Tuesday, January 18, 2011

India's World cup squad and the Australian open- Fighting Sania loses to Henin

So, here is the world cup squad for the world cup for India

MS Dhoni (capt & wk) -
Icy Cold Captain. I like the way he does not celebrate after we pick up a crucial wicket, or even after victories. Accused of trying to include CSK players, though I think that's rubbish. With a weakish bowling line-up, his captaincy will be tested again.

Sachin Tendulkar - His last World cup and surely there is a world cup written in his fate........Surely that is why the final is in Wankhede and (not in Kolkata).....An unbeaten century from the little master in the final to take India to a victory........
Man of the series of 2003 WC. Was asked to retire by many, (most famously by Ian Chappel and his 'mirror mirror on the wall' statement). Quite amazingly, has enjoyed his best years of cricket since then.
Is definitely going to retire from ODIs after the world cup

Virender Sehwag - Not much to say. There is only one way he plays.

Gautam Gambhir - He gives us that extra bit of steel. Not one to back off or hold back with the bat and also with his mouth. Plays the short ball well (unlike a few others in our line-up), got a good temperament in big chases.

Yuvraj Singh - Some question marks about his selection. But, I do feel we need him. Has the art of Pacing the innings. Will be an integral part coming in at 4/5 as India will try to maintain the lefty/righty combinations. His bowling could be more than a bonus.

Suresh Raina - Ideally he should come in after the 30th over, as then it will be like a T20 game for him! I don't think he should be as automatic a selection as he is since his ability to play long innings is yet to be proven.

Virat Kohli - Another one who can pace his innings. So that makes it Sachin, Dhoni, Gambhir, Yuvraj and him who can pace their innings in chases.
With a weak bowling line-up and flat pitches, bowling first could well be our mantra for the world cup.

Yusuf Pathan - He will battle for a place in the team with Raina. To be fair to him, Raina is as inconsistent as him. His bowling is better than Raina's. But, overall a tough call between the two. I do prefer Baroda man as he gives us the X-Factor.

Harbhajan Singh -

Praveen Kumar - Can swing the ball both ways. The last significant ODI trophy we won was the VB series in Australia 2007-08. He was instrumental in us winning the two VB series finals. His batting comes handy down the order. If fit, will be an automatic selection

Zaheer Khan - His form will be one of the keys for us. Except for the 2003 World Cup, the world cup winner has had the highest wicket taker. I dont think any of our bowlers will end up with the highest wickets (I hope I am wrong), but his form will be vital.

Ashish Nehra & Munaf Patel
Dont inspire a great deal of confidence, both Nehra and Patel. Both are sloppy fielders, and both cant really hold a bat. Since they are very similar, only one of them should have been in the squad. Which one? I dont know.

Piyush Chawla - Is he our wild card? I would think so. I do like his attitude. Has also been the stand out performer for Kings XI Punjab. But he has not played for 2 and a half years. Maybe, that might work in our favour. Will he be in the XI, a lot depends on the wicket we will play on. Interesting selection, and one that I am in favor of.

R Ashwin - Another interesting selection. Might play if the opposition is stacked with lefties. Could also be used by Dhoni in the opening overs since our fast bowlers leak too many runs in the first fifteen. Another selection that I do approve, since he has a lot of variations in his pace and flight.

Australian Open' 11

The raw power of Sania Mirza lost to the efficiency, deft touch, one-handed back hand and the fitness of Henin in the first round of the first grand slam of 2011. The 141st ranked India, who was the most googled-for tennis player last year (after her marriage with Shoaib Malik), won the first set 7-5. It was pretty neck and neck in the second before she lost 6-3. She ran out of steam completely in the third to lose 6-1. She has, unluckily, been pitted against the top players in a lot of these slams. I remember the 2005 Wimbledon when she lost to Kuznetsova.

Elsewhere the top seeds went through easily- including Federer, Berdych, Roddick, Del Potro, Nadal and Murray. Soderling is also on his way to a win.

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