Team India: Picking the Best AvailableBefore trying to analyze the selection of the Indian cricket team for the ensuing ICC World Cup in Australia-New Zealand, one thing should be stated clearly. India are a different team when they play ODIs, so any comparison with the Test team now playing in Australia would not be in order.
By Sunil Garodia
Having said that, the other fact ÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã¢â¬Å the Indian bowlers have been taken to the cleaners by the Australian batsmen in the ongoing Test series ÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã¢â¬Å should also not be forgotten. It is difficult to believe that the same set of bowlers will suddenly acquire potency when bowling in the ODIs on the same surfaces. We should be under no illusions. Teams and coaches all over the world would have watched the Indian bowlers these few weeks. They would have spotted how the Australians took runs against them at will. Kumar, Sharma and Shami will have a better run in matches in New Zealand, where the ball does things in the air.
Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Bhubhaneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami and R Ashwin have been profligate without being penetrative. All of them have conceded more than 100 runs in innings after innings. Not one of them has looked penetrative or dangerous in a session or even in a short burst. Add rookies like Stuart Binny and Aksar Patel and the picture is not very encouraging.
The batting looks formidable. Shikhar Dhawan, despite his failures in Tests, can be expected to lend weight at the top. The same goes for Rohit Sharma. We have one of the best finishers in the game in Suresh Raina. The kind of sublime form Virat Kohli is in now, he is expected to do exceedingly well in the Cup. Dhoni himself is known to finish matches with a flourish.The Indian team is sure to put large scores on the board and can be expected to chase down big totals.
With bowlers as the weak link, India should devise a plan to keep opposition scores in check. For, a very big total creates pressures of its own and even seemingly great batting combinations are known to collapse under such pressure. Hence, the plan should be to put runs on the board and choke the opponents. All in all, a good team, given the resources available. A word about Yuvraj Singh - despite his great form in domestic tournaments, I think his days are over. Although Stuart Binny is nowhere near his class, he was the best available option.