The ICC ODI World Cup is almost upon us.
Practice matches—prior to the hurly-burly of the tournament—are in full swing. Teams are trying out combinations and players are trying out shots and deliveries---making sure that they are set for the real thing.
A few really random thoughts (or shots):
If Team India has the best batting line-up in the world, should they not play just six batsmen and five bowlers? What if one of the bowlers pulls up with an injury during the game? Can part-timers fill out the shoes of say a Zaheer or a Munaf?
Can the batting power-play be turned on its head by the fielding side by utilizing their best bowlers in that phase of the innings? Not so difficult a task;most batting sides opt for the power-play during overs 41-50.
The batsmen will be going for their shots; is there any harm in attacking with close-in fielders? Surely the few extra runs leaked will be worth it if traction of two or three wickets can be achieved. Nothing slows the scoring rate than the fall of wickets in quick succession. It would make for more exciting cricket.
Team India’s warm-up match against the Aussies showed that although spinners will play a significant part in this World Cup, the quick bowlers can generate pressure to create panic in opposition ranks. Australia, South Africa, England and Pakistan rely on pacers more than India or Sri Lanka. Will it be a spinner’s or a fast bowler’s Cup?
Yousuf Pathan is the best choice for the No. 6 or No. 7 position. There has been talk of using him as a floater. That is premature chatter. Yuvraj Singh or MS Dhoni can play that role to perfection.
The names, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh,Virat Kohli,MS Dhoni and Yousuf Pathan, should be pencilled in, nary a thought. Suresh Raina will have to wait his turn or play against the weaker sides.
Should India decide to go in with six batsmen, it will be cool-as-cucumber Kohli who will be left out unless one of the top six is woefully out of form.Can Team India gamble on their Super Six to click?
The bowling line-up will have Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra and Harbhajan Singh as certainties. It’s a toss-up between Munaf Patel and S Sreesanth. Patel should get the nod for his greater discipline.
Should India play five bowlers, it will have to be the extra spinner in Piyush Chawla simply for the variety provided.
It’s a given that bowlers win matches. “When in doubt, go with your best bowlers” is the mantra smart captains follow.
If Team India—as MS Dhoni claimed—are fatigued before the World Cup, wonder how the men in blue will feel post the premier tourney.Is there a magical elixir that will perk them up in time for the IPL? That can only be a World Cup win.
Can India risk playing only six batsmen?
It’s only the knock-out games that will be of significance in this World Cup. The format ensures that unpredictability will not feature this time around. Fans can rest assured that India and Pakistan will not exit in the very first round unless lightning strikes.
Finally, is the 10th ODI World Cup worth watching? I mean, come on, a game takes approximately eight hours.
Do you wish to be glued to the screen for that period of time? Don’t you have a non-cricketing life? T20 is so much more fun. Slam, bang and turn-off-the-TV wham.
Besides, half-an-hour capsules ought to be enough to capture the best of the action. Highlights—anyone hear of that, in this context?
Just a rant. Have a great day.
Quote of the day:
The girl with a future avoids a man with a past. - Evan Esar