March 26, 2010

A team for the World Twenty20

Who should India pick? Here's a likely XI
119

When India's selectors sit down to pick the team for the ICC World Twenty20 they will have to choose between form and class. It is not an easy choice, for in an ideal world both would go together. But it is a contest in which class must prevail, and the selectors must hope that Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina, in particular, use the month available to become match-winners again.

The selectors must decide on eight batsmen and seven bowlers. They cannot compromise by picking fewer bowlers on the assumption that on some days the batsmen will chip in, because on days they don't, the game could be lost. Of those eight batsmen, two should be wicketkeepers, and India are well served in this area since both those can play as batsmen. Ideally two of them should be able to bowl. Similarly, of the seven bowlers picked, two must hold their own with the bat. That will give the team the balance that Twenty20 cricket demands.

Now let's see what we have and pick the players who walk in. Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Raina, Yuvraj (class over form), Yusuf Pathan, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan. Now that is only nine and straightaway the first problem becomes apparent. Where are the bowlers? You need five seamers and two spinners, so let's start shortlisting those.

The options with seamers are Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Ashish Nehra, Sreesanth, RP Singh and Vinay Kumar. None of them bat, and though Zaheer can swing his bat a bit and Praveen Kumar can provide a few bonus runs here and there, it isn't good enough. And so I'm going to go a bit left field and insist that Irfan Pathan be in the side. I believe he has a huge amount to contribute, and it helps that he is willing to do anything a captain asks him to.

I have been a bit surprised by the way Kumar Sangakkara has used him for the King's XI. At Pathan's current pace I am not sure he can bowl the first over, or indeed the last three, where he can become predictable. I believe his place in the side is as a fifth bowler and lower-order batsman, and in that role he bowls largely in the middle overs.

So with him as the 10th player, we need to look at three seamers. Praveen must be one. Nehra could be a second if he his fit, and then you choose between Sreesanth, RP and Ishant. Neither is in any kind of form and it is one of those decisions where you go with the captain's gut feel. But RP is probably best equipped.

The second spinner is relatively easier to choose, since a left-armer is good value in this format. The top two spinners of that variety in India at the moment are Murali Kartik and Pragyan Ojha, but given that our seamers don't bat, that place will need to go to an allrounder and therefore to Ravindra Jadeja, who is clearly the third best spinner out of three. But he is good value in this format and so he becomes player No. 14.

The most contentious issue would be to assign the last batting spot. I believe there are four strong batting contenders: Manish Pandey, Virat Kohli, Robin Uthappa and Rohit Sharma, each of whom comes with strong skills. If you want a back-up for Gambhir and Sehwag, then I guess Pandey is the man; if a back-up for Yuvraj to bat in the middle overs (as many as there are), then Kohli could be the player, and if the selectors are looking for a strong finisher then either of Uthappa or Sharma, both of whom can bat anywhere in the order. Eventually it will be the captain's call but it is a dead heat for me.

I don't think India will start favourites given current form and possible fatigue (though that can only be as much of an excuse as a sales representative complaining after 20 days on the road), but I believe this playing XI will give India the best possible chance. In batting order: Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar and Zaheer Khan .

Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • HISXLNC on March 29, 2010, 20:42 GMT

    sehwag, pandey, dhoni, raina, yuvraj, harbhajan, zaheer, yusuf, praveen, rohit, irfan/jadeja

  • aditsingh on March 29, 2010, 13:38 GMT

    I am certain about the fact that Irfan should quit his Indian citizenship and seek a citizenship either in Pakistan or Afghanistan who will give him the right respect he deserves. I bet his frustration level is as sky rocketing as his current form. Signs which are obviouslly ignored by our selectors. One would have anticipated Irfan walking into the side without any hitches, but our man 'Sri-Canth' has proved a major obstacle. He perhaps doesn't realise how important it is to have a pacer allrounder like Irfan in the side.he is perhaps even better than Abdul Razzak (Pkaistan) I might sound evil but I pray to god that India perform its ever worst so that the selection commity gets another yet makeover for a better future. And i also pray that Nehra and Vinay Kumar get a chance to show how they would get walloped by the classy players.

  • sanjayverma on March 29, 2010, 13:34 GMT

    My Playing eleven- Batsman- Shewag,Gambhir,Raina,Yuvraj,Dhoni, Allrounder- Yusuf ,Irfan,Jadeja Bowler- Zahir,Praveen and Harbhajan.

    Extra three-Viany kumar,Manish Pandey & Murli Kartik.

  • on March 28, 2010, 10:26 GMT

    I dont Know wats wrong with the srikanth...when south africa was in india for the test series and the team was selected for the match and which was very crucial match for the position of 1st place and this srikanth given the worst team and that we lost the first match ...here also this crack making same mistake even gautam gambhir is not suitable for 20twenty instead of gautam manish pandey is the best option....here goes my team virendar sehwag,manish pandey,robin uthappa,dinesh kartik,yuvraj singh,ms dhoni,suresh raina,irfan pathan,yusuf pathan,ravindra jadeja,vinay kumar,zaheer khan,harbhajan singh,piyush chawla,siddharth trivedi. i challenge the selected team by the management will not bring good result in the twenty20 worldcup...bet anyone can...

  • skart on March 27, 2010, 18:42 GMT

    I agree, the team that Harsha selected will be a good..

