February 13, 2007

Indian cricket

Unlucky Powar

Sriram Veera

Reactions have come in from cricketers and media on the Indian squad for the World Cup. We sample a few here.

Ravi Shastri reckons it is a good pick and warns India to be ready for changing tracks. However, he believes Ramesh Powar has been extremely unlucky.

It is easy to get riled by his weight or his supposed indifference to fitness drills, but his ability to take wickets is beyond doubt. He is the kind of bowler who can get you the wickets in the middle overs. His variety and loop entice batsmen who, anyway, are uncomfortable playing him defensively. He brings them out of their comfort zone, which is the essence of a good bowler.

Bobilli Vijay Kumar, of Times of India, believes fielding is the Achilles heel of India.

The outfield will be manned by heavy legs and weak arms. Tendulkar, Agarkar, Pathan and, to an extent, Harbhajan Singh are effective without really being sensational. But almost all the others will have to be hidden in dark corners or used as scarecrows. At least the catching has improved, thanks to hours and months of hard work.

Kunal Pradhan, of Mumbai Mirror, ponders on the methodology of selection.

The reason why these 15 have been picked is simple: We left things till too late because we kept tom-tomming ridiculous policies, and now the selectors were trapped into picking the side that played the last ODI, even if the team lost rather insipidly in Rajkot on Sunday ... But if India actually manage to do well in the World Cup, it will be because of some stunning individual performances. It will not be a victory of the system, the so-called process has already been dismantled — now we’re making the ‘best of our limited resources’.

No surprises, no options either, says S Ram Mahesh, of the Hindu.

K Shrinivas Rao, of the Indian Express, reflects on the curious case of 2 stars - VVS Laxman and Ajit Agarkar. He spoke to the two on their contribution over the years.

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Sriram Veera is a former staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

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