India's best XI for the one-dayers
Especially after the Twenty20 tournament win
and the abysmal quality of fielding in the one-dayers in England
, it seems obvious to me that the Indian team cannot afford to have Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly
in the same XI.
In fact, I really think only one of them should be in the XI. This would ensure that they don't get burnt out playing one-day cricket when they (especially Dravid and Tendulkar) really need to help the Indian team achieve more in test cricket. In addition, it would automagically improve the quality of the fielding.
So my 11 for Bangalore would be: Gambhir, Uthappa, Rohit, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Dravid, Pathan, Harbhajan, Powar, Zaheer and RP Singh. Dinesh Karthik/Sreesanth is the 12th man.
I'd get the likes of Rohit Sharma, Gambhir and Uthappa to have the maximum opportunities to bat up the order. Someone like Yuvraj should be given the opportunity to become India's #4. Dravid is a good enough batsman
to adjust to any batting slot/situation.
The series must
be used to give the fringe cricketers the opportunity to succeed (or fail). The question is not about whether Dravid, Tendulkar or Ganguly are still good enough to play for India. There is no doubt about it. They are still among India's best batsmen in one-day cricket.
Even now, we have no idea about who India's ODI openers for the future are, once Tendulkar and Ganguly stop playing ODIs. There're too many options: Gambhir & Uthappa, Gambhir & Sehwag, Sehwag & Uthappa, for starters. Throw in Dinesh Karthik, Yusuf Pathan and some others who did well in the previous few domestic seasons. While it seems like an abundance of riches, the truth is that the succession planning has never come to the selectors' minds.
The BCCI has a vested interest in continuing to see the trio play ODIs, for their presence guarantees revenue. A lay-spectator probably switches off from the game (either walks out of the ground or away from the TV set) if he/she realizes that Tendulkar is not playing that day. While it is a noble Gandhian thought
to think of such a follower while picking the side, unfortunately, the same spectator is highly likely to spout venom
when the team loses.
The only thing that should matter is the good of the Indian cricket team. If it means politely asking the trio to step aside, then the BCCI must be strong enough to do so!
Labels: australia, bcci, dravid, ganguly, india, odi, retire, tendulkar