  • rajatdouble07 on March 27, 2010, 18:20 GMT

    Team B (16 members)- Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Manoj Tiware, Virat Kohli,Sourabh Tiwary, Shikhar Dhawan, Naman Ojha, Irfan Pathan, M Karthik, Amit Mishra, L Balaji, sumit narwal, Ishant, Umesh Yadav, PP Ojha, SK Trivedi

    Bowler choose based their utility score as per - (wickets * 10/ Overs)* (10/avg)*(10/Econ)... (IP L stat till 26th Mar)... plus some personal likings...

  • on March 27, 2010, 12:20 GMT

    My 15 Man Squad : Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yusuf Pathan, Robin Utthappa, Virat Kohli,Manish Pandey, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Praveen Kumar....Extras : Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthick, Irfan Pathan, Pragyan Ojha IF INDIA WANT TO WIN T20 WORLD CUP ITS BEST PLAYER

  • on March 27, 2010, 11:00 GMT

    Why is RP Singh in the list?He has not been part of the Indian team in a long time and his performance in IPL just shows why!Also,I can never understand why Irfan Pathan, MOM of the T20 final 2007 is NOT part of the team.Guess Dhoni still has issues with him, after his RP vs pathan spat!Manish Pandey and Virat Kohli deserved a chance ahead of Rohit Sharma.Again,Dhoni can give the "Most of the players were injured" excuse when they lose like last time!

  • gman_gunit on March 27, 2010, 10:58 GMT

    WE WANT TO BE NO-1 TEAM BUT WE DONT HAVE THE CLASS OF BRETT LEE OR SHOAIB OR EVEN SHANE BOND..! THIS ONE AREA INDIA NEEDS TO LOOK AT . YA THERE ARE BOWERS WHO ARE GOOD LIKE ZAHEER ,PRAVEEN BUT THEY BOWL 130 KPH WHICH IS PREDICTABLE AT GIVEN SPEED. HE HAVE RESOURCES BUT STILL THERE IS NO ONE WHO COULD BOWL UP TO 150 KPH. WAT A SHAME FOR OUR CRICKET ...1

  • MK100 on March 27, 2010, 4:04 GMT

    I quite go by Harsha's words. His team is probably the best to bring back the pride. All of this provided the top order fires. Yes, Manish Pandey is too naive as of now and he could have easily won his place for experimenting if any of the top orders were injured or unavailable for some reason. If it was not for Dinesh Karthik in the actual squad picked, it would have damn surely been Robin for his excellent batting tactics and can also be a helping hand with the gloves behind the stumps. Indian Baord must find themselves to be lucky to be in a situation to pick from so much talent. Sadly, India hasn't been able to produce bowlers with THAT sting element in them over the years. Blame it on the pitches in India. But for this sort of a format, its just on THAT day, how the bowlers bowl. He gets no time to recover and in no time his four are gone. 24 good balls from Zaheer, Bhajji, Praveen, Jadeja and thenbetween Yuvraj, Rohit, Raina and Yusuf is gonna be a tough ask seeing their form now

  • HISXLNC on March 29, 2010, 20:42 GMT

    sehwag, pandey, dhoni, raina, yuvraj, harbhajan, zaheer, yusuf, praveen, rohit, irfan/jadeja

  • aditsingh on March 29, 2010, 13:38 GMT

    I am certain about the fact that Irfan should quit his Indian citizenship and seek a citizenship either in Pakistan or Afghanistan who will give him the right respect he deserves. I bet his frustration level is as sky rocketing as his current form. Signs which are obviouslly ignored by our selectors. One would have anticipated Irfan walking into the side without any hitches, but our man 'Sri-Canth' has proved a major obstacle. He perhaps doesn't realise how important it is to have a pacer allrounder like Irfan in the side.he is perhaps even better than Abdul Razzak (Pkaistan) I might sound evil but I pray to god that India perform its ever worst so that the selection commity gets another yet makeover for a better future. And i also pray that Nehra and Vinay Kumar get a chance to show how they would get walloped by the classy players.

  • sanjayverma on March 29, 2010, 13:34 GMT

    My Playing eleven- Batsman- Shewag,Gambhir,Raina,Yuvraj,Dhoni, Allrounder- Yusuf ,Irfan,Jadeja Bowler- Zahir,Praveen and Harbhajan.

    Extra three-Viany kumar,Manish Pandey & Murli Kartik.

  • on March 28, 2010, 10:26 GMT

    I dont Know wats wrong with the srikanth...when south africa was in india for the test series and the team was selected for the match and which was very crucial match for the position of 1st place and this srikanth given the worst team and that we lost the first match ...here also this crack making same mistake even gautam gambhir is not suitable for 20twenty instead of gautam manish pandey is the best option....here goes my team virendar sehwag,manish pandey,robin uthappa,dinesh kartik,yuvraj singh,ms dhoni,suresh raina,irfan pathan,yusuf pathan,ravindra jadeja,vinay kumar,zaheer khan,harbhajan singh,piyush chawla,siddharth trivedi. i challenge the selected team by the management will not bring good result in the twenty20 worldcup...bet anyone can...

  • skart on March 27, 2010, 18:42 GMT

    I agree, the team that Harsha selected will be a good..

  • rajatdouble07 on March 27, 2010, 18:20 GMT

    Team B (16 members)- Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Manoj Tiware, Virat Kohli,Sourabh Tiwary, Shikhar Dhawan, Naman Ojha, Irfan Pathan, M Karthik, Amit Mishra, L Balaji, sumit narwal, Ishant, Umesh Yadav, PP Ojha, SK Trivedi

    Bowler choose based their utility score as per - (wickets * 10/ Overs)* (10/avg)*(10/Econ)... (IP L stat till 26th Mar)... plus some personal likings...

