Saturday, October 24, 2009

Does India Really Want To Find The Right Combination ?

This series is being billed as a test-ground for India to find its "right combination". Personally, I'm not so sure they want to do it at all. Anyone can see that in ideal circumstances - Sehwag, Tendulkar, Gambhir, Yuvraj, Dhoni will form India's top 5 - and with a little more persuasion - will agree that Raina will take up the last slot in the order. So there is nothing really to "find" in the batting order.

The all-rounder's slot has been thrown open by Yusuf Pathan's ouster - and Ravindu Jadeja looks the likely candidate to be given a trial.

Once fit you would also have Zaheer in the squad and no matter how poorly Harbhajan continues to bowl he will always find a place in the side. So the battle essentially boils down to two key questions:
1) Who will be the two medium pacers backing up Zaheer ?
2) Will Amit Mishra be the second spinner given that the World Cup is going to be held in India ?

For the first question we presently have Nehra, Ishant, Praveen, Tyagi and Munaf in the race. Nehra has resurfaced out of nowhere - thanks purely to IPL performances. Ishant has inexplicably lost it - although I feel he should really focus on only real cricket - Praveen is at best an enigma, Tyagi is totally new - and Munaf is a play-one-match-sit-out-the-next-eight kind of person.

We tried RP Singh and he flopped - mind you we are not always known for showing patience with bowlers - and given that Dhoni and Harbhajan are in power at the helm it is impossible for Sreesanth to play cricket for India ever. Again.

So I go back to my original question - do we really want to find the right combination ?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Empty Stadiums Make No Noise !

Congratulations Mumbai for winning the Ranji Trophy for a record 38th time - but what's with the empty stands for the premier domestic game in the country ? While the sad state of support for domestic teams is well-known that effect was exacerbated this year due to the decision by the BCCI to hold the knockout games at neutral venues - the argument being somewhat moronically that people don't come to see these games anyway. None less than Sachin Tendulkar has come out strongly against this policy.

What is your opinion ? Should knockout games in the Ranji Trophy be held at neutral venues ? Moreover should there be knockout games at all ? Why can't we just have a league system like the premier leagues in football where the team with the most points wins ? Get your thoughts flowing in ...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Most Promising Young Batsman ?

This seems to be a good time for raising this question what with a couple of test spots beginning to open up - Yuvraj has staked first claim to Ganguly's spot - largely thanks to Dhoni's friendship I think - and Badri has been in the hunt - however I don't really think of these batsmen as young.

So I have come up with this list of 6 - Virat Kohli- India U19 captain and stylish strokemaker, Suresh Raina - a consistent performer for India in the ODI squad this year, Robin Uthappa - audacious right hander who has gone off the boil a bit, Rohit Sharma - classy, elegant, cool, will deliver under pressure, Cheteshwar Pujara - scores triple hundreds as easily as brushing his teeth in the morning and Ajinkya Rahane - has had a very consistent domestic season for Mumbai.

My vote clearly goes to Rohit but that may be just because of my weakness for lazy elegance. What do you guys think ? Vote away !