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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Pathan: Key to India's Success

In a few hours from now, when India walk out onto the field for the first time during the World Cup 2007, he won't have to worry about one important decision, atleast not today. In the warm-up matches the ICC allows teams to play upto 13 players - so together in the 2 warm-ups, Dravid should be able to give a chance to each of the 15 members of the Indian contingent. However, the big decision that the Indian captain will have to take on the 17th March (India vs Bangladesh) may end up being the key to India's chances.

- Four bowlers or five?
- Who opens? Sehwag or Uthappa. ( I am assuming Ganguly will be the other opener)
- First chance to Uthappa / Karthick / Sehwag ?
- One spinner or two?
- Harbhajan or Kumble, in case the previous question is answered in the solitary
- Tendulkar at 3 or 4? ( Does Tendulkar still want to open?)
- Dravid at 3 or 4?
- Who would be the first choice pacers - Zaheer looks a certainty, Agarkar also does but Dravid seems to have an affinity for the lazy-n-lanky Munaf (in case we go for 2 pacers)
- If Pathan has to come in, who goes out?

Why is Irfan Pathan so important? Why was he chosen although he did nothing of note to merit a recall? Why was he chosen though he could hardly play any matches to even be tested for a recall?

Pathan is the only player in the Indian team who could play the role of a genuine all-rounder - I am sure even Agarkar has himself given up on any such notions now. The Baroda pacer can bat as well, in fact it is his bowling which is the worry right now - and including him in the side suddenly gives the side a strong look - at least on paper. He allows you to actually create an Indian team which has 8 genuine batsmen and 4 genuine bowlers.
Batsmen:

1. Sehwag / Uthappa 2. Ganguly 3.Tendulkar 4.Dravid 5.Yuvraj 6.Karthick 7.Dhoni and 8.Pathan
Bowlers:

1. Zaheer 2. Agarkar 3. Kumble/Harbhajan & 4.Pathan

The team now has 3 pacers (with a left-right combo as well), one genuine spinner, Ganguly to fall back on in case it's a seaming track or Tendulkar/Sehwag/Yuvraj for slower tracks. 8 batsmen is of course a great luxury which can do no one any harm.

However, 8 batsmen is one too many and I would rather want to bring in an extra bowler at the expense of Karthick. Zaheer, Munaf, Agarkar, Kumble & Pathan will be one solid attack. On slower tracks I would sacrificie Munaf for Harbhajan - maybe even otherwise. Pathan can actually be promoted back to no.3, one of Chappell's move which worked pretty well for India - though which got sidelined later for the wrong reasons.

Look at this line-up - I think this would be the best possible one:
Sehwag, Ganguly, Pathan, Tendulkar, Dravid, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Agarkar, Harbhajan, Kumble & Zaheer Khan. ( that's in order of batting - though Pathan should be used at no.3 occasionally)

Only one small problem - Pathan needs to prove a point with the ball, else we will have to prefer someone else - who is better than Pathan with either bat or ball. But, i hope, for India's sake that he comes good because he gives the Indian captain a lot of flexibility (just what Dravid's keeping did for Ganguly last time round) and the team looks that much better with Pathan inside. Let's hope Pathan comes good in the warm-up today.
*****

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

do you really think that people are not interested in Irfan Pathan's love life? well, THINK AGAIN. I will shout it from the rooftops - the reason for his poor performance is the girlfriend in South Africa, but nobody seems to believe me when I say that.

Abhigyan said...

My main team is as follows: Uthappa, Ganguly, Sachin, Sehwag, Dravid, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Bhajji, Agarkar, Zaheer, Munaf....If Agarkar goes wrong (as he can anytime), then get Sreesanth in...Otherwise assuming normal conditions (no green-top or dust-bowl), the most balanced team we can put up....
And against Windies & Sri Lanka, I bring Ganguly down to No.4 & Veeru at 5, pushing up Sachin & Dravid..to hit the Gayles and Dilshans out of the attack....
And it doesn't matter what Sachin wants to do now..he will bat in the middle-order for the rest of his career..becoz there is also Gambhir waiting..his position ideally should be No.3..but somehow we prefer him at his Test No.4...the problem..then we have no fixed No.3 in the ODI team....

Pri said...

um i heard from a pretty reliable source that she live sin australia. :)