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Indian cricket: World Cup selection conundrums and death knells

Sreesanth bowling at Adelaide Oval

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The Indian team’s preparations for the World Cup recovered from a minor hiccup when Shantakumaran Sreesanth replaced the injured Praveen Kumar in the side.

The UP bowler has not yet recovered from an elbow injury sustained on the South Africa tour.

Though there were some calls for Ishant Sharma instead, the Kerala cricketer is the man in form. Sharma is a far cry from the bowler he was on his debut Down Under in 2008. He has been bowled into the ground; a case of poor handling by captain and coach. In his case, the rotation policy is a joke.

One of the big money recruits in the previous three editions of the IPL for the flattering-only-to-deceive Kolkatta Knight Riders, the Delhi bowler has struggled more often than not to retain his incisive abilities.

Young quickies ought to be wrapped in cotton wool and handled with care, not run into the ground like ordinary work-horses.

The break from the World Cup—though not welcomed—is an opportunity for the young pacer to recharge his batteries. Gruelling tours to West Indies, England and Australia lie ahead.

Suresh Raina will be sitting out the early part of the World Cup, in all likelihood. The electric fielder did his cause no good on the recent South Africa tour. His failings against the short ball make him an easy target. The South African, Australian and English attacks are chock-a-block with quality fast bowling stock—Indian conditions notwithstanding.

The home side are the bookies’ favourites. South Africa do not lag far behind.It will be interesting to see new spin recruit Imran Tahir perform in helpful conditions. Graeme Smith has termed the Pakistan-born cricketer their ‘secret weapon.’

Mahendra Singh Dhoni sought to lower expectations, saying that the men in blue intend to treat the World Cup like any other tournament or tour. That is, however, easier said than done.

With the surfeit of cricket especially the slam-bang variety, this edition takes on added significance. The relevance of 50-over-cricket has been debated oft following the mega-success of T20 matches.

Can all three forms of the game—Tests, one-dayers and T20s—co-exist? Will the 10th World Cup sound the death knell for ODIs?

Quote of the day:
There used to be a real me, but I had it surgically removed. – Peter Sellers


I have been an IT professional with over 12 years professional experience. I'm an B.Sc. in Statistics, M.Sc in Computer Science (University of Mumbai) and an MBA from the Cyprus International Institute of Management. I'm also a finance student and have completed levels I and II of the CFA course. Blogging is a part-time vocation until I land a full-time position. I am also the author of three books, Those Glory Days: Cricket World Cup 2011, IPL Vignettes and Poems: An Anthology, all available on Amazon Worldwide.


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