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Thread: India - Road to World Cup 2007

  1. #1
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Pratters's Avatar
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    India - Road to World Cup 2007

    I wrote this some days back.


    Post India’s tour of Pakistan every thing has gone wrong in Indian cricket. From being the 2nd best side in the world in 2003 they have crashed to being number 8. When I say every thing, I do mean every thing. The World Cup is in 2007 as we all know and it is now or never for repairing, and mending which will hopefully lead to India going from strength to strength in 2007.

    Captaincy

    Making people captain for a series or two is not a solution to the problem. It only makes it much more complex. Looking at all the possible options, we have:

    Ganguly – A successful captain but some one who is a liability if not batting well and just captaining the side. A wonderful asset as even a batsman alone, India would be well served if the guy can concentrate on bringing back his batting to the desired level.

    Tendulkar – Despite a poor run with the captaincy, has a very good cricket mind. But with his batting in a soup, it is a bigger priority area that the guy comes good in batting.

    Kaif/other alternatives – May become a good captain. Some people like Sehwag, Yuvraj may also. Who knows. But does India want to take such a risk of causing further turmoil less than 2 years before the World Cup? Not really.

    Kumble – Viable for the captaincy. Certainly a better candidate than the above people mentioned if the Indian team management feel he has a spot guaranteed in the team. But if they do not with Harbhajan and other possible players, the spot cannot go to him.

    Dravid – The only viable option then.

    A captain, Dravid, Ganguly or any one else should be immediately decided till World Cup 2007 and a lot of unnecessary confusion can be sorted as a result of it.


    Other areas to focus:

    I suggest people take the issues in different posts or with clear subheadings. I havent gone into them yet.

    Coach
    Openers
    No. 3
    Middle order
    Lower Order
    Keeper
    Bowlers
    Super Sub

    Basically how the period till before 2007 should go for the one day team so that it can be best for India as a team.

    Cheers.

  2. #2
    International Vice-Captain open365's Avatar
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    great idea for a thread,just hope it works.

    maybe if you get enough good contributions,you could try to get it posted on the main page as an article?

    if it continues like you wrote the first part then i reckon it desevres to be on the main page.

    i'll do openers if no body else wants to do it.

  3. #3
    International Coach adharcric's Avatar
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    Coach

    The arrival of Greg Chappell is truly a gift for Indian cricket. The effects of his 'commitment to excellence' have already been felt. Players such as Zaheer Khan have all of a sudden been dropped due to poor form, while others have been reprimanded for poor fitness. Promising youngsters such as Venugopal Rao, Suresh Raina, RP Singh and Sreesanth have been rewarded and have shown solid potential. Chappell's emphasis on fielding and fitness has also spread across the Indian cricket scene, as Yuvraj and Pathan have acknowledged Chappell's contributions in the fitness department and there is now a shift towards athletic, solid fielders such as Suresh Raina. Although the Chappell-Ganguly spat exposed Chappell's weaknesses in player management, it more importantly highlighted his commitment to the success of the team and unwillingness to succumb to the whims and fancies of any individual player. Greg Chappell looks to be the perfect man to prepare India for the 2007 World Cup.

  4. #4
    International Coach adharcric's Avatar
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    No. 3 Batsman

    There are several candidates for the #3 spot in the Indian lineup:
    -Rahul Dravid: has lots of experience in this spot and is a reliable option after the loss of an early wicket. Yet, he is a great finisher and perhaps he can be used at #4 or #5
    -Mohammad Kaif: showed promise at this spot in the recent months, and he should be allowed to blossom in this crucial position as he will serve Indian cricket for many years to come. He's not as useful down in the order as he lacks the big shotmaking ability.
    -Venugopal Rao: looked out of sorts against pace bowling in new zealand, but is a great talent, looks better suited to the late-middle order
    -Suresh Raina: explosive batsman who can score big and in boundaries, so he can be developed later in the order now with plenty of options at #3 and #4.
    -MS Dhoni: seemed solid at #3 at first, but his ultra-aggressive batting style is what India needs at the end of the innings, also dhoni doesnt have the best technique against fast bowling
    -Irfan Pathan : potential all-rounder, but he is definitely not our #3 batsman
    So Kaif would seem to be the best option as he will be a regular in the squad, but there is flexibility in this Indian squad so a variety of players can be promoted according to the situation at hand.


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    The Captaincy

    I fully agree a permanent change of captaincy is in order and not just for 1 or 2 series.

    I believe the captain should be Dravid. He's thoughtful, aggressive and imaginative - certainly the best choice available.

