Srikkanth positive about the team
While the team may seem 'balanced' to many, injury woes may spoil the show again for the home team, says Rajorshi Sanyal about the World Cup team
Team India's final 15 for ICC World Cup, 2011, has been named. While the selection of most of the ones who made it to the final team needed no prior guesswork, (captain M S Dhoni, vice-captain Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh , Irfan Pathan), some eyebrows are sure to raise if some particular player's selection over others is taken into consideration.
Chief selector Krisnamachari Srikkanth was aggressively 'positive' about his new team, briefing 'pessimistic' journalists following the crucial selection meet, but 'dropouts' like Rohit Sharma and Sreesanth definitely won't share his exuberance.
Image: MS Dhoni
While none doubt the thunderous batting talent of the dynamic Mumbai boy, Rohit Sharma's inconsistency over the past few months may have cost him the cherished dream of playing the greatest cricket series, that too on home turf.
Out of international action Piyush Chawla's selection over the in-form Pragyan Ojha may also seem unfortunate to some, although young spin sensation R Ashwin's selection is perceived to be a bold step by the selection committee.
In the pace department, where a lot depends upon lead bowler Zaheer Khan, the choices for the other slots was a topic of major debate before the final team announcement came in.
Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel and Ashish Nehra were chosen ahead of Sreesanth and Delhi pacer Ishant Sharma.
Sreesanth's non-selection has once again raised a few uncomfortable questions, despite his recent good performance in South African conditions. Was Dhoni's alleged inability to control Sreesanth the real reason behind his omission? We are all desperate to know the answer.
Veteran Rahul Dravid has also not been selected. Another clear message sent?
Image: Rohit Sharma
Injury woes for Team India
However, taking the positive 'cue' from Srikkanth, the team has all the reasons to make it big this time, with the home conditions expected to work heavily in favour of them.
Although we must never forget that many matches are about to be played in neighbouring Sri Lanka, a country where Dhoni's men in blue haven't had similar immaculate records.
While the team may seem 'balanced' to many, injury woes may spoil the show again for the home team.
'Master Blaster' Sachin Tendulkar's selection has surely been a welcome decision for his trillion fans worldwide.
Image: Virender Sehwag
Pathan too strong to be ignored
Prior to the final selection, the choice for the 'all-rounder' was a major headache for the selection panel, but the fact that Ravindra Jadeja was shown the door, re-endorses the fact that the promising junior Pathan's clout is immense over the selectors.
The slot-fight for a second wicketkeeper between Parthiv Patel and Dinesh Karthik ended in a whimper. None of the two was selected. A hollow step, is it?
At the moment, we can only hope that the clouds of injuries stay away and our 'blue' sky shines over others.
And before the World Cup, let the debates begin!
Image: Yusuf Pathan