  • on March 27, 2010, 12:20 GMT

    My 15 Man Squad : Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yusuf Pathan, Robin Utthappa, Virat Kohli,Manish Pandey, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Praveen Kumar....Extras : Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthick, Irfan Pathan, Pragyan Ojha IF INDIA WANT TO WIN T20 WORLD CUP ITS BEST PLAYER

  • on March 27, 2010, 11:00 GMT

    Why is RP Singh in the list?He has not been part of the Indian team in a long time and his performance in IPL just shows why!Also,I can never understand why Irfan Pathan, MOM of the T20 final 2007 is NOT part of the team.Guess Dhoni still has issues with him, after his RP vs pathan spat!Manish Pandey and Virat Kohli deserved a chance ahead of Rohit Sharma.Again,Dhoni can give the "Most of the players were injured" excuse when they lose like last time!

  • gman_gunit on March 27, 2010, 10:58 GMT

    WE WANT TO BE NO-1 TEAM BUT WE DONT HAVE THE CLASS OF BRETT LEE OR SHOAIB OR EVEN SHANE BOND..! THIS ONE AREA INDIA NEEDS TO LOOK AT . YA THERE ARE BOWERS WHO ARE GOOD LIKE ZAHEER ,PRAVEEN BUT THEY BOWL 130 KPH WHICH IS PREDICTABLE AT GIVEN SPEED. HE HAVE RESOURCES BUT STILL THERE IS NO ONE WHO COULD BOWL UP TO 150 KPH. WAT A SHAME FOR OUR CRICKET ...1

  • MK100 on March 27, 2010, 4:04 GMT

    I quite go by Harsha's words. His team is probably the best to bring back the pride. All of this provided the top order fires. Yes, Manish Pandey is too naive as of now and he could have easily won his place for experimenting if any of the top orders were injured or unavailable for some reason. If it was not for Dinesh Karthik in the actual squad picked, it would have damn surely been Robin for his excellent batting tactics and can also be a helping hand with the gloves behind the stumps. Indian Baord must find themselves to be lucky to be in a situation to pick from so much talent. Sadly, India hasn't been able to produce bowlers with THAT sting element in them over the years. Blame it on the pitches in India. But for this sort of a format, its just on THAT day, how the bowlers bowl. He gets no time to recover and in no time his four are gone. 24 good balls from Zaheer, Bhajji, Praveen, Jadeja and thenbetween Yuvraj, Rohit, Raina and Yusuf is gonna be a tough ask seeing their form now

  • rustin on March 27, 2010, 1:46 GMT

    What about Ashish Nehra? Also I think Murali Karthik is the 2nd best spinner in the country. On current form he is the best. But I guess what is given here is what the selectors are likely to do and not what they should do.

  • on March 26, 2010, 19:56 GMT

    Well i guess the selectors have got it wrong again,They must have included Irfan in the squad given his present form,he can prove a good alrounder & instead of Rohit (who barely performs when he plays for INDIA) they shud have picked Robin uthappa who has a wide range of powerful shots and Finishing capablities.

  • Sri_chicago on March 26, 2010, 19:48 GMT

    Harsha - you have me surprised here with your picks of Irfan and some of the others. After the top 3, you don't have a reliable bat left !! Below-par totals will be the order of the day with this XI. Beyond all that, it is inexplicable how you continue to have a soft spot for Irfan Pathan; if one is honest it is clear that Irfan will not be an automatic selection as either a bowler or a batsman. I agree with another post that picking a second keeper is a waste of a spot. I feel Kohli has to be a shoo-in; given he is in the most mature form of his life. He can bowl as well and is a sharp fielder. And it is high time one stopped saying Harbhajan can bat! If he is an allrounder then most bowlers in the world are.

  • vinayjayaram on March 26, 2010, 18:33 GMT

    Harsha Bhogle is totally out of form..R P Singh!!!just too much..and how come Vinay Kumar,the best Indian domestic bowler in the last 2 years and the best Indian bowler this IPL thus far does not feature in Harsha's team??RP ahead of vinay??you are joking..

  • on March 26, 2010, 18:30 GMT

    I Think Sachin Tendulakar Should play T2o World Cup. He is in very good form. Scahin Should be in Team in the place of Rohit Sharma. If Sachin can Play IPL then he should play for T20.

  • zesu on March 26, 2010, 18:28 GMT

    i think harsha u absolutely had chosen the correct team but our selectors are seriously gr8 jokers,they can't see who is the man in form,i think yuvraj is a just waste in the team,if u look at his last year and half performances then u can see how badly he struggled through bat,piyush chawla and vinay kumar are also waste in the team.The man who got most chances is rohit sharma and he flop all the time and again selectors picked him,this is just disgusting.this is pure zonal system going on,i personally feel ravindra jadeja is also not suitable in 20-20 when it comes to his batting.i feel irfan pathan must deserve the chance in indian 20-20 team and robin utthapa current form shows how dangerous he is when it comes to hit the ball and virat kohli also deserve the chance,from manish pandey and sourab tiwary one must be selected in this team,current form is more important than experience.i think yuvraj,chawla,vinay kumar,ashish nehra and rohit sharma dont deserve in this indian team.

  • on March 26, 2010, 16:20 GMT

    My Best Team for T20 WC Is : -

    G.Gambhir,V.Sehwag,R.Uthappa, MS Dhoni,Harbhajan,Yuvraj,S.Raina Y.Pathan,I.Pathan,V.Kohli,A.Nehra,Z.Khan,P.Chawla, RP Singh,P.Kumar.

