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Friday, August 10, 2012

Indian teams announced

The Indian teams for the New Zealand series as well as the T20 World Cup were announced today by the selection committee who were meeting for the last time under Krish Srikkanth. The selectors also announced the 'A' squad to travel to New Zealand and it is quite interesting to see the names that have been included in the squads. Let us go through each one of the teams below:

  • Test team against New Zealand at home
    • VVS Laxman was in the limelight and everyone were looking at what the selectors thought would be - drop him or give him a chance to regain his form back. Yes, Laxman flopped during the tour Down Under but who did well (other than Virat Kohli) on that tour? If Rohit Sharma was given five chances in the ODI to improve his form, why not give Laxman another chance? 
    • Rahane gets into the test squad on the basis of his good showing in first-class cricket - mostly an insurance for unexpected injuries to Sehwag or Gambhir. But, the question still remains - why are we forcing Rahane in the opening slot? Why not look at him in the middle-order? Kohli, Pujara and Rahane will be the fulcrum in the middle-order around which the Indian future will revolve. 
    • Suresh Raina in test squad is as astonishing as the return of Piyush Chawla in place of Rahul Sharma - question here is whether Rahul was admonished for his doping offence in Pune. 
    • Ishant Sharma's fitness has not been proved since the end of the Australian tour - do we have any insight further?
  • T20 World Cup squad -
    • Did Harbhajan Singh's county stint helped him to gain a slot in the T20 World Cup even though he did not play any T20s? 6 wickets in 4 first-class matches and 5 wickets in 2 List A matches does not give confidence to anyone! Does he replace Pragyan Ojha? Why? Ojha played just one match in the recent series and got hit in the nets - was the injury so bad to warrant his ouster?
    • Yuvraj Singh has not played any cricket - forget first-class or club cricket (other than the warm-up matches at NCA). How was he selected? Is it based on emotion more than form?
    • Rohit Sharma makes an appearance once again - on what basis? Based on the form that he displayed in the Sri Lankan ODIs? Come on, Srikkanth and team! You could have done better.
    • Piyush Chawla once again to replace Rahul Sharma. Was his inclusion made as a good-luck charm? Remember that he has been a part of the T20 and Fifty-overs World Cup squads! There is no other reason for his presence.
    • Balaji has done well in IPL and has matured with age. He is a good choice probably taken due to the slow tracks in Sri Lanka. But, the pace of Balaji as well as Pathan will be making the Indian team very similar in nature!
  • 'A' team to New Zealand
    • Abhinav Mukund did no do well on the West Indies tour but he has been retained - this is good for a change. Giving him a continuous reign under the Indian cap will do him good in the long run.
    • Vinay Kumar and Rahul Sharma make it to the 'A' team from the senior team - must be depressing to receive such a 'reverse promotion'. They will do well to perform on this tour and make a comeback.
    • Jayadev Unadkat is back! God knows where he goes between his appearances for the Indian cap (either 'A' or senior team)
    • I am personally looking out for Ashok Menaria, Ambati Rayudu and Surya Kumar Yadav - they should grab these opportunities to stand out from the crowd.
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