    The vice captaincy is between Kaif and Sehwag. I'd prefer Kaif - he comes across as a person with a good reading of the game and sound leadership qualities. He has an excellent work ethic, sets high standards in the field and is very team-oriented.
    Sehwag appears very casual and carefree at times - qualities that I don't think India need in their captain right now.
    The only question tho is whether Kaif can get a spot in the test team - if you kick Ganguly out of the test side, who replaces him ? To me, it's one of Kaif, Yuvraj and Venugopal Rao.

    Kaif is probably first choice following his two fighting half centuries against Australia last year but a lot of people in India think that Venugopal is a better batsman than Kaif and Yuvraj.

  6. #6
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    So far I agree with all you guys. Chappell has done India a lot of good, Kaif should be our number 3 and Dravid should definitely be our captain for years to come.

    I also think we should blood Kaif as the next captain, by making him vice-captain. However the only problem with that is the selectors aren't even giving him a test spot! =-/

    I'm going to talk about the openers, but one must remember I don't have the opportunity to watch Indian domestic cricket, so I won't be able to talk about up and coming players as much as some of you others.

    Openers

    Tests:

    Sehwag is arguably the best test opener in the world at the moment, he's brilliant in that position and has been a huge success ever since he was sent there. He goes from strength to strength, having the ability to absolutely pound the bowling if its poor, but also with a very tight and solid technique he can generally keep out the good balls and respects good bowling. He's quite clearly the man for years to come.

    Gambhir has showed a lot of promise, and I still remember his 2nd test match where he belted the SA bowlers all around the park along with Sehwag. It was a flat pitch no doubt, but it was just great to see a young and new batsman have the courage to do that against a decent attack. Forgetting the Zimbabwe and Bangladesh test matches, he's showed good signs against Pakistan getting to 30 and 40 before getting out. If he can convert these starts, he'll definitely cement his place in the team. Hopefully he can do that, because I think he has the talent to become a test success. He needs a good run as opener though, so I hope they don't pull the plug too early if he struggles against SL.

    ODIs:

    Sachin doesn't really need to be spoken about much. He's made that opening slot his, and if he plays the way he played yesterday India will be fine.

    Sehwag is the problem, and its becoming a big problem too. I don't know how such a talented test opener can fail so much in ODI cricket. How many 25s to 40s has Sehwag scored since 2003? A hell of a lot I expect. Its amazing, he gets off to a rocketing start but feels he needs to hit every ball to the boundary and eventually gets himself out. It was only a concern a year ago, but now its worrying me. Hopefully with Sachin back at the other end he eases up and plays like he does in tests. His game is good for ODI cricket, and I know people make comparisons to Slater with Sehwag, where an attacking test batsman couldn't succeed in ODI cricket. I think he can, if he just uses his brain. Its so ironic too considering he opened for the World XI, yet he's only averaged something like 30 since the World Cup. It just goes to show that the reputation he has as an attacking batsman misleads people to think he's a great one day player. He's a dangerous ODI batsman, there's a difference.

    Sehwag is undroppable for now, but I really hope he improves because he can't keep this up forever. From what I've heard, Gambhir has showed promise and is heavily pushing to make it into the ODI line-up. Tendulkar ain't going anywhere unless its injury, because it'd be stupid to drop him down the order, so Sehwag is the only dispensable one up there.
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  7. #7
    Hall of Fame Member Sanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    Sehwag is the problem, and its becoming a big problem too. I don't know how such a talented test opener can fail so much in ODI cricket. How many 25s to 40s has Sehwag scored since 2003? A hell of a lot I expect.
    Completely agree with you post and just quoting this part to highlight that Sehwag has not had much success in ODIs, Chappell needs to figure out what's wrong with him and figure out fast else Gambhir who has a potential to be a fine ODI batsman is knocking fast at the openers' slot.

    Statistically, Since WC 2003, Sehwag has averaged 28.88, an average which is worse than every Indian batsman including Sourav Ganguly and that pretty much tells about the sorry state of his batting.He may be undroppable now, but only because most of the media has been concentrating on Ganguly's failure as batsman & captain, Now that Gangs is gone, media will get a chance to pick on him and start putting pressure on him.

    Hope he finds a way to succeed in ODIs as well, it will really be an awesome sight to watch him bat with SRT (e.g. WC 2003 - Game vs. Pak)

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    Cricketer Of The Year Anil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanz
    (e.g. WC 2003 - Game vs. Pak)
    if he had stayed with tendulkar, the way both were going, the match would've been over in 30 overs or less....

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    International Coach adharcric's Avatar
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    Based on what I've observed in Indian Cricket recently, here is a list of the top prospects for the 2007 World Cup.

