Recently, BCCI announced the 15 member world cup 2015 Indian team. No fairy-tale return for Yuvraj Singh in India’s World Cup squad.
But, what about Murli Vijay who had a good test tour of Australia was left out. Selectors have probably forgot that he has an excellent record for CSK in IPL, plus ODI is not just a format where you have to go bang bang behind every ball. You need to defend as well. Murli Vijay has been showing his solid defense in Australia, England, New Zealand and even South Africa. And after proving his metal overseas, this guy gets no appreciation from the Wold’s richest cricket board. So, what if team is 40 for 5 in its 1st match against good seaming bowlers and conditions to favor them, whether it be the 22 yard battleground or the breeze and overcast conditions in Australia and New and Zealand. Dropping Murli Vijay is an unnoticed blunder that I seriously hope doesn’t come to haunt team India.
Coming to our Bowlers (always the talking point); stating with the pace-battery, Ishant Sharma being the spear head has been giving fluctuating performances. Sometimes he comes up with an immaculate spell of bowling where he looks like picking a wicket every ball, and other times he is thrashed to all parts of the ground.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been impressive but his speed will be under the scanner for the upcoming tri-series against Australia and England. Because if he bowls at 120’s there is hardly a chance that he will get away. Bhuvi bowling at 130-135 Kmph can work for us as we have seen in the past, his weapon being Swing.
Umesh Yadav needs to learn a lesson from the last test match against Australia where he took a beating of 45 runs in 3 overs because of poor line and length. His pace is and will be pretty handy, but certainly not if un-directed. A similar bowler has been left out of the squad, Varun Aaron for the same reason, hope he also learns his lessons of bowling in the right areas rather than searching for wickets every delivery.
Mohammed Shami has got control over the old ball for sure. He can reverse swing the ball for us, but with the new ball he is haywire at times.
Coming to Spin department, Ravichandran Ashwin is probably the best and most experienced spinner around for team India. He will have to lead the spin attack, which is our strength in ODI’s.
Axar Patel has been good in his last ODI series, but the proving ground lies ahead!
Now, the “all important all-rounders”, Ravinder Jadeja is a character you can’t leave out of the team for long! His Left arm spin has proven to be dangerous for opponents many a times. Plus he can always get u some quick runs at the end with MSD and strengthens our lower middle batting order that has been prone to collapses recently.
Stuart Binny is an interesting selection. He has been around for a while now but hasn’t played to his potential. With Dhoni complaining (rightly so) about India not having a genuine fast bowling all-rounder, he is the only option available, although his bowling speed is also in 120’s. But, with 3 genuine fast bowlers or even considering 2, and 2 spinners along with Jadeja and useful off-spin of Suresh Raina, I don’t see Binny playing many matches in the World Cup- 2015. Even if he plays, he is bound to be under-bowled, taking references from recent past. So, just for the sake of playing a medium fast-bowling all-rounder, his selection is a big question mark.
Batting looks good enough with one loop-hole (Murli Vijay missing) from my view point. Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane have already proved their capabilities overseas against the recently concluded Test tour of Australia. Ambati Rayudu is a good ODI batsman with temperament & technique. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will be providing fire with solidity in opening (hopefully). Ajinkya at 3, followed by Virat at 4, Raina and Dhoni at 5 & 6 respectively with Jadeja at 7, and Ashwin, Bhuvi coming at 8 & 9 makes our batting solid. Tail including Umesh or Shami at 10 and Ishant at 11.
Well that’s my take on playing 11, lets see what MSD gets out of the box this time around. With just 4-5 ODI’s remaining before the World Cup, it’s the last opportunity for players to get into form, get used to conditions in Australia. Dhoni can try out different team combinations for 2-3 matches and then stick to the one that will be playing in World Cup- 2015.
This will probably be Dhoni’s last world cup as Captain as well as a player. Last time team India won the world cup and gave Sachin Tendulkar a farewell. Can the team give the ‘Magical Captain Cool” a remember-able farewell as well? Can Dhoni become the 1st Indian Captain to win the World Cup twice? Is This History in the Making?