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February 07, 2007
Barring a disastrous run against Sri Lanka in the four-match series that begins Thursday, it is almost certain Virender Sehwag will make the final cut of 15 when the selectors meet, February 12, to pick the World Cup squad.
Given his performance thus far, it is equally certain that Robin Uthappa will make the cut as well.
That leaves the team with an interesting problem: it will have four potential openers in its ranks, and will need to pick the ideal two.
Who should it be?
Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar, who before they were separated formed the most prolific pairing in one-day history?
Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag, if the latter is back in form, looking for the sort of explosive starts the right-hander is capable of giving when he is at his best, with the added advantage of having the experienced Sourav at the other end to temper his impetuosity?
Tendulkar and Sehwag, reprising the combination that took the team through the critical stages and to the final of the '03 World Cup?
Or Ganguly and Robin Uthappa, a combination that backs a fearless youngster now running a rich vein of form to kick start the innings?
Would you switch openers around from game to game, to keep the opposition off guard and to field the best possible pairing based on the conditions and the opposition?
Again, would you lock your opening combination as soon as the team is picked, or would you use the first two Cup games, against Bangladesh and Bermuda, to try out the options and settle for the best one ahead of the first of the big games, against Sri Lanka?