Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Time to Test the Bench in the Caribbean !

IPL has thrown up some surprises. Some players whom I have disliked all along have done well. Some whom I have hyped up haven’t. And some whom I have waited for have done well too. And thankfully, the new teams aren’t door mats. Let us take a look at Indian players @ IPL 2011 chapter.
Of the lesser known faces, Abu Nechim looked good when he got a chance. Ambati Rayudu has been fantastic. Paul Valthaty is Revelation and Revolution put together. He is the ‘Item Number‘ of IPL-4. Harmeet Singh Bansal got slower but also got Sehwag. Vinay Kumar has never looked better.
Bharat Chipli is another surprise package. Venugopal Rao is a blooming, but perhaps a tad too late for a total recall. Dinesh Karthik is not the same Boss DK he was a year ago. Abhishek Nayar too has slipped down the ladder.
Murali Vijay and Badrinath have played well, but nothing exceptional. Shikar Dhawan has been a total disaster. Naman Ojha is missing Warne. Che Pujara hasn’t got the chances to bat higher. Saurabh Tiwari has been too tame. Anirudha Srikkanth has shown more maturity than his father.
Dravid and Laxman have batted well, but ! Mohammed Kaif hasn’t got a look in. Akash Chopra is a very good blogger today. Wridhiman Saha is in a team whose Captain’s name is M. S. Dhoni. Ajit Agarkar will retire after this season.
Dinda has bowled no-balls and bad balls and wants to believe he is India’s answer to Malinga. That he is NOT. Irfan Pathan has done precious little. Jakati is not the same bowler he was in IPL-2010. Gony is more of agony and Sreesanth is Freesanth.
Murali Karthik is toiling gamely, but selectors are not looking back. Sidharth Trivedi has blown hot and blown cold. Abhimanyu Mithun has been blown away. Umesh yadav wants to play tests. But where is he ? Why aren’t Rajastan trying Deepak Chahar ? And where is Kamran Khan ?
Sarabjit Ladda looks good and then looks bad. What is Asad Pathan ? A Bowler who can bat or a Batsman who can bowl ? Too many Pathans, too little Pathaning !
Rohit Sharma is maintaining the Legend of Rohit Sharma. I watched live, Ravindra Jadeja slam two huge sixes against CSK. Robin Uthappa has played his customary big shots. Balaji looks fabulous with slower ones but perhaps Vinay Kumar is a better package.
Yusuf Pathan has bowled better and flattered to deceive with the bat. Thankfully Piyush Chawla will not be in contention; Jadeja demolished him. Pragyan Ojha looks pale and Amit Mishra just about hale.
Manoj Tiwari has missed out on scaling the next level twice this time. Good, yet not as good as say, Rayudu, Valthaty or Uthappa. Everyone is busy talking about Poonam Pandey. Does anyone remember the first Indian to score an IPL century ?
Manish Pandey
Sehwag should have had shoulder surgery NOW. He is MESSING up the IPL and will be MISSING the West Indies and England tours. Too bad. Sachin is Sachin, Thank You Sachin.
Yuvi the Captain isn’t as great as Yuvi the match winner. Bhajji is looking as ordinary as he has been for past 3 years. Zaheer needs rest. Gambhir can make an ordinary team with Kallis, Lee, Morgan, Shakib, Yusuf and Gambhir.
It is believed Dhoni, Sachin, Sehwag, Bhajji and Zaheer would like to be rested. Nehra is yet to recover from injury. Will he be ready for the West Indies ?
Though Dhoni has maintained that IPL should not be the criteria for India selection, we can’t altogether ignore the greatest Glicket show on earth.
So here is my ODI Team for the West Indies Tour ! This is open for updating as the IPL progresses.
1] Gautam Gambhir [Captain - He should OPEN or should not play]
2] Paul Valthaty [Why not ? It is time to see if he is good at the next level]
3] Virat Kohli [Obvious choice. There isn't a better No. 3 right now]
4] Yuvraj Singh [Rested enough and rusted enough. He needs to be playing]
5] Suresh Raina [He too has to be there too]
6] Robin Uthappa [He deserves a chance. Second Wicket Keeper]
7] Yusuf Pathan [Poor IPL batting form. But he deserves at least 1 full series]
8] Parthiv Patel [The Wicket Keeper. Has batted usefully]
9] Ishant Sharma [He has been good so far. He is Future !]
10] Munaf Patel [In spite of my dislike, he is in because he is IN]
11] Ravindra Jadeja [Well, he has come back in a BIG way]
12] R. Ashwin [He is our strongest Spinner in shorter formats]
13] R. P. Singh [Scratchy. But a little support and he can be R. P. Swing !]
14] Vinay Kumar [Absolute guts and hard work. Deserves to be there]
15] Ashish Nehra / Praveen Kumar [One of them needed for the experience]
Unless someone from this list plays really badly or someone else plays really exceptionally, this could be the team. Rayudu, Rohit, Balaji  and Vijay can consider themselves unlucky to miss the flight. But then we have a pretty good Bench Strength.We can afford to waste a few talents. Even Greg Chappell believes so !
Govind Raj Shenoy for DieHard Cricket Fans

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