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Thread: Full-strength Indian zonal sides: Who would win?

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    International Coach adharcric's Avatar
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    Full-strength Indian zonal sides: Who would win?

    Suppose all of the cricketers in India were available for selection and zonal sides were chosen, much as in the Duleep Trophy. I'll post mine below. The question is - how would these teams fare (best, worst, etc)? By the way, these are test teams.

    North Zone
    V Sehwag*, G Gambhir, S Dhawan, Y Singh, D Mongia, U Kaul+, J Sharma, A Mishra, H Singh, VRV Singh, A Nehra

    West Zone
    W Jaffer, D Jadhav, R Sharma, S Tendulkar*, N Patel, P Patel+, I Pathan, R Powar, A Agarkar, Z Khan, M Patel

    Central Zone
    S Bangar, A Pagnis, M Kaif*, S Raina, JP Yadav, TP Singh, P Kumar, P Chawla, A Khan+, M Kartik, RP Singh

    East Zone
    A Das, SG Das, A Jhunjhunwala, S Ganguly*, R Gavaskar, MS Dhoni+, LR Shukla, S Nadeem, S Lahiri, R Bose, SS Paul

    South Zone
    R Uthappa, S Vidyut, R Dravid*, VVS Laxman, V Rao, S Badrinath, D Karthik+, A Kumble, V Yomahesh, L Balaji, S Sreesanth

    Either South Zone or West Zone would take it, IMO. Thoughts???

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    Hall of Fame Member honestbharani's Avatar
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    West has the Tendulkar factor. BTW, why create four threads for the same topic? Indian domestic cricket is that good?
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    International Coach adharcric's Avatar
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    Of course.

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    Cricketer Of The Year Arjun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by honestbharani
    West has the Tendulkar factor. BTW, why create four threads for the same topic? Indian domestic cricket is that good?
    Quote Originally Posted by adharcric
    Of course!
    I'd be surprised if I found the other three. After all, we have four threads on Australian domestic cricket, a few on NZ, countless on England, so why not have a few on India?

    Anyway, West may have the Tendulkar factor and a few big stars, but will they combine well to perform as a team? Maybe not. There may be a place for Amol Mazumdar somewhere in the top five. Niraj Patel was a one-season wonder, while Amol has been a top performer for years. Rohit Sharma is still very new.

    South may have stars, but they lack impact. The good thing is that players from TN do the basic things right. Karnataka have several young players in their Academy side, some of whom have played in the U-19 team. Gaurav Dhiman is a name to watch, because he's not just the prolific opener that we've seen, but also a useful swing bowler. Ideally, he should replace Yo Mahesh. You can choose between Venugopal, a domestic dominator found out at the international level, or a greenhorn from the Karnataka side, but Vidyut opening gives another option. Alternatively, have Vidyut at six or seven.

    That Central side is very similar to the Kiwi/Pak/Protea sides that we often see– nine batsmen, six bowlers and more than a few good fielders. Having just four batsmen will weaken the team a little, unless you count on strength in numbers from Bangar, Yadav, Chawla and Kumar. Four seamers of different styles, a leg-spinner and a left-arm spinner make a very balanced attack. This team is devoid of stars, but every player is there for a purpose and unlike star-studded teams elsewhere, they combine well.

    East Zone is a weak side, although they have two star players. There is more to a team than just Ganguly and Dhoni. A lot of the players here, mostly from Bengal, are has-beens. Paul and Bose are the prospects here. Paul is a medium-pacer who will hold a line and length for a long time, but not do anything special. Bose is faster, more aggressive, but sprays the ball around. Nadeem is a walk-in here, but not ready for the national team yet, thougha fantastic A-team prospect. Will they blend as well as Central? We have yet to see.

    North are another star attraction. They're not as versatile a team as Central, but the quality is definitely better. They haev Sehwag, Gambhir, Harbhajan, Yuvraj, Mongia, Nehra as well as prospects Mishra, Joginder Sharma and VRV Singh, as well as domestic stalwarts Bhandari and Dharmani. Nehra is not quite the bowler who took six wickets in the Kingsmead ODI or the Indianoil Cup final last year. Bhandari is also not so effective now. Dharmani is still the best wicketkeeper-batsman in the North, but he's wicketkeeping a lot less now, so they're looking to Uday Kaul. One bowler to watch out for is Delhi youngster Ishant Sharma, who's very tall, gets steep bounce at a good pace, with a little movement.
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    Hall of Fame Member Sanz's Avatar
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    East and South zone look like the winners here. And shouldn't Deep dasgupta be in the East zone side ?

