Monday, January 17, 2011

ICC-WC 2011 - Men in Blue- a right choice.

No major surprises in the Indian team for WC 2011. Piyush was however a surprise choice over Ojha.

The five wise men probably looked at a leg spinning variation, since Yuvi could well take over as a left arm spinning option. Chawla is also a better bat and a good fielder compared to Ojha. But why not Amit Mishra, who is better than Chawla in the bowling front, and as good in batting and fielding.

There have been quite a few debates on the second wicket keeper in the team. In a team of fifteen, a second wicket keeper would be a luxury. The selectors would have thought over this, and perhaps one of the batsmen selected is a reasonable wicket keeper. Who is it ? Is it Virat Kohli ??

Many past players opined, Sreesanth would have been a better option over Praveen. In Sub continent, a team requires a bowler accurate in line (rather than length). Praveen is miles ahead of Sreesanth in this context.. May be Sreesanth is a better option in seam position of the wicket. But the wickets in sub continent, would be slow, even, and the swing through seam position only will not help. Praveen can swing of the air, due to his side arm action, and control over the ball. What he lacks in speed is duly compensated by accuracy. He is also a better bat.
Better luck to Sreesanth. He would definitely be our first choice bowler, when India plays in lively pitches in Australia, West Indies and England. May be resting him for WC 2011 is a conscious decision to preserve him for these important tours.

All the others selected themselves. The team is best that could be selected. Wish them luck and cheer them all the way till Dhoni holds the World Cup 2011.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

ICC WC 2011 - An Overview

ICC WC 2011. is just round the corner, and debates in plenty have started about team's composition, player's profile, probable winners, the list is endless.

Many comments,columns,debates,criticism have taken place on the Indian team performance, particularly on the depleted bowling attack we have during the death overs. I tend to disagree, since even lethal combinations of Bollinger &Johnson, Malinga & Kulasekara, Andersen and Bresnen, Steyn & Morkel have been taken to the cleaners during end overs or at the batting power play. Our bowlers are as good as any, but only need to discipline themselves to bowl to local conditions on the day.

Most of the matches are day night affairs and the dew will be a crucial factor, once the lights come on. I do not anticipate the ball to swing or reverse in batsmen friendly sub continent conditions, particularly, when the cold winds are going to fade to let in a dry heat in end February, beginning March. A bowler needs to concentrate on Line more than the Length. Good Yorkers are an exception. A spinner too needs to perfect his line rather than spin.

On the batting front, most of the competing nations are blessed with plenty of stroke makers, with an excellent hand eye coordination. Since the balls will come at an even pace in the sub continent, any length ball will be played with a free swing of the arm. However balls pitched in even line with in the stumps will be difficult to score of, and hence the need of line discipline. Also a fair mixture of right and left batting combination, will disturb a bowlers line. A team need to focus on good left right combination on bowling too, to counter such a situation.

All rounders are a few in between, considering the current crop of players available in most countries. Players like Kallis , Watson, are few exception. In India, we just do not have them. Yuvi, Yusuf, Sehwag, Raina are all primarily good batsmen, who could also bowl. It would be better, if the team selection is based on specialists. Talking of all rounders, mould fielding all rounders, who could field at any position.

After all the analysis, one can bet on the following combination of men in blue for ICC WC 2011.

Sehwag, Gambhir, Tendulkar, Yuvraj, Kohli, Raina, Dhoni, Harbhajan, Ojha, Ashwin, Zaheer, Munaf, Praveen, Nehra and Yusuf.

All the batsmen are good stroke players, A good left right combination and could field at any position. Sehwag, Yuvi, Sachin or Yusuf can single handedly change a game complexion.

Munaf and Praveen are known for their accuracies. Zaheer and Nehra bring in the guile.They are reasonable fielders and good catchers. The spinners are the best available.with Harbhajan and Ashwin capable of wielding the willow.

What more can one ask for. Come on India, bring in the World Cup.