From the World to your couch

Countdown to 2011 WC

In Cricket on January 14, 2010 at 6:02 am

With 13 months to go for the cricket’s ultimate event (no definitely not the 20-20 WC), we will analyze how the Indian team’s composition looks like and look into the performances on cricketing front. Though there are reports of Wankhede being behind schedule and Delhi pitch under ICC’s scrutiny, I am confident BCCI will out up a great show as billions of dollars are at stake. Coming to the Indian team’s ODI performances, which doesn’t bother many as they feel if India lose this 2011 WC, BCCI can quickly arrange one more tourney and an Indian win will make sure it vanishes quickly from people’s memory.

Will this generation finally get to see an Indian win which so narrowly eluded us in 2003?

Let’s get into the main crux before it tires the readers, who are already bored of watching India play SL. The Indian team of late has looked like Champions in Bilateral series, almost winning every one, and chokers when it comes to series involving multiple nations. The last major ODI win for the Indian team, involving more than two nations, has been the CB series down under. Well the CB series can also be considered a mini version of bilateral as it involves the best of three finals. The point is the team seems to choke when it comes to a knock out match. Be it the high profile Champions trophy or the recently concluded (Forced upon) tri series in Bangladesh. I felt the players were literally dragged to the field as BCCI wanted to make sure its neighbors SL and Bangla never shifted sides. I agree Indians won a tri series in SL before Champions trophy, thanks to Sachin’s classy knock, but consistently Indians are not able to deliver the punch when its needed. This in spite the fact that the series in Bangla was a low profile series and there were hardly any pressure on the team to deliver unlike the normal. Fielding as always been our weak link but one felt with this line up of youth, it will only get better. But it’s been pathetic to say the least. Before we had safe fielders who will catch whatever comes to them, but this lot has serious problem in catching and even collecting the ball cleanly. Suddenly they field so well and the very next day they drop 5-6 catches. This inconsistency can easily affect the team when it comes to knock out matches.

Let’s now get into the likely probable 16 which India might field for the WC. I feel the team has created a pool of 16-17 players with right mix of youth and experience, which augurs well for 2011 WC. Its 13 months away and I feel the inexperienced ones like Jadeja, kohli, raina, tyagi etc will get to play 20 ODIs at least. The top 3 is settled with Sehwag, Sachin and Gambir. The middle order comprises of Yuvi, Dhoni, Raina (secured his place with a fine century at No.6 recently), Jadeja, Kohli. I feel this team has the right mix of right and left handers. The bowling department would ideally be Zaheer, Nehra, Sreesanth, Bhajji, Mishra, Tyagi, Ishant. I feel Ojha is extremely unlucky to miss out but Dhoni seems to be having trust on Jadeja and its difficult to imagine two left arm spinners in a playing 11. Now it comes to the final No.16 spot. I felt the team management made a mistake by not giving Rohit a chance to play in bangle tri series. He was coming into the team after an excellent 300 in a Ranji game and to make him sit was absurd. The toss up is between Rohit and Karthick. Maybe they might go in for an extra keeper which might give Karthick a nod ahead of Rohit, though I am not too satisfied with Karthick’s batting. Well there might be some changes to the team which I had mentioned depending on the form of some players, but I strongly feel at least 80% of the players should retain their places in the team which is a sign of a settled team. Moreover, I hope the team plays more ODI’s on subcontinent pitches before the WC.

  1. I think with Zaheer, Nehra and Praveen Kumar the fielding is always going to be on the downside. It would only be better to device a strategy to hide these guys in the field with 11 months to go. The Strength of the Indian team being their batting lineup, the only back up for our fielding or bowling would be those extra 20-30 runs scored while batting first. I feel Yousuf should be there in the squad no matter he is in form or not as he can deliver a knock out punch when used for crucial games…wht do u say Barath

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