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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sehwag or Uthappa or Karthick ?

Sehwag / Uthappa / Karthick ?
Sehwag / Uthappa / Karthick ?
Sehwag / Uthappa / Karthick ?
Sehwag / Uthappa / Karthick ?
Sehwag / Uthappa / Karthick ?
There's just an outside chance that I'm getting perturbed over this unnecessarily, probably far more than Rahul Dravid or Greg Chappell or anyone else in the Indian camp. But that's just an outside chance. In all likelihood, this selection conundrum must be causing the Indian captain and coach sleepless nights, or worse.
Let's look at the likely candidates for each position.
1. Ganguly - confirmed
2. Sehwag / Uthappa
3. Dravid / Tendulkar / Sehwag / Uthappa
4. Dravid / Tendulkar / Yuvraj
5. Dravid / Yuvraj
6. Sehwag / Karthick
7. Dhoni
8. Ajit Agarkar
9. Harbhajan / Kumble
10. Zaheer Khan
11. Munaf Patel

Whatever permutation and combination (sensible ones) you do, one situation is very clear - India can play only play 2 of these 3 players against Bangladesh. Going by form, that shouldn't be a very tough decision - Sehwag should sit out - but Vengsarkar knows it, and we all know about Dravid's fondness for Sehwag. No, i'm not subscribing any ulterior motives on Dravid, just that the captain sees enough reason to continue with Virender Sehwag. That's where the twin selections on 17th March will pose a challenge - there will also be that second layer to the challenge, if Sehwag then who to drop - Uthappa or Karthick. Most of the world thinks that's easy - it has to be Uthappa, but I'd have gone with Dinesh Karthick. We need a couple of finishers out there and right now I can't see too many in the India XI.

I'm not very sure about the magnitude of Dravid's love for Irfan Pathan, though if past stories are to go by, Greg Chappell is. Again, on form Pathan doesn't seem to be a candidate and it's unlikely his case will be pushed. Maybe he may get a look in against Bermuda. But against Bangladesh, who are fresh from their upset win** over the Kiwis, the Wall may just want to play safe. And, yet again I agree.

**Bangladesh 230 for 8 (Iqbal 46, Omar 45, Mortaza 30*) beat New Zealand 226 (Oram 88, Mortaza 4-44, Razzaq 4-26) by 2 wickets


Group B: Saturday, 17th March 2007: India vs Bangladesh, Queen's Park Oval, Trinidad

Catch it live in India on Sony Set Max (English), SAB (Hindi) and Doordarshan. Audio Commentary will be available on All India Radio.

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