    OPENING BATSMEN
    Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sourav Ganguly, Dheeraj Jadhav, Robin Uthappa, Shikhar Dhawan
    MIDDLE-ORDER BATSMEN
    Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Y Venugopal Rao, Suresh Raina, VVS Laxman, Sridharan Sriram, Dinesh Mongia, Hemang Badani, Niraj Patel
    WICKETKEEPERS
    MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Parthiv Patel
    ALL-ROUNDERS
    JP Yadav, Rajesh Pawar, Yusuf Pathan, S Vidyut, Joginder Sharma
    PACE BOWLERS
    Irfan Pathan, Ashish Nehra, Zaheer Khan, Sree Santh, VRV Singh, Ajit Agarkar, Lakshmipathy Balaji, RP Singh, Munaf Patel, Gagandeep Singh
    SPIN BOWLERS
    Harbhajan Singh, Murali Kartik, Anil Kumble, Ramesh Powar, Amit Mishra

  10. #10
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    India - Road to World Cup 2007 ....

    ...is long and at the present moment looking to be full of uncertainities. We dont. at present at least, look like we can repeat anywhere near our 2003 performance but....

    But to fill in the blanks :-
    Captain :
    Dravid who should be announced the captaiin for at least next one year so as to remove the shadow of Saurav from the scene....seems unlikely to happen as of this point in time.

    By the way, captains dont just appear on the scene overnight. Kaif's time will come. Fans doint have to start jumping since some people mentioned it and the media in their very limited "neem hakeem" approach grabbed it.

    Coach :
    Chappell has a term that lasts till the WC. BCCI should just treat him with thr proofessional regard that he deserves, spell out his areas of responsibility and authority to him and everyone else and allow him to get on with it.....Again unlikely to happen as of date

    Ganguly : After Dravid is announced captain for the long term, Ganguly should be considered as a member of the team on merit (which includes his past record) but he should be clearly told that he is not going to be captain again to prevent groupism in the team were he to return as happened with Azhar. If he does not earn his place in the side, which I doubt, bad luck to him and its not the end of the world for Indian cricket.......Again unlikely to happen


    No.3 :
    Will evolve. There is no reason to push for one option or another at this stage.

    Openers :
    Sehwag should be talked to. He needs to be told that he is expected to play his natural game but that does not have to include recklessness. If he bats as he does in tests he will be more than useful for India. If he continues to bat like this, he might be better off coming lower down in which case Gambhir must be tried. In any event its worthwhile to try Gambhir in a couple of games to keep the option ready.

    Sachin should open since he clearly relishes the hard new ball coming on to the bat.

    Middleorder :
    Dravid, Kaif, Ganguly, Yuvraj (in that order of preference) and the many youngsters are the options available. I dont see a problem here except that Yuvraj is really not playing well whether his millions of fans agree or not. This is a cause of worry since he can be a match winner with the bat and in the field. He needs shock therapy I think. It may not be a bad idea to have him come in at 6 or 7 for a change.

    It looks like a decision has been made to keep Laxman out of consideration. If that is the decision we should move ahead albeit with a tinge of sadness. I would have been tempted to try him as an opener. I have a sneaky feeling he may spring a few surprises there. But thats day dreaming

    Lower order :
    With Irfan and now JP strengthening the lower order we should feel better. Agarkar's days are over. The sooner we realise this the better. I feel bad when i say that since I am very fond of him but we have to face it and the team comes first.

    Spinners :
    This match should not be taken as having provided us with the solution to this issue. We need to watch some more. Kumble's one day career may be finished and we need to accept this too inspite of sentiments.

    I still think Romesh Powar must be played ,AND BOWLED, in a few games. If there is one cricketer to whom the selectors have consistently been unfair it is this fighting cricketer from Mumbai. He is a mutch better bowler than he is given credit for.

    Keeper :
    Dhoni is fine. We need to be sure we want Dinesh Karthick as the standby. I am not so sure.

  11. #11
    Hall of Fame Member honestbharani's Avatar
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    I don't know why all this vitriol is against Kaarthick. He is young and impetuous and often gets out when he shouldn't but he has also shown a lot of potential with the bat. And he is certainly the best keeper amongst Parthiv, Dhoni and him. And he has played one ODI (two in fact, but only one he got a bat in). I wish we gave him more of a chance. He wasn't exactly a failure at the challenger trophy.
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Pratters's Avatar
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    Lets look at left handers - By Rajan Bala


    While there are people who still believe that Sourav Ganguly merits a recall into the one-day squad after his century againt North Zone in the Duleep Trophy, I have been wondering why other left-hand batsmen, younger than the last Indian captain, are not being looked at with an eye to the 2007 World Cup and for that matter the Test matches and one-dayers previous to it.

