Well its that time of the year, the curtain raiser for Indian cricket. That's what the Irani trophy is, this time the Rest Of India side plays the Delhi state team. The players involved are the best players in the country, well that's the theory. With that in mind let's look at the The Rest of India team selected.
Anil Kumble (capt.), Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, MS Dhoni, Wasim Jaffer, Mohammad Kaif, Pragyan Ojha, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, Parthiv Patel, RP Singh, Ashok Dinda, Harbhajan Singh
As I see it, there are just a few surprises, what with the inclusion of Ashok Dinda for besides his IPL performance, he hasn't done much to deserve that spot. One look at the squad and we can see that there's only one specialist opener. So why is that, and the person that has been picked is Wasim Jaffer and again I don't get why, he's had his share of chances and I for one feel there should be others that need to be given a shot.
So who does this side play as their second opener? Rahul Dravid, surely not, he's not in the best form as it is and to play him out of position won't be fair. So do we play Parthiv Patel as the opener, why would we want to do that?
Dhoni will obviously keep wickets so Parthiv's inclusion won't be justified. Mohammad Kaif, he's definitely been picked as a middle order batman and he's a controversial pick in the first place, I for one would have loved to have seen Yuvraj step up to the plate and finally nail that middle order spot that he has been threatening to do for a while.
If not Yuvraj then at least someone like Badrinath or Rohit Sharma or even Suresh Raina.
So even after going through the obvious names that might open, I can't figure out who actually will. When will our selectors think straight and choose specialists?
As for the bowlers, well we have seem to have an amazing supply of fast bowlers, and barring that Dinda shocker (I hope to be proved wrong, but I can't even see him make the first eleven anyways) the right people have been picked even if they were fairly obvious.
As for the spinners, I see this series being very very important for Kumble, if he doesn't perform for the Australian series, at the very least, I see him losing the Captaincy.
Harbhajan is an obvious choice and so is Ojha though I think he'll be warming the bench.
One thing that I'm glad about is that Ganguly has been dropped, a faithful servant (Prince) for years I really felt his time was up. Watching him play in Sri Lanka and this doesn't feel like a conspiracy or a non-selection due to political reasons. So let's give credit where credit is due, well done selectors for making that tough decision.
I'm hoping for a cracker of a match and maybe my beloved Delhi team with the likes of Akash Chopra, Sehwag, Ishant, Gambhir causing an upset, while we see a splendid hundred from Sachin for the ROI side. Here's hoping everyone does wonderfully well and the selectors choose the best squad for the Australian series.