The team for the upcoming Australian series was announced earlier today and there were few surprises in the squad. This team was only for the first two games of the series. The biggest surprise was the inclusion of Ravindra Jadeja in the squad. After his performances in the World T20 I thought that it will take a long time for him to make a comeback but apparently I was wrong. The selectors named him in the 15 for the first two games based on his performance in the Irani trophy.
Sehwag and Yuvi have made it back to the team after missing out due to injuries in the champions Trophy as expected. Munaf also receives a call back after his exploits in the Irani trophy and the challenger Trophy where he was the highest wicket taker. Sudeep Tyagi gets a call which I thought was always on the cards as he has been consistently performing well in the domestic arena. His performance in the challenger Trophy and “Emerging players” trophy has catapulted him to the National squad fairly early.
The rest of the team is on the expected lines as Kohli and Mishra have been retained in the squad after some good showings in the CT. Ashish Nehra will be leading the pace bowling department and Bajji will be taking care of the spin. The other big surprise in the squad is the inclusion of Ishant Sharma, in spite of his mediocre performances in ODI cricket for the past year or so. His performances in the challenger trophy were also not up to the mark as he was constantly out bowled by Tyagi and Munaf. This shows the confidence the management has on the youngster and I hope he doesn’t disappoint.
Rahul Dravid unfortunately does not enjoy such confidence from the selectors who have dropped him from the squad. Rahul made a comeback to the side after 2 years since the selectors thought that the youngsters were suspect against the bouncing ball in SA but has been discarded for the home series against the Australians. I am actually really disappointed with the way the great man has been treated as he has done whatever was asked of him throughout his career. He has batted in all positions, kept wickets to maintain the balance in the squad without complaining but still continues to be treated badly by the selectors.
Yusuf Pathan has been shown the door but this was expected after his performances in SL and CT. Irfan Pathan could not be considered as he is currently injured. Ravichandran Aswin has not been considered for the all rounders spot and none of the good performers from the challenger’s trophy have got a look in.
All in all the team looks solid with the inclusion of Yuvi and Sehwag. It will be interesting to see where Sachin bats, since Sehwag is back in the squad now. I am assuming that Ghambir will drop down the order to accommodate Sehwag at the top with Sachin. The bowling selection will also be interesting as India don’t have a good all rounder in the team. I am not sure if they would want to go with two spinners or 3 pacers as most of the wickets for this series will be batsmen friendly. When looking at the squad selected for the series, Nehra and Bajji seem to be the only sure starters in the lineup.
All in all even though there have been few surprises, the squad looks solid and has capabilities to put it past the Aussies. The series begins in 10 days time and I hope that we put up a good show. I am going for a 4-3 win for the home team. Go India!!
Squad from the first two ODI’s against the Aussies:
Squad: MS Dhoni (capt/wk), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel, Sudeep Tyagi, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma.