Now that India has once again managed to lose a game that they should have
won...after all chasing 250 on that dead Sharjah track with all their
batting might should not have been too tough.....But India just can't
get the monkey off their back at Sharjah...and lose to Pakistan once
again. Congrats to Pakistan and now let's focus on the Indian team
player by player:
1. SRT: Had two good knocks but IMO should not open for India esp. with
Prabhakar being back in action. I feel SRT tends to chance his arm a
little too much trying to hit over the top in the first 15 and twice
now in successive innings has got out playing attcking shots in the air
and being caught. I think SRT being our best bat should be #3.
2. Ahzar: Flopped against Pakistan......and his failure today was a big
reason for India's debacle. Should stick to #4 but needs to shuffle his
bowlers around a little better in ODI's. Although IMO he did OK in the
final as far as rotating the bowlers.
3. Siddhu: Had a good tournamnent and should open on a regular basis.
4. Kambli: Showed good temperament in the final and although has been
successful at #3 in the past.....he should continue at #5.
5. Jadeja: Flopped today..trying to play a SRT shot to Akram. But
nevertheless makes our ODI team based on his utlity.....However with
Prabhakar back it's unsure if I will play him esp. if Kapil also makes
the team instead of Prasad in the ODI team. But based on his gutsy
performances, he should be persisted with at least in the 14.
6. Bedede: Finally got a chance to be a hero today...and almost became
one. His sixes were sweet and I would persist with him at #6 at least in
the ODI team as he is promising.
7. Mongia: Played like a real goof ball today...but I think for now
based on his pretty consistent keeping and reasonable ability to bat, he
should stick around for a while.
8. Kumble: Our strike bowler often got the stick but then these are
Sharjah pitches......There is no question about his ability to make
9. Chauhan: Very impressive bowling.....I like the way he varies his
line and length in a ODI.......Good team member.
10. Srinath: Vastly improved..should cut down on overstepping at
critical times....but from now on he should be a permanent member
of the team,,,even with Prabhakar and Kapil back.
11. Prasad: Good effort ...he has the physical ability and will improve.
He should at least be in the 14 or 16.
12. Bhupinder: Sharjah was a nightmare...but the selectors should not
unceremoniously dump him forever. He will be dropped but if he performs
exceptionally well at the domestic level then maybe he can get another
chance on some more helpful pitches and conditions.
13. Raju: Did not see him at all but I don't think he goes anywhere at
least as far as tests are concerned.
14. Ankola: I will prefer Prasad over Ankola in my 14 although to be
fair to Ankola the selectors ought to keep him in mind.
Now based on the fact that Prabhakar, Kapil, Manjrekar are fit and
available for the WI series. Here are my teams:
14 for ODI
Azza, SRT, Siddhu, Jadeja, Kapil, Kambli, Bedede, MOngia, Kumble, Raju,
Chauhan, Srinath, Prabhakar, Prasad
14 for tests
Basically for tests I'll substitute Kapil with Manjrekar. The reason
being that with Srinath and Prabhakar opening bowling and with all 3
spinners (since we play WI at home)...there is no room for Kapil Dev in
the Indian test team. However Kapil is a must for ODI's with his baility
ability to bowl tight, slog as well as provide stability so that our
tail does not start at #8.
The only reason I chose Manjrekar instead of Amre is that against the
powerful WI bowling attack.....Manjrekar would technically bring
stability if he is chosen over Bedede at #6. Plus Manjrekar is also
comfortable at #3.
If Ravi Shastri demonstrates an ability to bowl consistently, he could
also be a good ODI candidate because I still think that in certain
scenarios he could make a contribution with his ability to face fast
bowling and also left arm spin bowling.
Even though WI will play on spinning tracks..they have enough fire power
to bother even the best of batsmen on these pitches and hence Shastri
could make a case even though it may not be a popular choice.
And I would really like to see a no-nonsense manager like Gavaskar take
over...even though Wadekar's done a great job, I think Gavsakar's a
shrewd tactician and can give India that extra will to win at times when
they need it.