World Cup: Team Selection Holds the Key

India’s match against Sri Lanka is a “make or break” event (given the current environment its best to avoid “do-or-die”) for India. If India lose, Dravid’s captaincy could be at stake, because as things stand, Greg Chappell seems destined to continue as coach, and there has to be some level accountability after all the hype and hoopla about team India. India’s team combination is far from settled and some difficult choices lie ahead of Dravid on the eve of the most important match of his captaincy thus far.

Persist with Uthappa

Virender Sehwag’s century against Bermuda means nothing. Yes, nothing. Absolutely nothing. If Sehwag can’t score runs against part time pot-bellied cricketers who earn their daily living by serving as policemen and school teachers, he might as well quit for good. On the other hand, he at least made some runs. That’s a good start. One can only hope that his captain does not promote him to open the innings once again. (In fact, in his current form Sehwag is best in the middle order) It would be prudent to persist with Uthappa at the top of the order. There is also talk of bringing back Pathan in place of Uthappa. India lost the match against Bangladesh because of a failure of it’s batsmen. To drop a front-line batsman for an all rounder whose bowling form is highly questionable would be terrible mistake.

Retain Agarkar

Agarkar is a far safer bet than Sreesanth and should be retained in the eleven despite his lacklustre show in the first two matches. He has had a slow start but can be an asset once he settles down. Sreesanth on the other hand is a bowler of extremes. On a helpful pitch he could pick up valuable wickets, but otherwise he could take a beating, something India can’t afford with just four bowlers in the side.

Harbhajan for Kumble

It was a good move to bring in Kumble in place of Harbhajan for the match against Bermuda. Kumble is a difficult bowler for the likes of Bermuda, but for more seasoned players of spin like the Sri Lankans, Harbhajan makes a much better bowler, particularly in ODIs.

Last but not the least, Sehwag’s bowling talents must be utilized to the maximum. His bowling could prove to be more useful than that of either Sachin or Yuvraj.

Author: Pran Kurup

Pran Kurup is founder and CEO of Vitalect, Inc.

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