Tag Archives: Selection

2nd Test team – Why Raina/Karthik?

The BP XI against SA had Abhinav Mukund, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Cheteswar Pujara, Abhishek Nayar, Shikar Dhawan and Manish Pandey besides Parthiv Patel a the keeper. Of the lot Rohit Sharma was chosen to stay back as cover for Laxman in the 1st test. He promptly got injured and Saha got a lucky test debut.

Strangely Raina is nowhere to be seen in this middle order bench that played for the BP XI. So how come suddenly the selectors wanted Raina ahead of stronger claims from people like Pandey or Nayar. Initially I thought I had stumbled upon the perfect answer that Raina was a left hander and they wanted him to tackle Paul Harris since there is no left hander in the middle order. Now I would have gone for Abhishek Nayar if I wanted a left hander or Manish Pandey simply because of the promise and the form he has been in. Both the initial selection of Rohit Sharma or the inclusion of Raina does not make sense to me.

Another strange selection is to bring back Karthik after his century in each innings in the Duleep final. Karthik was dropped after the Bangladesh tour and Saha picked as a reserve wicket keeper. Now Saha makes a debut as a reserve batsman and gets dropped. Another wicketkeeper who was dropped gets back in for scoring two centuries and will play as a reserve batsman?? Do we really need a reserve wicketkeeper for a home series? Or is Karthik is the next best batsman in the country?

Sanjay

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Indian team for Oz ODI’s announced

The selectors have announced the Indian team for the 7 match ODI series against Australia. The squad is

MS Dhoni (capt/wk), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel, Sudeep Tyagi, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra.

The big news of course is that Dravid has been dropped. This was definitely on the cards and personally I am happy that the selectors decided to right the wrong they did by selecting him in the first place. Here is my logic for the Dravid selection and subsequent axing. The Indian middle order failed against the bouncing ball in the recently concluded T20 World Cup. They wanted some experience in the middle order and brought in Dravid. The second and in my opinion, more significant reason, was Dravid’s recent performance for Bangalore Royal Challengers at IPL2 in South Africa. Dravid was batting with a carefree abandon rarely seen and this definitely convinced the selectors of his utility. The thing that upsets me most is that the picking of Dravid for the ODIs was on the basis of T20 cricket and nothing else. If ODIs were the only consideration then why was Dravid dropped in the first place? Easily answered becasue Dravid was considered too slow for one day cricket. He had the habit of eating up a lot of dot balls and could not keep the strike rotating when he got bogged down. Also the profile of the Indian team was getting younger and he did not fit in. But if a couple of middle order failed, again in a T20 match, then they call up Dravid. Again if the current ODI series was played in Australia would they have dropped Dravid? I don’t think so. In hindsight it would have been better if they had taken Laxman instead of Dravid if they had wanted experience. But then Laxman did not score in IPL2 you see!

Coming to the other selections. Poor Abhishek Nayar finds himself dropped. He hardly got a chance! In fact even during the Champions Trophy I was surprised at how Virat Kohli made the playing XI ahead of Nayar. If Kohli was that good, he would have been in the team first and not Nayar as is the case now! RP Singh has not been that impressive and got dropped. So too were Yusuf Pathan and Dinesh Karthik. In come Jadeja, Munaf and Sudip Tyagi. Jadeja is a good all rounder and has performed well in the Challengers. Tyagi is a very good selection especially after an impressive Challenger series. Munaf continues his in/out routine with the Indian team. Ishanth has been retained only because no other medium pacer has been impressive. If only Dhaval Kulkarni, Siddharth Trivedi or L Balaji had picked up a few wickets! I like the look of the team though especially with Sehwag and Yuvraj back.

There is also an interesting sidelight that Venkatesh Prasad and Robin Singh, the bowling and fielding coaches have been sacked. The Board has not announced any replacements, so nothing is known at the moment on that front.

Sanjay

Probables List :: Team India T20 World Championships

The Indian selectors announced the Team India list of 30 probables for the T20 World Championship. The final squad of 15 will be announced on June 5, just 10 days after the IPL concludes.

The probables list is:

Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, Pragyan Ojha, Harbhajan singh, Praveen Kumar, Dinesh Karthik, M Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane, S Badrinath, Robin Uthappa, Virat Kohli, Manoj Tiwary, Wriddhiman Saha, Abhishek Nayar, Amit Mishra, R Ashwin, RP Singh, L Balaji, Dhawal Kulkarni, Naman Ojha.

Ommissions from the team that represented India in the 2007 T20 World Championship are S. Sreesanth, Piyush Chawla, Ajit Agarkar and Joginder Sharma.

Sreesanth is out through “back injury” — he has even pulled out of this years’ IPL as a result of his injury. Ajit Agarkar hasn’t set any cricket field on fire in the last year or so and must be on his way out of all forms sometime soon. His was a talent that didn’t quite get there, in my view.

The demotion of Piyush Chawla and Joginder Sharma is of concern. There is no doubt that Joginder Sharma never quite lived up to his potential as a “bit of a batsman” — and I fear a similar fate for Praveen Kumar too! And yes, Piyush Chawla’s bowling has tapered off a bit and he did not have a great domestic season. But one would have thought that he would make the probables cut!

I am a bit surprised that the probables list has as many as 4 ‘keepers — Dhoni, Karthik, Saha and Ojha! Surely, two — or at most three — would do! The additional spot could have been “given” to either Joginder Sharma or Piyush Chawla!

The break-up of the probables list is:
Batsmen: Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Virat Kohli, M Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane, S Badrinath, Manoj Tiwary
Bits-and-pieces: Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh
All rounders: Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, Abhishek Nayar
Spinners: Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Amit Mishra, R Ashwin
Pace: Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Praveen Kumar, L Balaji, Dhawal Kulkarni, Munaf Patel, RP Singh,
Keepers: MS Dhoni, Wriddhiman Saha, Dinesh Karthik, Naman Ojha

I’d think that the final team will be made up of 2 batsmen from the above list (the first two named), all 4 “bit and pieces” players in the above list, 3 “all rounders” (first three named), 1 spinner (the first named), 4 pace men (first 4 named) and 1 “keeper” (first named)

Players like Abhishek Nayar, Ajinkya Rahane, Naman Ojha, Wriddhiman Saha, M. Vijay, Manoj Tiwary, et al should feel good that they are part of the mix with the senior squad. After strong performances in the domestic season, the day is perhaps not far when we will start seeing some of the above in national colours.

Given the timing of the IPL and the date when the T20 team of 15 will be selected, one has to assume that the IPL assumes special significance for some of the above players!

However, I expect the 15-member T20 India team will be:

Gautam Gambhir
Virender Sehwag
Suresh Raina / Robin Uthappa (or Virat Kohli)
Yuvraj Singh / Rohit Sharma
MS Dhoni
Yusuf Pathan
Irfan Pathan / Ravindra Jadeja
Harbhajan Singh
Zaheer Khan
Praveen Kumar / L Balaji
Ishant Sharma

— Mohan