    But I will say Go Win India.

    Chak De India...

  • rohan024 on March 26, 2010, 16:15 GMT

    could someone enlighten me why do we always have a free rider - dinesh karthik - in the team ? The argument given in his favor is that hes the second wicketkeeper but whenever given a chance to play, he ensures that he drops a couple of easy chances as a result of hyperactive energy injection that he takes before the start of any match. Srsly, isn't Uthappa a better 2nd wicketkeeper than Karthik ? And shouldn't who to pick as 2nd skipper is a decision, which shouldn't involve Dhoni because he won't be the captain when 2nd keeper is playing ? I think dhoni is giving his frnds a too long free ride. Hope that changes.

  • SVKWebSolution on March 26, 2010, 15:41 GMT

    Great team Harsha!! Both the Pathan brothers should play in the team. They are all rounder. They can Bat, bowl and field well. May be IK Pathan could be hit for some more runs but accoding to Sreesanth, Ishanth and others he'll bat well.

  • LeaderARH on March 26, 2010, 15:17 GMT

    Good one Harsha,far better than the original selection.In my opinion,Irfan still seems edgy.And Pandey or Uthappa deserved to be picked ahead of Rohit Sharma(He is a fine batsman,but form counts too)

  • on March 26, 2010, 15:07 GMT

    The selectors have totally losted.... They should have picked either MANISH PANDEY OR ROBIN UTHAPPA... ROBIN IS IN BRILLIANT FORM... HE WOULD HAVE BEEN A KEY PLAYER IN THE LAST SIX OVERS.....

  • yash911 on March 26, 2010, 14:58 GMT

    No, i think the selectors were correct in not selecting Robin Uthappa, though he is playing well in the IPL most international teams have better bowling and will expose him as he cannot play in the offside (take a look at his wagon wheel). Though i feel the selectors have seriously messed up by selecting Piyush Chawla, i felt that Irfan would have been a better choice as we already have 2 spinners in our squad. Otherwise i think the team i think the selectors have done a good job.

  • A_Denial on March 26, 2010, 14:43 GMT

    Tendulkar???

  • mahivivekkumar on March 26, 2010, 14:29 GMT

    I totally agree with Harsha when comes to Playing XI 1. Gautam Gambhir 2. Virendra Sehwag 3. MS Dhoni/Suresh Raina(if wicket fall down early Raina else Dhoni) 4. Yuvraj Singh 5. Suresh Raina/MS Dhoni 6. Yusuf Pathan 7. Irfan Pathan 8. Ravindra Jadeja 9. Harbhajan Singh 10. Zaheer Khan 11. Praveen Kumar/Ashish Nehra(play anyone prefer Praveen)

    13. R Vinay Kumar 14. Murali Kartik 15. Manish Pandey 16. Virat Kohli

    In this way we have 2 back-up Batsmen,1 back-up Spinner, 2 back-up Seamers and In Total 7 Pure Batsmen 4 Pure Seamers 3 Very Good Spinners

    Additionally A very balanced team(Playing XI) If you tend to ask how Watch out - Batting till 10th down if Praveen is preferred over Nehra 4 very good Bowlers(Zaheer/Praveen/Harbhajan/Jadeja -Nehra may be in place of praveen) & Average Irfan Pathan and to back them up we got Yuvraj with Golden arm Yusuf Pathan can bowl too Surely sehwag can roll his arms Raina bowls good too

    Now what do you say ?

  • manasvi_lingam on March 26, 2010, 14:19 GMT

    Given the form Yuvraj is in, it makes NO sense to pick him. Manish Pandey and Robin Uthappa deserve chances. Kohli is not quick enough in the T20 format, though he is a fine ODI player. Pandey is young, a good fielder and aggressive. Uthappa deserves to be picked up ahead of Rohit Sharma who has been doing very poorly so far. Uthappa disrupts line and length due to his tactic of walking across and forward. He is a big striker of the ball. And why has Chawla been selected? The nod should have gone to Mishra. My team would be: Gambhir, Sehwag, Dhoni, Raina, Yuvraj, R. Sharma/ D. Karthik, Yusuf Pathan, R. Jadeja, H. Singh, Z. Khan, P. Kumar/ V. Kumar Karthik can serve as a keeper if necessary and Rohit brings some useful part time bowling. This team has batsman till No.8 (Jadeja) and 3 bowlers, 2 all-rounders and 3 part timers.

  • vkp11 on March 26, 2010, 13:57 GMT

    hey..harsha...i feel robin on his current form shd ve made it rather than rohith...irfan wud ve been a better choice than nehra(tooo slow on the field)....

  • MBakshi on March 26, 2010, 13:46 GMT

    An extra allrounder like Irfan Pathan in place of an injured Ashish Nehra would have given more balance to the squad.

  • on March 26, 2010, 13:09 GMT

    Hi Harsha....I quite understand your logic of "Form and Class". But your selection (and eventually Selectors' selection) of Rohit Sharma totally baffles me. He hardly has any form or class. The guy looks totally out of shape with at-least 10kgs too many. Hope he performs to justify his selection.

    Manish Pandey should have been picked. Hope he does not feel demoralized after not being picked (even after having a fabulous 1st class season and pretty good IPL so far) and keeps performing to stake his claim. Selectors cannot ignore him for long.

