India v New Zealand, 5th ODI, Chennai December 9, 2010

Exciting times for Indian selectors - Eric Simons

ESPNcricinfo staff

Having sealed the series 4-0, India's bowling consultant Eric Simons has said the team planned to rest some of its key players for the fifth match against New Zealand. India played Praveen Kumar, Rohit Sharma and Saurabh Tiwary in the previous game in Bangalore, which meant that everyone in the 14-member squad had played at least once in the series.

"There are no injury concerns," Simons said. "No one is ruled out but if we don't play anybody tomorrow, it will be more of a precautionary measure because we leave for South Africa in a few days time. We are not experimenting, and will pick the best team we can."

India's young team has ticked most of the boxes during this series, giving the side strong momentum ahead of the World Cup. Yuvraj Singh's indifferent form with the bat, though, remains an area of concern. Despite getting starts in most games, he has managed only 78 runs in the series but Simons was not too bothered by the numbers.

"Yuvraj was under tremendous pressure the other day [in the fourth match] but his shot selection was pretty good," Simons said. "I am quite happy with the way he played. He was striking the ball pretty well. He is clearing the boundary with ease and that proves he is timing the ball well, and batting with confidence."

Simons was also full of praise for Yusuf Pathan, who forced his name into World Cup selection debates with a match-winning century in Bangalore. "Lots of people talk about Yusuf's power but what excited me more was his temperament between the boundaries," Simons said. "That is something he has added to his repertoire and augurs well for him as a number seven batsmen."

Apart from Yusuf, fringe players like Virat Kohli, R Ashwin, Parthiv Patel and Rohit Sharma have also grabbed the opportunites that have come their way, and Simons said their performances could leave the selectors with too many choices.

"When the World Cup team is selected, a number of guys will be in contention because players are putting up their hands," he said. "It is a very exciting time for coaches and selectors. It is tremendous to see Parthiv Patel working hard for a place. It develops healthy competition among the entire squad. Ashwin has been very encouraging. He has different variations in his bowling which plays a key factor in the slog overs. I think he is moving forward with each performance."

Simons, however, admitted that the bowling in the end overs was still a worry for the side and that it would be one of the major focus areas leading up to the World Cup.

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  • AbbA on December 11, 2010, 4:36 GMT

    cant understand why readers selecting their XI.. soo seriously.. it takes one match for any player in this country to become hero..n for those who say let India take on SA before tagging WC favorites pls realise that WC is being hosted in Ind-SL-BD. Y shud we need to clean sweap SA in SA.. ?? we have beat Aus, SA, Eng, WI, Pak, SL, NZ home & away (may be in bits n bytes) but I wud rather say that any country who can beat India in India shud be No. 1 n not vice versa as it still remains the biggest n unachieved challenge so far..

  • Dummy4 on December 10, 2010, 17:51 GMT

    dont knw...y everybody are excited so much aftr win over NZL..come on guys..same team got white washed against Bangladesh...really test is ahead SA...lets c if kohli can prove there...coz he havnt faced best bowling attacks yet..nw in present world of cricket..we dont hv bowlers whose caliber can be matched with wasim,waqar,glenn,gillespie,bichel, lee(in the earlier stages of his career),vaas,bond,donald,walsh, ambrose ..they just took the game to the next level...dont worry indian ptiches more of a batting will be run feast for all the best TEAM INDIA..DO WELL IN WC...SACHIN ALL HOPES ON YOU DONT WORRY EVEN IF U DONT GET WC FOR US..STILL U WILL BE GOD.

  • balu on December 10, 2010, 17:43 GMT

    Here i would present my World cup Team member 1.Shewag 2.Sachin 3.Gambhir/kohli4.Raina5.Yuvi 6.Dhoni7.Yusuf pathan 8.Bajji/Aswin 9.Zaheer 10.Ashish Nehra/Praveen 11.Ishant/Munaf. viru:He is a kind of player who can do magics at any time with Ball & bat.Sachin : He is the most experience player also with great touch with bat who can strong the opening stand with his blaster innings.Reason for Gambhir/kohli : Both are batsman only. Reason for Raina : He is a match winner & quick Scorer also he can be used as a part time bowler Reason for Yuvi : He is a match winner & quick Scorer also he can be used as No.1 part time bowler.6.Dhoni-No comments abt dhoni, coz he's the captain, but he needs to back to his touch. 7. Yusuf- He is a hard hitter, but he need to show his consistency. His bowling is very good & he is our complete all-rounder.8.Bajji / Ashwin - both are good with ball 9.Zaheer-classy bowler with experience 10.nehra/praveen-both are bowlers 11. Both are support bowlers.

  • Dummy4 on December 10, 2010, 17:27 GMT

    with yusuf india is gonnnnnnnnnna winnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

  • avinash on December 10, 2010, 17:19 GMT

    @faizur rehman,,,If we pick this team as playing 11,we surely wont win one match would you play bhajji at 7???Its a joke of millenium...My WC Team would be,,,Playing 11 1)Sachin, 2)sehwag, 3)Gambhir, 4)Kohli,5)yuvi,6)Raina,7)Dhoni,8)Bhajji,9)Praveen,10)Zaheer,11)Sreeshant.Reserves are Ashwin,Nehra,Saurabh...

  • Himmatlal on December 10, 2010, 16:43 GMT

    Would like to hear from the selectors, who will be selecting the team.....

  • Dummy4 on December 10, 2010, 16:31 GMT

    India beats NZ 5-0! That means India is likely going to be out of the World Cup in the first round. Indians are chokers. Tendulkar, Sehwag, Gambhir, Zaheer, Bhajji, Yuvraj almost always flop in big and crucial games. India can win quantity of games but not the crucial quality games.

  • Nataraaj on December 10, 2010, 16:22 GMT

    What a show by young indians. congrats for the 5-0 clean sweep. Great comeback for parthiv patel with back to back 50. This young team without Dhoni, Sachin & Sehwag and key blowers Zaheer & Bajji did exceptionally well.. keep it up young boys.

    i once again say, we must keep sending "B" team for frequent overseas tours like Aus , Eng, SA, NZ and WI to give them experience playing in different conditions.

  • Dummy4 on December 10, 2010, 16:16 GMT

    I just hope they dont jinx the momentum...

  • anil on December 10, 2010, 15:57 GMT

    Yes,indeed selectors have very tough time ahead.Every one has performed exceptionally well and leaving question mark before the selectors whom they choose or whom they omitt from the world cup squad. But Saurbh TIwari is an ideal investment for the future.I don'tthink that Parthiv Patel should be in the squad despite his brilliant batting performence in last two ODI againest NewZeland as his work behind the stumps is still the weakest link.Well Done India ,Well Done Team India

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