/all rounder slot…

    That leaves us with 9 batsmen – not sure whether we need another one (who will just end up in the bench for all three games).

    I am sure the spinners will also be rotated in and out of the playing XI – I also won’t be surprised if both Bhajji and Powar are picked for the same game…

    We have to start bringing in more all rounders into the mix, though (or are the selectors willing to place all their bets just on Pathan again?)

  4. Just to clarify – I have not counted Pathan as bowler…

  5. A decent side – no surprises – since it is Australia, looks like they do not want to take chances and play it safe. Rohit Sharma gets a raw deal, poor guy and Agarkar is selected.

    If Pathan is bowling 130 kmph, and also swinging the ball, he deserves a chance. He fits the all-rounder slot.

    I am a bit miffed by the selection of Agarkar. I would think this has to do with some Maharashtra regional politics also. Would a TN player get that many chances ? Agarkar has the record for the number of consecutive ducks in a test match or something like that ?

    Why not try a new guy – Ranabir Bose, ? Even if he bombs out, that is ok. For some reason, VRV Singh, who was considered a promising bowler by Andy Robers and Ian Bishop has been given the farewell.

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