Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Indian XV for World Cup - Post Kiwi Whitewash

India whitewashed New Zealand and won the ODI series 5-0. This should not be all that surprising given that New Zealand had just lost 4-0 to Bangladesh. But for an Indian fan it was a rare moment. The Indian team hardly clean sweeps series. They always tend to lose one match in the series, regardless of the opposition. I can recall a 5-1 victory over Sri Lanka (2005), 4-1 win in Pakistan (2006), 6-1 over England (2006), 3-1 in New Zealand (2009) and a few others (there is even a 2-1 victory over Bangladesh (2004)also). There had been a 5-0 victory over England (2008) but it was a 7 match series with the last 2 matches cancelled due to the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai.
The margins of victory in the 5 games can lead to either of following conclusions, India are Awesome (they very well might be, remember, this was effectively a second string team) or New Zealand are totally pathetic (more likely). Only in the 4th game was there a semblance of a contest. Otherwise India just stormed over the Kiwis with the last game ending before the mid innings break itself.
The tour was a part of the buildup to the next year's World Cup to be held in the subcontinent. With the seniors resting this was a good chance for some players to seal spots for theWorld Cup. And a couple of them like Kohli & Yusuf definetely have. While some others have strengthened their cases (Ashwin, Munaf, Parthiv).
Though there are 3 months still to go for the World Cup, I pick my XV for the tournament. This could definetely change post the tour of South Africa. Baring injuries this is what the team could look like.
Sachin,Sehwag, Gambhir, Kohli,Yuvraj, Raina, Dhoni, Yusuf, Zaheer, Nehra, Praveen, Harbhajan, Ashwin.
There are 2 more slots left: One fast bowler - one of Munaf, Sreesanth, Ishant & one batsman - Rohit, Saurabh Tiwary or Parthiv Patel (can also act as back up keeper). Right now I would choose the Patels (Munaf & Parthiv) for the 2 slots.

Now over to the South African series

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