Let's look at the squad : MS Dhoni ( C&WK),Sachin,Sehwag,Gambhir, Yuvraj, Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan, Zaheer, Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Kohli, Munaf Patel,Piyush Chawla and Ashwin.
Out of these, the first 12 players listed above almost picked themselves due to their experience and consistency and barring injuries should have been in the team any time the team was going to be announced.
I would want to debate about the last 3 names in the list and I am sure there are millions in this country who would have a similar opinion :)
Munaf Vs Sreesanth
Munaf Patel has been a very steady bowler and an ideal one change bowler for India in the past 1 year. He is not flashy and puts the ball in the "right areas" and leaves the rest to the pitch and the batsmen. If the quality of the opposition and the nature of the pitch are helpful, he surely succeeds. He hardly contributes with the bat and is a liability in the field. So, I am not sure if he is my first choice back-up medium fast bowler in the squad.
|Can Munaf produce these spells in World Cup ?|
Sreesanth is completely opposite to Munaf. He is flashy to the core and bowls at good pace. He is capable of producing Dream balls ( refer to the picture below ) and also is equally capable of going for a lot of runs. He has the "X" factor and I would have preferred to have him in the side as he is a safe fielder and also a handy enough Number 11.
|Sreesanth's Special - A Snorter to Kallis|
Piyush Chawla Vs Ojha
Piyush Chawla is a handy cricketer to be included in any side. He bowls Leg Spin with decent accuracy and is a very capable lower order batsman who can hold his end up and fields well enough. He was once hailed as the successor to Anil Kumble after he got Sachin out with a disguised googly in Challenger trohpy and since then played a few games and petered away to IPL and didn't play for India for the last 3 years. Is he the right choice for the team ? I would give him the benefit of doubt and include him in the team just because the rest of the teams perhaps didn't plan to include him in their plans.
|Hope Piyush makes the opposition dance to his spin|
Ojha has played for India in the recent past with decent amount of success. But his role in the team was mainly that of a "container" and never was an attacking option. He does not have the Arm Ball that's a must for any Left Arm Spinner and is not a great athlete in typical Hyderabadi fashion. Also the WC selections are always not known to thrill folks from Hyderabad ( remember dropping Laxman before 2003 WC :) ).
|Ojha - Not smiling any more...|
Ashwin Vs Rohit
Ashwin has played with some distinction in the squads of CSK and for India when he got chances. He loves to bowl in Powerplays that shows his enthusiasim to out-think the batsmen and attack when the going is tough. He has borrowed the "Carrom Ball" from Mendis and has the confidence to bowl in the matches with success. He enjoys tremendous support from the current captain along with the chairman of selectors. Having said this, I am not sure why we would need 3 Spinners in a squad of 15 when only one of them would be in the playing eleven ? Ashwin doesn't feature in my squad.
|Ashwin - is he a competetion to Harbhajan?|
Rohit Sharma is one of the classiest Indian batsman who probably deserved to be in the team in the place of Ashwin. He did not use the opportunities provided to him by the Indian team management in the last 3 years. However, he is capable of delivering if "disciplined" and would have prospered if the selectors imposed faith in him and was told that this is his last chance. He bowls Off-Spin and is a very good fielder with exceptional slip catching that is of great demand in Indian Cricket. He would have been in the squad if I were the selector.
|Rohit - Did he get everything in life too soon ?|
As the dust settles down, irrespective of the choices made by all of us, let's get behind "Team India" and pray that we end up on the right side on April 2nd !!!
|WC 2011 - Hope this stays in India|
GO INDIA !!!