It may be premature to speculate on the possible team composition for future India (particularly for the test side) as watch the IPL move towards its grand finale. However, watching some of the Indians perform at the IPL and at the same time following the Aussie team composition for the Ashes, made me start thinking about how the Indian team structure will be post-Tendulkar/VVS/Dravid era. I am particularly excited about players like Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina and would expect them to make it to the test side as well. Here are my thoughts on a possible 11 (in batting order) for India possibly sometime in 2010/2011 + 3 benchmen.
Sehwag (will eventually give way to Abhinav Mukund)
Amit Mishra (Pragyan Ojha)
Zaheer Khan (should give way to RP Singh eventually)
+ Cheteswar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, Munaf Patel (Pradeep Sangwan, Kamran Khan, or Shoaib Maqsusi seem good candidates as well)
I would consider Yusuf Pathan, T. Suman, L. Shukla, Shadab Jakati, Virat Kohli, Naman Ojha and a few others for the shorter version of the game. I am concerned about the pace strength and would hope that some of the newer talent would come through with more consistency. I am not convinced that Sreesanth is ready to be back mentally and physically. RP Singh has done enough to justify a recall into the test version. He seems committed enough and fields much better than Munaf Patel.
Piyush Chawla and Dinesh Karthik may have performed reasonably well in the IPL 2 but, in my books, stand a remote chance of getting back. D. Karthik may still be considered a back up for Dhoni since none of the other keepers have really demonstrated good keeping skills. I think Irfan Pathan should be given another go at test matches simply considering the fact that he is such a handy all rounder to have. That way the Indians can essentially play five bowlers with Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, and Yuvraj Singh turning their arm over as well.
I still look forward to watching Tendulkar, Dravid, and VVS bat in at least another test series (Tendulkar possibly for longer) but, at the same time, look forward to watching some of the exciting talent come through in the next ten years. I am particularly excited about Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina and rate them very highly and expect them to take over Indian cricket into the future. With Dhoni’s captaincy the way it is. India should continue posing a threat to the Aussies and South Africans.