Tuesday, April 5, 2011

1983 + 2011 for 2015

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India has now won one world cup in the subcontinent and one on English green tops during the early part of summer. How about a combined team to defend their title in 2015 on Australian and New Zealand pitches

Here's my playing X1 for Australian conditions

Sachin Tendulkar - I guess there ain't much to say here

Krishnamachari Srikkanth - I am still not completely sold on Virendra Sehwag as an ODI opener. Although I think his value with an innings like his 38 in the semifinals against Pakistan cannot be overstated. And that is exactly the kind of innings Srikkanth played in the finals in 1983. Also a 38. When both got out, no one would have imagined that these cameos would be the difference in the end. And Srikkanth has selection skills. Okay I am stretching it but Srikkanth it is for me to partner Sachin and take first strike.

Mohinder Amarnath (Vice Captain) - Have we had a better top order batsman than Jimmy Amarnath to play the fast men on bouncy, fast pitches? Perhaps Rahul Dravid but he is not a World Cup winner. In possession of a fearless hook shot, guts and patience, Amarnath will be a perfect anchor to guide the innings. He always thrived against genuine pace and loved playing away from home. During the early 80s his conquests in Pakistan against Imran Khan and in the West Indies against Clive Lloyd's fast men were inspiring. Post world cup he slumped, never to get his groove back.

His bowling is an additional asset, although he might not be as effective in Australian conditions. New Zealand perhaps yes. He was a master of taking the pace off the ball.

Yuvraj Singh - Primarily as a batsman and his fielding at point. With Srikkanth in the covers for company the fielding will get an intimidating feel. This attacking style of batting will suit the Australian conditions more and he has a decent ODI record in Australia as a batsman.

His spin bowling will give his captain more options but the side is generally not short of specialist bowlers

Sandip Patil - Mohammed Azharuddin's 3 consecutive centuries on debut instantly killed Patil's career but in the 5 years he played for India he made an impact. Capable of dominating even the most hostile fast bowling he thrived in Australian and English conditions alike, Never known to take a step back, he scored a scintillating 174 not out against Dennis Lillee and Len Pascoe in a Test match in Australia after a Len Pascoe bouncer felled him and he had to be taken to the hospital in the previous Test. He once scored 24 runs in one Bob Willis over in England and his assault on the same bowler in the 1983 semi finals booked a place for India in the semi finals

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain and Wicketkeeper) - A much better captain than Kapil Dev.

Kapil Dev - The X factor

Harbhajan Singh - The other options are either Kirti Azad or Ravi Shastri. Both are perhaps going to be as in effective as Harbhajan Singh in Australia. And Ravi Shastri was not even a regular in the playing XI so probably does not qualify for selection. Like Sachin, Dhoni and Kapil, Piyush Chawla drops himself. So Harbhajan it is for his ability to scrap, sledge and generally get under the skin of the opposing team.

Roger Binny - Can be depended upon to bowl an economical spell of bowling and when conditions are right  can run through top orders. Who can forget the 1985 World Championship game against Australia when all Indians woke up to stumps flying and Azharuddin diving at point with Australia 5 down in next to no time. Roger Binny was the architect of that win. He also was the highest wicket taker in the 1983 world cup, so the man deserves a place in this side on that effort alone.

Also a decent enough batsman, who could bat higher than Harbhajan.

Zaheer Khan - Kapil Dev's bowling partner. There isn't much more to say

R Ashwin - The 2011 side could not afford to have R Ashiwn in the playing XI for lack of a genuine, dependable all rounder like Kapil Dev. This one does.

See Also 


Abhay said...

You are picking Dhoni against Kapil? Dhoni won with an A class team. Kapil with a barely B- team. I like how agressive Kapil was and led from the front.


Govind Raj said...

Abhay, Kapil had perhaps the best bowling unit and fielding unit we could imagine. He also did not carry the crown of thorn of gigantic expectation of an entire nation. Though I am not a great fan of Dhoni, I rate him better than Kapil, better than anyone when it comes to Captaincy. He deserves to be Captain.

Gol, I think if you consider WC winning as a criteria, we should consider the 1985 Championships in Australia as an important factor. I would go ahead with L. Siva of 1985 ahead of Bhajji. That also will keep him out of the Commentary box :-)

Else... in spite of not winning a WC, Kumble is my man !

Golandaaz said...


I think even in a team of Bradman, Ponting, Brearley, Dhoni, Jardine, Waugh, Lloyd, Imran Khan, etc etc.... Dhoni for captain has to be seriously considered.

Golandaaz said...


Our selection standards are very high. So only real world cups count :-)

We will be pleased to offer L Siva, the role of a legspin coach for the 3-5 overs Sachin is likely to bowl in the cup. That should keep him out of the commentary box

Vidooshak said...

What?????? NO MADAN LAL???? Sorry this team ain't going to cut it...It's got to be Madan for Ashwin..

Soubhagya Mohapatra said...

Agreed with Vidooshak. The game being played in NZ and OZ, Madan Lal would be a better choice than R Ashwin.

Golandaaz said...

Vidooshak & Sou,

What can Madan Lal do that Binny, Kapil, Zaheer and if need be Amarnath can't.

Ashwin is a different kind of 'weapon' gives more options to Dhoni and allows Yuvi to concentrate as a batter

Vidooshak said...

Gol -- This is the most amount of bullshit that is disguised as analysis that you have ever spewed!! What can Ashwin do that Madan cannot? What can Ashwin do that Bhajji cannot? Why pick two off-spinners for pacy conditions...this is pure dumbness. Plus for pure heart..Madan is a must-have...Sorry boss.,,you have to change ...This one brooks no argument..

Golandaaz said...

Then would it be better to have Kohli / Gambhir / Yashpal Sharma and have a staggeringly strong batting line up.

Because the bowling is quite adequate (Kapil, Zak, RB, Bhajji, Yuvi, Amarnath)

Vidooshak said...

Fine then...my team --

Srikanth, Tendulkar, Amarnath, Gambhir, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Kapil, Zaheer, Bhajji, Binny, Madan.

12th Man - Kohli. If extra batsman needed, then swap Kohli for Madan.

Golandaaz said...

I want Patil

Vidooshak said...

You have to pick heart or head...you are mixing it up..If Patil, then Madan is a must...Ashwin then Gambhir...I can swap Patil for Gambhir if you swap Ashwin for Madan..

Golandaaz said...