  • siddharthsays on March 26, 2010, 12:56 GMT

    i feel murali karthik should b der instead of chawla..i dont c him(chawla) as an effective bowler from wat i ve followd over the years.between rohit & Uthuppa it d b a tough call as both of dem r utility players..n v also nd 2 ve a additional seamer in the squad..i ve a feeling 1 of the pacers ll get injured during d course of the tournament n i place my bets on zaks n nehra:)i think irfan could ve bn a suitable replacmnt..given his batting prowess!!n i m really happy that sreesanth & Ishant ve bn droppd...

  • ReDOnly on March 26, 2010, 12:22 GMT

    Hey Harsha, Selectors thoughts are on another train, their thoghts going in some different directions. Picked up Piyush Chawla from nowhere.... No Irfan Pathan instead Viany is preferred. Hope India long run in World T20

  • UNIVERSAL_CRICKETER on March 26, 2010, 11:50 GMT

    Taking 2 wicketkeepers is waste of a place.........Robin Uthappa with his power hitting is better as finisher in T20.... Irfan Pathan as allrounder..& Amit Mishra as experienced spinner .....& maybe Sachin just for calming effect.........

  • ram5160 on March 26, 2010, 11:37 GMT

    How Rohit has got so many people to support him is beyond any sort of reasoning. You ve got to have 3 bowlers who can bowl 4 overs solidly so - Zak, Nehra&Harbhajan. Praveen, Jadeja, Yusuf, Raina, Yuvraj and Sehwag can work our 8 overs at least between them. I have a feeling that Jadeja is going to be the star this time.

  • haydenpower on March 26, 2010, 11:28 GMT

    I think someone like Harsha Bhogle should not be commenting at all. It is much more interesting to listen to people who have actually played the game and whos insight about cricket is much keener. Just because you can speak good english and have a love for the game does not make one a suitable candidate to be a cricket commentator. I even doubt although I could be wrong as to whether Mr Bhogle has the athletic skill to even bowl or the exceptional hand eye coordination needed to be a good batsman/ fielder. Mr Bhogle please quit commentating , as you seem really out of place amongst the great athletes in the commentary booth. It makes a world of difference when Sunil Gavaskar analyses a six or four than when you make a very amateurish comment about how great the shot what.

  • on March 26, 2010, 11:21 GMT

    i will remove ravindar jadeja form team and will play an additional batsmen in d team else it will b very bits of pieces team like irfan yusuf ravindra instead of him i will give a chance to robin uthappa or mainsh apndey!!!!!!!!!

  • on March 26, 2010, 11:03 GMT

    In my view Yuvraj and Harbhjan should not be there in the team , given their current form . A team should be picked based on form else we are carrying bodies to the WT20. Another point is as WT20 is in West Indies hard hitting Indian batsmen does not enjoy the condition. The pitch are not very similar to India as the ball does not come to the bat so batsmen like Schweg , Yuvraj who likes the ball coming to the bat will have hard time.

  • Shri162 on March 26, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    I even think AT Rayudu should be fitted into the squad... He could be a great asset to the batting line up.... Now, give him the opportunity to serve Indian Cricket Team....

  • AFRIDI450 on March 26, 2010, 10:06 GMT

    nd again as usual... IRFAN PATHAN HAS NOT BEEN PICKED, is dis sum sort of racism coz he is a muslim??? he hasnt got 1 chance yet

  • yudialekh on March 26, 2010, 9:54 GMT

    My 15 Man Squad : Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yusuf Pathan, Robin Utthappa, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Rudra Pratap Singh, Praveen Kumar...........Extras : Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthick, Irfan Pathan, Ishant Sharma, Pragyan Ojha

  • pjyankee on March 26, 2010, 9:44 GMT

    a good squad though, uthappa should be there in place of rohit sharma as sharma isnt in form..& in contrast uthappa is smashing ball like a rocket, he is in gr8 form..i cant understand why ravindra jadeja is taken as a spinner batsman. though we have a talented bbatsman spinner like yuvi, yusuf....no place for him.. irfan pathan should be there , he bats well then jadeja & can swing a ball,tht we have seen in so far ipl..no place for openers or batsman so manish pandey have to wait for next time! otherwise he is also a good contender for squad! -PRATIK A JOSHI(gujarat, gandhinagar)

  • ravishr on March 26, 2010, 9:43 GMT

    bowlers like Sidharth Trivedi, Munaf patel if nurtured properly can be a force to reckon.. Its bewildering to see Munaf perofrming well for Rajasthan Royals but not upto the mark when in Indian team. Irfan Pathan was used well by Dhoni in the first T20 world cup as the 2nd change bowler and to an extent he was a success. in IPL3 Irfan's bowling has suffered due to the fact that he is bolwing at the wrong time in the innings.. he should have been selected ahead of any allrounder.. India would do well to pack their side with spinners and part time spinners.. seeing the recent Win vs Zim series one hopes to see same sort of pitches where spinners will hold the key.. with good spinners and ability to bat spin well, Indian team can at least hope for a last 4 finish

  • Poovannan.D on March 26, 2010, 9:39 GMT

    Guys... I dont have the exact figures of IPL income, but surely its a big amount. why can't BCCI spend one portion of this money to dig out the new players in our country. cant we get one great world class fast bowler from the 2nd highest population country ?? This is one of the slots which is being unfilled for long time. I hav seen so many class fast bowlers in my small home town who are definitely better than joginder, sreesanth and etc... and am sure we can find so many mcgrath, brett lee, akhtar, ambrose in our country. one worst thing is that the politics has started right from the district level selection which i seen personally. common BCCI... we r not watching cricket as just a game. Its india's pride... These 15 people r representatives of our country. Proud to be an Indian... Jai Hind....

