Empty thoughts and mutterings

Friday, March 31, 2006

Looking at 2007..

A lot has been going on in Indian cricket lately. The never ending Ganguly-Selectors controversy, the chappell-Ganguly spat, escaped e-mails, sachin being booed in bombay, the mumbai debacle, quiet dominance in ODI's and the list goes on. Building for the future has been the selection committee's mantra. I agree with the concept, but not with how it is being executed. Closing the doors on ganguly might not have been a bad thing for the future, but doing it after some decent performances leaves one bewildered at the goings on. Somebody has to pay the price for all the messy politics up top, and Saurav's the chosen victim. Although I sypmathize with how a great indian captain has been shown the door awkwardly, If I were building a team for the world cup, Saurav would not figure in the scheme of things as well. Ofcourse, a string of good performances, could get him back in, but as of now, he's a non starter.

Pace: The Indian pace department looks promising after ages. Pathan will continue to be the backbone, because of his ability to break big partnerships and his ability to swing the ball both ways (that is a terrfic skill IMO). Sreesanth has very good mechanics and uses his shoulder to generate good pace and bounce. Although there's not great swing, his length is impressive, and his attitude as a fast bowler has impressed me. Munaf patel, can bowl a lot of wicket taking deliveries on his day. More so than any other seamer in the team. But he is very unpredictable. Slips one way down the leg slide after two good attempts at a yorker and lets the pressure slip up. A little more grooming will help. RP singh, has the left handers line going for him, and has the knack of picking up wickets. A yard of pace added will suit him well. Zaheer khan is out as of now, unless he can get himself back in with a string of wonderful performances. Agarkar in my opinion should be out and not considered !

Spin: As for the spinners, the selectors seem to have got it into their head that playing kumble in ODI's will not work for us in the long term. So I guess he's out for sure. I don't quite agreee with this. You can call him old, and you can call him tired, but today, he's still our best bet for a wicket ! Harbhajan is a good one day bowler, and is a definite help and his selection is a formality. Piyush chawla needs a few more games in the domestic circuit. A few good tours, can make his case. Romesh powar is a bits and pieces cricketer at best, and I don't have a great feeling about this guy. He's about 5'5 and must weight like 200. He does field well and run well given his size. But he really looks unfit. And also, his bowling has nothing to write home about. If it were left to me, I wouldn't get his hopes up too much. It might be worth spending more energy on some richer, raw "er" spin talent than focussing on the likes of powar.

Wicketkeeping: This really is simple. Dhoni's gelled into the team real well. He has a great head on his shoulders. His keeping has been decent but can be improved. The important thing is that he's becoming a match winner that we have always yearned for (not just with slogging, but also with responsible batting). Dravid should don the pads, in case of injury to Dhoni. That way, we can save a slot, for another position.

Batting: Sehwag could have had a bad patch. But if he can find his groove, he can take the match away in a matter of a few overs. I will always take that chance with him. Sachin had a good run in pakistan and I believe his expereince should help India a lot. Gambhir will be my #3 opener in the event that he's required. Dravid at #3 and Yuvi at #4 pick themselves easily. Kaif I believe is a great team man and he should walk in at #5 and one good innings will make all the non believers eat their words. Raina is a great talent. Looking at his style, he's more a top order batsman than a #6. But till a slot opens up in the top order, he has to prove himself at #6. Pathan and dhoni add solidity to the line up. Venugopal rao and Dheeraj Jadhav will have to wait in the wings.

So here's my consolidated list (If I had my way):

1. Sehwag
2 Sachin
3. Gambhir
4. Dravid
5. Yuvraj
6. Kaif
7. Raina
8. Dhoni
9. Pathan
15.R.P singh

Waiting in the wings

1. V.R.V Singh
2. Venugopal rao
3. Ramesh powar (reluctantly :))

What do you have to say ? Do you have anybody else in mind ?


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