Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Twenty/20 World Cup

There have only been 16 T/20 international matches played so far and we already have a World Cup! I feel its a bit premature to have a World Cup for T/20 matches so soon. There needs to be more domestic tournaments and international matches before organising a World Cup.

The Indian team (the BCCI one) comes to this World Cup with only 1 international match so far and it would be foolish for anyone to expect a good performance from them, especially after the disastrous World Cup. There are some fresh faces out there, the seniors are not playing and I would like to see if this improves our fielding and catching.

Going by the Chris Gayle innings yesterday (and the SA response), its all about big hitting and athletic fielding. No one was keen on running between the wickets. And with all the big hits clearing the boundaries easily, I really don't know what the fitter, leaner and more athletic fielders can also do. Every batsman was going for broke and the single or a double as a means of contributing to the score was not even thought of. Looks like leaving out SRT and SG might be a big mistake, for they can clear the ropes consistently and with ease. And with bowlers being there just for slaughter and flat tracks, SRT and SG would - probably - have hit their groove which would have meant good news for the ODI series later.

However, this might just be the opportunity for Sehwag, Yuvraj, Uthappa and Dhoni to go bang-bang. I would like Sehwag-Uthappa to open, followed by Yuvraj, Dhoni, Karthik and Gambhir. I'm not sure about the big hitting capabilities of players like Rohit Sharma and Joginder, if they can hit them hard and long, I would prefer them over Gambhir and Karthik. Pollock's and Ntini's mauling yesterday (Ntini bowled only 2 overs) proved that we really do not need specialist bowlers. Batsmen who can bowl are good enough at this level.

Irfan, Joginder, Sehwag, Yuvraj (not withstanding the 5 sixes in an over), Yusuf Pathan can be our bowlers. Sreesanth is too much of a lottery; so is Agarkar. I would play RP because a decent 2 over initial spell can be worth its weight in gold. My team would probably be

Sehwag
Uthappa
Yuvraj
Dhoni
Yusuf Pathan
Gautam Gambhir
Irfan Pathan
Karthik
Rohit Sharma (can he bowl?)
Joginder Sharma
R P Singh

Harbhajan can get us a few quick runs, he can be drafted as a specialist slow bowler in place of Rohit Sharma. I would be tempted to play Chawla in that position, but whatever little batting opportunities he has got has not convinced me of his batting skills. If one of the Pathans is having a bad tournament with the ball, then I would look at getting Chawla/Bhajji in.

Agarkar, Chawla, Sreesanth either need to be consistently good bowlers or need to be better batsmen to fit into the T/20 scheme of things.

But knowing the BCCI's way of selecting teams, I would not surprised if Agarkar, Chawla and Harbhan play a lot of the matches. Let's see how the BCCI's team fares!