  • on March 26, 2010, 9:14 GMT

    if vr gonna ve praveen kumar n irfan as 2 out of the 3 pacers, who s going to bowl the first 6 n the last 4. pathan cant be used in the first 6 or the last 4, praveen doesnt ve the pace to really restrict the flow of runs in the death overs, which leaves too much zak to do.

  • sairaghavan5694 on March 26, 2010, 8:33 GMT

    Almost spot on, Harsha. Just that Vinay kumar has been picked ahead of Irfan. But I would have had Utthappa ahead of Rohit, just because of his ability to bat anywhere. Be it an injury to Yuvraj/Yousuf or Gambhir/Sehwag or even the No. 3 Raina, Utthappa can simply slot in.

  • thump1 on March 26, 2010, 8:27 GMT

    i think that both ishant and zaheer doesnt fit well to T20 FORM.u may choose zaheer bcaz he may score a few boundaries but ishant doesnt really fit.in T20 bowlers must vary pace.ishant is a class bowler but he bowls with same pace.also u must pick specialists in T20 form without sticking to ur same old guns

  • ruvvy on March 26, 2010, 8:25 GMT

    It's surprising how much one can sell his soul. Once you start socializing with the stars, the first thing to go out of the window is objectivity. Its so sad to see Harsha standing up to his 'Buddies' rather than reverting to being fair to people who are working hard. Why is he even discussing Yusuf the bouncer, Irfan, RP Singh and Ishant, Rohit? Just because they are all familiar on international circuit? What of those umpteen players who have strived in domestic cricket and showcased their talents? It certainly cant be that bare!. Some of them who had made it to Indian team but never got enough opportunities to prove themselves. Sourab Tiwary can easily replace Yuvraj (form /injury, though he still can contribute in bowling). Siddarth Dwivedi or Abhishek Nayar are more sensible choices than Irfan (though I doubt whether they have ever bought him a drink ever). Vinay bowls faster than Ishant and a better bat. Don't go for an hair transplant.

  • on March 26, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    Strange that a player who is not even playing in the IPL is in Harsha Bhogle's list. What makes his "inclusion" even stranger is that this was the same guy - who is being touted as an all-rounder - who tried to draw a match for India in the last World T20! Also, why is R Vinay Kumar - the most successful Indian bowler in the IPL thus far - not even on the shortlist, leave alone the final 14 (or 15).

  • Kewal999 on March 26, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    If you want to give preference to class over form then Ishant is a much better tallent than R.P. What's more the length that Ishant bowls and his seam movement will be ideal for WI. Also Uthappa is a more talented bat than D. Karthik. Even he can keep wickets in an emergency situation. His ability to open in case of an injury to Gambhir/Shewag will be handy and there are no doubts to his finishing ability. So he might have to do a job there more often with Yuvi out of his best form yet. This way by picking Robin ahead of Karthik the selectors can find a place for Uthappa as well as Kohli/Pandey. Definitely not the most consistent article Harsha has ever written. May be just a case of poor form.

  • pradeepknagaraj on March 26, 2010, 8:18 GMT

    Hey guyz, did anyone notice young "UMESH YADAV" playing for Delhi Daredevils against RCB??? This guy really has some pace in his bowling. He bowled constantly near the 140s and sometimes above......I really think this guy can be made into a fearsome fast bowler.....Indian pace bowling is always a problem. This guy maybe the answer if he gets some good focus into his game and maintains his pace.......If the Indian team gets 2 real speedy pacers, then I feel the team will be unbeatable......Letz hope....

  • on March 26, 2010, 8:18 GMT

    Strange that a player who is not even playing in the IPL is in Harsha Bhogle's list. What makes his "inclusion" even stranger is that this was the same guy - who is being touted as an all-rounder - who tried to draw a match for India in the last World T20! Also, why is R Vinay Kumar - the most successful Indian bowler in the IPL thus far - not even on the shortlist, leave alone the final 14 (or 15).

  • JUSTFORKIX on March 26, 2010, 8:12 GMT

    I agree with the above squad, but pick Ojha over RP Singh, given the slowness of the WI wickets. Kohli is the best option out of the 4 as he's also a backup opener and has opened at the international level. My squad will be Gambhir, Sehwag, Raina, Yuvi, MSD, KKD, Kohli, Yusuf Pathan, Irfan, Jadeja, Bhajji, Zaheer, Praveen Kumar, Ojha, Nehra

  • Cricniju on March 26, 2010, 8:10 GMT

    Harsha I believe you chose Yusuf bcoz of his blazing 100 he got in the IPL. But what after that? If exposed to short balls Yusuf is gone, also his fielding isnt it pathetic. The T20 WC is happening in West Indies. The faster bowlers will be in song there. Where are our pacers, Pk at 120k is what you suggest. Sreesanth and Ishant are the pacers in India to clock 140ks regularly. If Nehra is fit ok, otherwise. Raina too has the short ball pblms. If class should prevail I would rather suggest Rohit sharma in place of Yusuf.He can bowl occasionaly too and he is a good fielder. Irfan is a good choice. Uthappa surely deserves a place considering his form with the bat and his fielding. But whatever the team our bowling does lack venom and if we make it to the semis it will be a great achievement. I very much feel Delhi DD pacer Yadav will be a future prospect for India. If nurtured well he could be tough.

  • aashishsehgal on March 26, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    I agree with Harsha,my eleven will be the same.But I m sure selectors wont pick Irfan.Their personal grudge comes before the interest of the nation,so despite of public demand to pick Irfan, selectors wont do so.

