Sreesanth helped the Indian cricket followers, including yours truly, to raise their expectations about a great series victory in South Africa. And I really believe that if the South African batters fails to apply themselves then that is well and truly possible. And the part played by Ganguly and Laxman was really big considering the batting collapses in the onedayers. And this leads to me a question of selecting a team for World Cup for next year...
Damien Martyn, Shane Warne and Glen Mcgrath has just initiated the end of era of a great set of cricketers. I am sure this world cup is going to be the last of a lot of giants of the game including Lara and Tendulkar. This is their last chance to get their hands on the ultimate price.So from an Indian perspective, let me try to see which could be the best possible 16 that can help Sachin achieve this glory...
Sachin,Rahul,Yuvraj, Dhoni, Kumble, Harbhajan, Zaheer, Sreesanth and Munaf patel select themselves to the 16. That leaves place for another 7. And out of this seven, I would like to have 4 batsmen, one wicket keeper and two bowlers...
And the recent SA series has rocked the selectors with the question of whether to go for youthful exuberance or time tested experience. Laxman and Sourav will surely lend that extra confidence for the team in their middle order. Sourav is one of the greatest oneday players india has ever produced. And he proved in SA that there is still some thing left in him to contribute to Indian cricket. And I, for one, believes that Sourav will be more effective in onedayers than in tests. So going by the attitude that he has shown in SA, he will be able to do far better in West Indies...
And then Laxman is one batsman who has immense respect all over the world, except in India. Whenever people talk about his chances in onedayers, they put the point that he is slow in the field and between the wickets. This is true to an extend. But his replacements are capable of some 40 runs + 20 runs saved through their fielding skills. But Laxman is capable of scoring more than those 60 runs which forces me to give him a chance in this world cup. And if he is not selected by selectors, then he will become only the second batsman after Barry Richards not to have played a world cup, of course I am talking about batsmen who are respected and feared all over the world...
Then comes the third batsman which should be a toss up between Sehwag and Gambhir. If Sehwag continues his wretched form in onedayers, he might not play in the world cup. But he is one player who can win matches single handedly. And West Indian pitches will make it tough for the bowlers to aim his ribcage consistently. This will give him some respite and if he can capitalize on it, then India could not ask for a better player. Also he has this ability to break partnerships given a ball in his hand. So let's keep faith in him.
Now the 4th batsman, I would select Dinesh Mongia ahead of Mohd Kaif, for his ability to bowl a bit and also to dominate attacks. And Dinesh Kartik will be my Sub Wicket keeper.
Two bowlers are also pretty easy to pick. I will go for Ramesh Powar and Irfan Pathan (If he recaptures his confidence in his bowling a bit..) which will give a pretty good balance to this Indian bowling attack. So my team for world cup goes like this:
Ramesh Powar and
Even though the first eleven looks a little older as most of the players are on the wrong side of 30, each one of them are capable of destroying the opposition on their own...