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    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    I would say either west or south zones, east looks the weakest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker
    I would say either west or south zones, east looks the weakest.
    aren't you forgetting the Ganguly factor..

    South looks like the strongest of the all zones and west would probaly give them good run for their money.

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    You'll Never Walk Alone Nate's Avatar
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    South for sure.
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    International Regular shortpitched713's Avatar
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    West Zone win quite easlily in my opinion. They have by far the best pace attack, and Tendulkar and Jaffer should take care of the batting.

    But maybe thats just my Mumbai bias shining through.

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    Cricketer Of The Year Turbinator's Avatar
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    All zones have their pros and cons. However, I would say North Zone, followed by either West or South Zone. East is the weakest for me.

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    International Captain Dravid's Avatar
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    North have two solid openers, Yuvraj and Mongia in the middle order and a couple of good bowlers like Harbhajhan and Nehra. If the Sehwag and Gambhir provide a good partnership opening, than they could post a huge total on the board. I would give this team a 3/5.

    West got Jaffer and Jadhav in their batting line-up, along with Sachin in their side. Parthiv Patel is good backup batsman and Pathan has proven him self with the bat too. This side probably has if not the strongest, one of the strongest bowling line up, with Munaf Patel, Ajit Agarkar, Irfan Pathan, and Zaheer Khan. A 5/5 for this side.

    Central have a weaker batting line-up than West and North. Kaif Raina and Yadav wouold probably be the only major threats for the opposition. Three decent batsman, but I just don't see enough support. They have a pretty good bowling line up, with the young spinner Pyush Chawla to Murli Kartik and RP Singh. More of a bowling team than a batting team, in my opinion. 3/5

    East probably have the weakest batting line-up out of all the teams. Ganguly is out of form and hasn't done anything, and doesn't prove to be much of a threat anymore. Gavaskar is a decent batsman but not good enough to carry the whole team in batting. I have no idea who A Das is. Would be nice if they told us the first name cause Das is a very common last name in India. Only real threat for the opposition from the East would be Dhoni, who isn't in good form lately either. Bowling wise, they got a couple of good bowlers, like Paul, but probably this side is the weakest in bowling too. 2/5 for this side from me.

    South are the only team that really cause worries for the West. They have the classical batting of Rahul and VVS in their line-up with back up from batsman like Uthappa Rao, and Dinesh Karthik who have talent themselves. Their bowling could problems too, with Sreesanth, and Kumble, who is probably the best Indian spinner ever in their line up. A great overall team and gets a 4.5/5 from me.


    West will most likely take it though in my opinion.

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    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Yea, the only reason I may give it to South is due to the Kumble factor. He is a handful on Indian pitches (they don't call him Jumbo for nothing). His deliveries just shoot off the pitch at you.

    But yea, it would be a good game between south and west.

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    International Coach adharcric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanz
    East and South zone look like the winners here. And shouldn't Deep dasgupta be in the East zone side ?
    You'd have to include both Dhoni and Dasgupta, which is bizarre considering I can't image the former fielding anywhere besides behind the stumps and the latter's domestic record with the bat is nothing special.

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    International Coach adharcric's Avatar
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    South > West > North > Central > East ... i think

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    Hall of Fame Member Sanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adharcric
    You'd have to include both Dhoni and Dasgupta, which is bizarre considering I can't image the former fielding anywhere besides behind the stumps and the latter's domestic record with the bat is nothing special.
    You are wrong about Deep's batting. Recently Deep has been very successful with the bat and has been leading Bengal in Sourav's absence. He led Bengal to Ranji Finals and was the leading scorer for his team.

    As usual East Zone is under-rated by Indian members(as is the case with National selectors), either because they dont know enough about it or because they over-rate other zones based on their assumptions. It may be a surprise to many of you but in the longer version of game East Zone are pretty good. Last year not only East Zone reached the finals of the Duleep Trophy and competed very well with the West Zone in the finals, they also beat North Zone easily which are rated so highly here.

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