Replacement XI

In the previous post, Mohan had listed the players who have been given central contracts this year and there are names in the list that pop up straight away as replacements for people in the playing XI if someone got injured or is just not available. Vijay, for instance, is an an automatic fill-in for Gambhir for the Mumbai Test. There are also some names in the list I don’t see playing for the national team this year – Kaif for instance.

So, I got thinking and wondered if we could pick an alternate playing eleven (replacing everyone from the previous Test) and this is what I came up with:

  1. M Vijay
  2. W Jaffer
  3. C Pujara
  4. S Badrinath
  5. S Raina
  6. Rohit Sharma
  7. *+Dinesh Karthik
  8. R Jadeja
  9. A Mishra
  10. Munaf Patel
  11. Ishant Sharma

Just to set things straight, the players on the list are there purely on merit and I didn’t base it on whether they are  contracted or not.

Vijay is the standby opener in any case, and although I even considered including Abhinav Mukund (who happens to be Srikanth Mangalam’s personal favourite 🙂 ), I decided to go with the tried and trusted Jaffer. He has shown good form in domestic cricket and brings in the experience that the team lacks. Pujara, the domestic cricket run machine makes it to No. 3. Badrinath slots in at No. 4, while Raina and Sharma take up the next two spots.

Dinesh Karthik dons the gloves as well as the captaincy. In a team of newcomers, the choice of captaincy was only between Jaffer and Karthik –one led Mumbai to their Ranji Trophy last year and the other led TN to the ODI title. In the end I picked Karthik.

As far as the bowlers are concerned Ishant Sharma and Mishra were slotted in easily. My decision to pick Jadeja as the second spinner may raise a few eyebrows, but he did take 42 wickets last season, bats very well and shows a lot of promise. The second seamer option was a tough one – the names of RP Singh, Bose and Nehra popped up, as did newcomers like Tyagi, but in the end I went with Munaf.

So, are the players in my Alternate XI contracted? It appears so. Would this bunch of players win any matches? Probably not straight away – but it does show promise, I think.  Remember it doesn’t have the eight automatic selections for all tests – Gambhir, Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan. Scary thought playing without any of them…

It was fun making up the list, though 🙂

And you can start flaming me now 🙂 …or better still, show me your XI.


5 responses to “Replacement XI

  1. My IX…
    1. M Vijay
    2. W Jaffer
    3. C Pujara
    4. S Badrinath
    5. Virat Kohli
    6. Rohit Sharma
    7. *+Dinesh Karthik
    8. R Jadeja
    9. A Mishra
    10. Ashish Nehra
    11.LP Balaji

    VIrat Kohli is doing better than RAina
    LP Balaji is also performing well.

  2. Mahesh

    Good alternate list in my view and good post too — despite the bait to Srikanth re: Abhinav Mukund! 🙂

    Bose is not a contracted player. He dropped off the list. So I don’t reckon he is in contention at all. In fact, after a tour to England, he dropped off the radar totally! He wasn’t in last years’ contract list too.


    The choice would be between R. P. Singh (Grade B), Sudeep Tyagi (B) and Dhawal Kulkarni (D) in my view. I think RP would win that race in my book.

    Although I rate him highly, I really do not think Ravindra Jadeja should find a place in the team that has a 4-bowler combination. If you had 5 bowlers, Jadeja will easily make up the 5th bowler. In a 4-bowler team, and especially in the presence of a leggie in Amit Mishra, the 4th bowler has to be Ashwin.

  3. Srikanth Mangalam

    Yes, I will certainly put in a case for Abhinav Mukund. I believe Wasim Jaffer has had his chances, and for reasons right or wrong, he has to become an “also ran” in my books. I would consider playing Suresh Raina ahead of Virat Kohli in test matches as there is very little evidence of Kohli’s strengths in the longer version of the game. Raina, I believe, has made a few big hundreds in the Ranji format. He also gives a left handed option in the middle, a like for like replacement for Yuvraj. I would agree that Jadeja should be considered as 5th bowler option and fight for that place with Rohit Sharma if at all. I would also like to see Nehra in the frame because he seems to be bowling well at least of late.

  4. @mohankaus – Bose was mentioned mainly to point out that I considered every fast bowler around (even those not included in the contract) – he never had a serious chance, I reckon. My first pick in the list was RP Singh, but I had a quick look at the form guide – which didn’t act in his favour. In the end I went with Munaf. The sad part is that the fast bowling stocks do look pretty thin at the moment.

    As far as Jadeja is concerned, I do agree he has a long way to go…I do hope someday he becomes the “Ravi Shastri” of the new Indian team.

    Jury is still out on Ashwin, I think. If you leave Bhajji out, he happens to be the only right arm off break bowler in the current scheme of things. He is a good lower order bat to boot, but seems to be doing better with the ball in the shorter format.. Let’s wait and watch how he does in the Ranji games this season.

  5. Hello Mahesh
    yours list is good but in my opinion A. Nehra
    should be there in your list in replacement of Ishant Sharma.

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