Cricket: India’s Team Selection Flawed

With the two Test series against Bangladesh about to get underway, team India is faced with difficult decision about which heavy weight to drop! After a dismal World Cup the decision to rest Ganguly and Sachin for the ODI series was at best a half-hearted attempt at responding to the public’s frustration with the team. Considering that Test cricket is Bangladesh’s weaker form of the game, shouldn’t India continue and experiment with some young blood? A combination comprising of Jaffer, Dravid, Karthik, Dhoni, VVS, plus a couple of new comers should be more than sufficient to challenge Bangladesh.

It is painful to read that India has to make a choice about whom to drop among Sachin, Yuvraj, Ganguly and VVS, whe so many talented youngsters are back warming the benches in India. There were reports in the media that both Ganguly and Sachin were eye-ing the captaincy (which neither of them have surprisingly denied!). Under these circumstances, its all the more important, that Dravid to make some tough decisions. Hopefully, the World Cup defeat will encourage him to make some bold selection calls.

The lack of penetration of Indian bowlers is not new. So a five bowler combination would make a lot of sense. Ahead of upcoming tours it is important to test out Rajesh Pawar in particular at the international level. Romesh Powar meanwhile deserves a spot for his continued good performance at the domestic level. With Kumble being an automatic choice, this means going in with three spinners and two seamers. As for the seamers, Zaheer, who has been belted around enough by the Bangla boys, could use a break. Munaf has proven that he has the wicket-taking ability. On the other hand, VRV does generate a fair amount of pace, which could prove as a good combination along with Munaf. With five bowlers in the playing eleven that leaves room for five batsmen plus Dhoni as the keeper. If Dravid has the “guts” to experiment, he should make some tough calls and not hesitate to “rest” one or more of the veterans. However, in all likelihood, the same veterans will turn up and amass centuries while the younger folk sit out the match.

My Guess of India’s Likely 11 (packed with batsmen and just four bowlers): Jaffer, Ganguly, VVS, Sachin, Dravid, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Kumble, Powar, Zaheer, Munaf. Twelfth Man: Karthik

Author: Pran Kurup

Pran Kurup is founder and CEO of Vitalect, Inc.

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