    Take for example Tamil Nadu’s Sridharan Sriram who made his eighth Duleep Trophy century in a losing cause against Central Zone and overall has 28 first class century. That is quite a number amd he is 28 going on 29 in February next year. This means time is on his side.

    Admittedly, he did not do justice to his talent in the six one-day internationals he played in, but that should not be beld against him. In addition, he is an intelligent left-arm spinner and a fine fieldsman. In fact, he is the sort of all-round cricketer coach Greg Chappell and captain, Rahul Dravid should be interested in.
    In the present one-day squad of 13 there are two specialist left-hand batsmen in Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir.

    One is not counting Irfan Pathan, also a left-hander, but one who is a specialist bowler who can also bat. As the calculations stand, the selectors and the team’s think-tank will first have to find a place for Mohammed Kaif, once he returns from injury. He, of course, is a right-hand batsman.

    Other left-hand batsmen on the periphery, and all of them have played for the country, are Hemang Badani, Dinesh Mongia and Rohan Gavaskar. They being younger to Ganguly and overall fitter, the question that has to be asked is whey they were all picked in the first place and discarded in a hurry. For all of them, including Sriram, it has been a case of minimum opportunities, intense pressure to perform and the dread that a couple of failures would see them out of the squad.

    There is no shortage of left-arm bowling options in Indian cricket, especially with the new ball. But when it comes to batting, it seems that when Ganguly was the boss of the show, he somehow ensured that left-hand batsmen could never feel wanted. Recently, left-arm all-rounder, Sunil Joshi, who performed the Ranji Trophy double of 3,000 runs and 300 wickets made it clear that it was the Kolkata left-hander who was unwilling to play him.

    And to rub it in Joshi said, “In his first Test as the captain of the Indian team, in Dhaka, I had a major role to play in our victory with both bat and ball. And thereafter, I saw myself being sidelined.” He did not add that he might have survived if only he had taken wickets and not scored runs.

    In their years of supremacy under Steve Waugh, Australia ensured that there were sufficient left-hand batsmen to upset the plans and the rhythm of bowling sides. The presence of Langer, Hayden, Gilchrist, Lehmann and Katich among the top eight batsmen made it difficult for opposition bowling sides to work out a definitive strategy for tackling a left-right batting combination.

    The other day in a casual concersation with young Mohammad Kaif, I was surprised to hear him express the view that all left-hand batsmen are only strong through the off-side. Of course they are because all bowlers — the majority being right-armers — bowl on and outside the off-stump. Traditionally all left-hand batsmen showed the utmost felicity off their legs and were more than happy dealing with anything aimed at their bodies. Of course, there was the odd exception.

    The message is clear. Left-hand batsmen are few and far between as compared to right-hand batsmen. The same applies to bowlers. It is for Chappell to keep an eye out for this type because it would provide the captain with options. Also, as in the case of Ganguly, whose shortcomings have become public knowledge, bringing him back would be unwise for nore reasons than one. Fortunately Indian cricket, thanks to the National Cricket Academy and the cricket board’s system of talent spotting headed by Dilip Vengsarkar, has a production line going.

    The point is runs made and wickets taken in domestic cricket have to be given their due weightage, otherwise the frustration because of the futilty of playing and peforming would affect the players. When Ganguly made a Duleep Trophy century, there was speculation that he would be back into the side.

    In another match, Wasim Jaffer also made a century and an unbeaten half century in the second innings, but nobody talked about his return. The point that the same yardstick should be used for everybody is of course fair and valid. But if Ganguly has to be reconsidered the same privilege should be extended to the likes of Jaffer and Sriram. Mine, of course, is a case for focusing on left-handers — be it batsmen or bowlers.

  13. #13
    International Vice-Captain Dasa's Avatar
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    ^That article really isn't accurate at all...and I don't think the Australian team under Waugh made a concerted effort to keep left-handers in the team - rather, the best 11 consisted of several left-handed batsmen while the best Indian 11 consists of predominantly right-handers.

  14. #14
    International Coach adharcric's Avatar
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    yeah why would you be so desperate to have left-handers in the team ... besides, suresh raina is clearly among the top 3 left-handed options now, along with yuvraj and gambhir (ignoring ganguly for a moment).

  15. #15
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    Rahul Dravid will now be eyeing the WC, the way Indian team are shaping up under Greg, Indian team must be fav's for the finals once again!

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