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    February 03, 2011

    World Cup - Surprise picks and omissions

    Similar to India's 1 surprise pick & Sri Lanka's 2 surprise omissions in their 2011 World Cup squads, most other teams had at least one selection that was odd.

    Australia picked Brett Lee and David Hussey, who hadn't played any internationals for nearly 1.5 years. With the tournament being played in the sub-continent, Australia picked 1.6 specialist spinners (Steve Smith bowls 6 overs per game on an average). Now that's a bizarre pick. Australia's part-time spin options are David Hussey (2 overs per game before he was picked in the squad) and Cameron White (2-3 overs per game when he had the skipper's trust and had not even bowled a single ball since August 2009). With 5 quicks & an all-rounder, clearly Australia are relying on pace to win. Seems like a gamble to me.

    Despite investing nearly a year in Craig Kieswetter and Steve Davies, England went back to Matt Prior. Other than that, the squad seems reasonably balanced, with a couple of bits-and-pieces players in Luke Wright & James Tredwell.

    Luke Woodcock is the unknown player in New Zealand's squad. He hadn't even played an ODI before he was picked. The squad seems weak on the batting though, and the opening slot hasn't yet been sorted out.

    Pakistan didn't have any major surprises in the squad, but they did come up with one bolter. They didn't name a captain! That said, the batting definitely looks shaky with only Younis Khan & Misbah having the skills to do a good job with the middle overs. Only 2 specialist spinners were picked, which seems odd for a Pakistani side playing a World Cup in the sub-continent.

    South Africa, by contrast, picked 3 specialist spinners, 2 of who are newbies. South Africa's problem is with #6, #7 and #8. Having dropped Boucher, who used to come in at #6 & #7 and salvage a crisis, they don't have too many experienced players to fill up those slots. The batting essentially ends after Duminy (typically at #5).

    West Indies have picked just 5 bowlers (3 quicks & 2 spinners) and are obviously hoping that Dwayne Bravo will bowl his full spell and pick up wickets regularly.

    The other omission was that of Eden Gardens. The ground won't host the India v England game & the match will now be played at Bangalore. But there seems to be some ambiguity around it. Kyazoonga, the official ticketing partner, doesn't list the India v England game. Does this mean backroom negotiations are still going on, and Eden Gardens will get the game?

    Actually, the Cricket Association of Bengal, which is really the main agency to be blamed for the fiasco, should just relinquish its hosting rights for the other games at the ground, each of which is guaranteed to bring in crowds of at least 90000.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 1:54 AM |
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    25 sledge(s):

    Kyazoonga has placed a note on its World Cup page that owners of the Ind-Eng ticket are to contact them by email / phone for refunds or exchange.

    And yes, I find Prior's inclusion very odd... more so given that he will be made to open the batting with Strauss. He hasn't really looked comfortable at the top.

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    By Blogger shailesh (03-Feb-2011, 4:05:00 AM)  

    Infact, Yousaf was expected to be picked for Pakistan, but the thinking of Pakistan cricket board is different. They preffered Asad Shafiq upon Muhammad Yousaf.

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