  • manojgoswami on March 26, 2010, 7:51 GMT

    well... in bowling point of view pragyan ojha is much better then bhajji and manish pandey and uthappa must be in the team ..... do u think Uthappa is not better then karthick or rohit sharma...plz ......look at this scrap...and think abt it......

  • cric_hash on March 26, 2010, 7:41 GMT

    R.Vinay Kumar and Robin Uthappa should be included.

  • Kart_in_Quartz on March 26, 2010, 7:38 GMT

    An analysis of class! If only that becomes the word! Just to ponder over the last slot, feel a Kohli can walk in hands down given his abilities to pace the innings of late in any format, along with decent fielding. As for Pandey, might worth a wait rather than to introduce him at international level directly at a World Twenty20 championship. Uthappa needs to still make it to the top. A couple of innings that too only at his home ground might not be a sufficient reason to be picked. A few more outside can be the key for him. The last point could possibility be considering the uncanny selection of Rohit Sharma over RP as the latter goes aplenty and the former can be utility in the bowling department as well given the dibbly-dobbly deliveries tend to strike well in the Carribbean. Moreover an Irfan fits the slot as the third seamer with this arrangement.

  • on March 26, 2010, 7:18 GMT

    Irfan should be picked up for the post of genuine all-rounder as Harsha said, because only Irfan can make the differnce in the team as well as he has got some run in the IPL although he is struggling in his bowling...............

  • Siddiee on March 26, 2010, 7:16 GMT

    shudnt we be flexible and chose our best five bowlers by having 2 or may be 3 spinners in the team instead of staying rigid and chose 4 seemers as all of our fast bowlers are not fast enough to surprise any batsman and most of them lack length and swing too. Also i strongly feel that in 20-20 format of the game, performance of 1-2 batsmen makes a difference and more often than not, the whole batting lineup doesnt get a chance to shoulder their arms and its the bowling that is exposed fully hence more emphasis shud be given to get quality bowlers. Uthappa and sharma are my choice for a place in the squad as they both have shown ability to score runs against quality fast bowlers.

  • KiranRCs on March 26, 2010, 7:12 GMT

    Hi Harsha,

    I have been following domestic cricket for quiet a long time may be I don have much knowledge abt indian cricket as you have but I don agree with you that Zaheer, Bhajji can swing there arms. C'mon Harsha we are not playing the world cup @ India its at west Indies and you would get to see bouncy tracks and if you need to go by stats I guess Vinay Kumar is far far better than those two and he has showed it in the domestic tournaments and ofcoursre in KPL he comes one down and scored lots of runs. One more concern is with the shot balls we have seen how Raina and Yusuf have struggled with short balls so we need someone like Uthappa, Sharma who can smash the ball. Kohli deserves a place ahead of Yusuf. Jadeja can fit instead of Harbhajan and cn play as a lone spinner in the team since the pitches u get there is pacey tracks.

  • SujeevBR on March 26, 2010, 7:09 GMT

    "and one from: Manish Pandey/ Virat Kohli/ Rohit Sharma/ Robin Uthappa" any team would be happy to have a choice like that

  • jimbond on March 26, 2010, 7:08 GMT

    Indian bowling is weak- accepted- hence one should include batsmen who inspire fear into the opponents. Hence without doubt, include sehwag, Yuvraj, Yusuf Pathan, Dhoni as the first four. Gambhir, Raina, Kohli and Rohit Sharma can be taken as the next four stableoptions. The only two bowlers who inspire some fear are Zaheer and to some players- Harbajan. Also include Ravindra Jadeja as the most consistent Indian bowler in recent times. Praveen Kumar or Vinay Kumar have been tidy in recent times- either can be thought of. Irfan Pathan is unfortunately the only one to qualify for the allrounders slot, but then he is not in the list of 30. And if Utappa hasnt forgotten his wicketkeeping skills, I would always prefer him as the reserve wicketkeeper in this format over Karthik. If any of the batsman is not able to prove his fitness, Manish Pandey/Shikhar Dhawan can be an option.

  • on March 26, 2010, 7:06 GMT

    Greetings Mr.Harsha Bhogle,

    You select the correct team for India's upcoming world T20, will be happy its also by Kris.Srikkanth. But the team is wont have Rohit shrama, he is not up to the mark in International level cricket. He need to improve his talent to play in international games. And i believe that there is no need for Ravindra jadeja in the playing 11 that india already have 4 bowlers which are Zaheer, Bhajji, Praveen and Irfan and for the 5th Bowler Dhoni have lots of options like Yusuf,Yuvi,Viru and Raina. I will be happy Uthappa will play instead of jadeja.

  • bigfatphoenix on March 26, 2010, 7:03 GMT

    I dont necessarily agree with Jadeja's selection as a second spinner. If the batters above cannot necessarily finish the job, the bowlers should not be burdened with expectation of finishing a match. We need a strong bowling attack and i think karthik and harbhajan singh provide us a perfect combination of clamping down both ends during middle overs. Considering that India does not have a genuine all-rounder filling the fifth bowler slot and making room for the pacers going for runs, it is absolutely necessary for the bowling hold its end. Murali Kartik should be selected on this count. What is impressive is that unlike jadeja, he seems to be sure of his craft. We won the first world cup because we took a gamble and it paid off. We seem to be relying more on reputations than talent for the past two years. Why not R.Sathish or even Ganapati Vignesh (ICL) for the X-factor. Indian selectors need to think out of the box.

