Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Game Ahead: India Vs West Indies

It is quite obvious that changes are on the way.
But, what are they? First would be the playing 11. The next would be the strategy.
I chose to ink my thoughts on the playing 11 in this post.
It goes without saying that Ashwin will take a spot in the side from here on.  Debuting in front of the home crowd (Chennai) should give him a lot of confidence. He is not afraid of bowling with the new ball or power play and Dhoni has tested him sufficiently. Also Ashwin bowling early should release few overs of Bhajji at the top. After all, we witnessed Bhajji’s effectiveness when he started bowling with the older ball in the game against South Africa.
The next man to come in should be Sreeshanth. I agree that he had a bad day on the opening game against Bangladesh. But mind you, he earned that spot based on the performance in the warm up games against Australia and New Zealand. He is quicker than the rest. On top of it, if the ball seams and swings, he will be a match winner on his own. Any day he is better choice than Ashish Nehra. It is my personal opinion that Ajith Agarkar and Ashish Nehra are only the proud baggages of the Indian Team.
Finally the third man to come in should be Suresh Raina. If not now, it will be too late for the gifted left hander. Also starting his campaign in front of the home crowd (Chennai Super Kings) should boost his confidence.
While it is far easier to replace Ashwin and Sreeshanth with Munaf and Nehra, the difficult one would be the selection of Raina.
Logically, Raina should come in the expense of Gambir, Kohli or Yousuf Pathan.
Is the change warranted? In my opinion, it is definitely a YES. The Indian middle order did not live up to the standard so far. It is only wise to give a fresh outlook to the otherwise erratic middle order.
Who makes it for Raina? Had Gambir failed and Kohli succeeded in the last game against South Africa, it would have been an easier decision. Raina replaces Gambir and Kohli takes guard at No.3. That option is ruled out now.
So is it Pathan? That would be an atrocious decision in my opinion. Yousuf Pathan has the ability to win match on his own. He has demonstrated that regularly in the recent past. Infact it is for this ability he has been nurtured in the past 3 years despite his repeated failures. Chopping him, would be like pressing the button for the weapon of mass destruction.
Is it Kohli? Unfortunately the answer is YES. It will be no fault of his to lose the spot. But imagine, Kohli is expected to bat at No.4 this tournament. He delivered successfully when he got this position. However the position is not guaranteed, especially when India get off to a flyer. Thanks to Dhoni & Co for fiddling the middle order.
Raina replacing Kohli means to say that India will also have a defined batting order even after the top 3. Yuvi will come at 4, Dhoni at 5, Raina at 6 and Pathan at 7. One of the main reasons, India is suffering in this tournament is because of the volatile middle order. Raina’s technical deficiency would ideally force the management to have a stable middle order.
Originally Suresh Raina was being groomed for this grand stage. It was just an accident that Raina’s form slipped at a bad time and Kohli capitalized it perfectly. I totally agree that it is entirely unfair on Kohli to be dropped. To set the table right, some tough decisions have to be taken. Also Raina is a useful bowler under these conditions, especially when the captain is not getting the confidence on Pathan's bowling.

This would be my lineup for the game against WI
Sehwag, Tendulkar, Gambir, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Raina, Pathan, Harbhajan, Zaheer, Ashwin and Sreeshanth
Having said and done, India as a Team and Dhoni as a Captain has only under played so far.

Bottom line: Fasten your seat belt folks. You are about to witness one of the finest cricket to be played by an Indian Cricket Team.

Cricket Lover

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea but I think Yusuf has to make way for Raina


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