Come Feb 19, 2011 and the whole of India would be glued to their TV sets for the next 40 odd days. The reason-World Cup of Cricket is back and this time in India alongwit Sri Lanka & Bangladesh. India went out in the semis both in 1987 & 1996, the other editions of the WC that were held in the subcontinent. Can we do two steps better this time around??
The team on which the onus lies to win back the World Cup for us after a gap of 28 years has finally been announced, and those 15 men are:-
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yousuf Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel, Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla, R Ashwin
Most of the players actually picked up themselves either on the basis of performance or image. These are the ones in bold. The rest of the players were dependent on what balance the slectors and Dhoni wanted in the side. Some of the major names that missed out despite decent performances would be Rohit Sharma, Sreesanth & Pragyan Ojha.
So, there might have been some discussion about Yousuf or Rohit but Yousuf's explosive style and bowling abilities must have taken things into his favour. The thing that confuses me the most is Why our selectors have gone with 3 spinners. I know its the Sub-Continent and the ball will spin but 2 spinners with Sehwag, Yuvraj and Pathan as more than average part time spinners would have been a good combination. Taking an extra spinner at the cost of poor Rohit Sharma has been a bit harsh on him
Sreesanth performed very well in South Africa and deserved a call up but in place of whom? His biggest positive has always been the ability to pick wickets and the biggest problem has always been his ability to ball bad deliveries in every over. The selectors must have thought his as a high risk-high gain proposition so they decided to hedge their risk by taking a Munaf Patel who can contain the batsmen after the field is spread out.
The third major name to miss out- Prayan Ojha has been a bit undone I feel. He has virtually done nothing wrong whenever he has played for India and his performances in the IPL for Deccan Chargers have also been exceptionally well. Maybe his inability to bat and provide some useful runs played into the hands of Piyush Chawla who can bat decently.
Overall, I feel there is noone in the side who didn't deserve it, but some surely have missed out who deserved it a bit more. Will this side win the world cup for us? Let us hopse so!