  • shrijitnair on March 26, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    Cannot see the point in selecting Ravindra jadeja. He has had no match practise and is not even playing in the IPL. Would be a better idea to select a specialist spinner like Murli Karthik or Pragyan Ojha for the low slow west Indian wickets. Murli especially is in very good form and batsmen would find it difficult to put him away on West Indian wickets.

  • TenRajesh on March 26, 2010, 6:47 GMT

    Harsha's playing eleven is suited for indian pitches. I would add dinesh karthik instead of jadeja. His batting adds more value to the team than jadejas batting+bowling in WI. Manish Pandey is a promising player, hope he gets in the side. Irfan's body language in the IPL doest look good.

  • Percy_Fender on March 26, 2010, 6:42 GMT

    Irfan Pathan is a must because he is a good allrounder no matter that his pace has dropped for him to be regarded as a fast medium allrounder. He is a good batsmen against pace or spin and has the nervelessness needed to finish a game.His bowling has suffered because from what I have seen he is not really using his body weight at the delivery stride. I wish he would look at Johnson and Bollinger and make some corrections. Alternatively he should resort to cutting the ball both ways. He will do well to know that two of the greatest bowlers of all time-- George Lohman and Syd Barnes--- were medium pacers who cut the ball more than they swung it.Irfan is a champion who is just low on confidence. I wish they include Vinay as well. He is a wicket taking bowler largely because of his variations and intelligent use of his skills as known to him.I wish he gets some advice on the direction his leg faces at delivery. Manish Pandey must come in because he is an attacking bat and a great fielde.

  • Devadatta_Rajadhyaksha on March 26, 2010, 6:33 GMT

    The old chestnut of seamers who can bat and why am I not surprised that Ajit Agarkar's name in not mentioned anywhere inspite his Ranji performances with both ball and bat?

  • TheOnlyEmperor on March 26, 2010, 6:32 GMT

    And Yeah... I'll wager anyday that my 11 as already proposed can win any T-20 tournament anyday, but is anybody listening or even bold enough to think through the rationale? I don't know of any batting - bowler combination for India, that stands even a ghost of a chance... and the reasons for that has already been adequately brought out by the other posters. A good opposition inrrespective of the Indian team composition can easily score 200, but there's no way that Indian team composition can chase 200 with any certainty. With a team of 9 batsmen who can hit the ball and score at 200%+, the chances of scoring/chasing 200+ immeasurably improves and so does the India's chances of winning each match and creating healthy net run rates... I really wish the cricketing brains in Cricket India, or whatever is left of it, read this. :)

  • thestunner316_15 on March 26, 2010, 6:25 GMT

    need one more spinner instead of a fast bowler... just see the wi zim series and spinners tied knots around the batsmen there... so much so that zim opened with 2 spinners in all matches... i think murali kartik would be a decent bet though ojha hasnt done much wrong... plus i agree pathan should be there... he gives about the same no of runs as sreesanth and RP and ishant.. but he can score runs of the bat so he atleast can nullify it to an extent... the remaining 3 quicks are pretty hopeless in the shortest format...

  • TheOnlyEmperor on March 26, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    contd... The flaw in conventional selectors' thinking is that knowing very well that our medium and fast bowlers don't have the international standards to keep the economy below 10/over with the good teams, they still break their heads against the wall by picking them. Make our "bowlers" redundant, by picking a team of good batsmen who can bowl 2 odd overs. Bajji, Zaheer, Jadeja could bowl 9 overs between them and Rohit, Raina, Yuvraj, Yusuf, Irfan and Sehwag say 2 each - if the top 3 faulter and can't bowl their 12. Mixing bowlers presents options, breaks the batsmen's rhythm and makes planning difficult for the opposition. The only 2 fielders who we have to hide is Bajji and Zaheer. The others would save runs and be sharp on the field too...particularly within the circle. Karthik would be 12th man, in case Dhoni gets injured. The batsmen shd be such that they are effortless 6 hitters even in a big field of 90 yards. That's the reason Karthik, Kohli and Gambhir don't make the cut.

  • dashin_comments on March 26, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    i think vinay kumar should come in instead of irfan pathan as we need a wicket taking fast bowler considering his form against mumbai indians and also the whole domestic season. We also are having 7 good batsmen its it wont be a problem having 4 dedicated bowlers. praveen kumar, zaheer, harbhajan and vinay as zaheer and harbhajan can also bat a bit. and ravindra and yusuf can hit in the depth.

  • JAYDE6 on March 26, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    "Sales representative complaining", is that a joke? Just look what happened in the last T20 world cup. Clearly the Indian players were jaded after the stupid IPL tournament. It is easy for a person like U sitting in an airconditioned commentary box and speaking (mostly) rubbish all the time. By the way do U remember how U bowled in the KARGIL fund raising match in Chennai in 1999. U should know better than make stupid comments like these.

  • on March 26, 2010, 6:15 GMT

    Shouldn't we consider Sachin in the 15 man squad ? Given the kinda form he is in, wouldn't it add a huge value to the team ! Assuming he is willing to play :)

  • Rydham on March 26, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    I totaly agree with Harsha : Irfan should be there in the team. My XI would be : 1) Gambhir 2) Sehwag 3) Raina 4) Yuvraj 5) Dhoni 6) Uthappa 7) Yusuf 8) Irfan 9) Jadeja/Praveen 10) Harbhajan 11) Zaheer. Look we have batsmen till 9 No. (Considering Jadeja) which can prevent sudden collapse and we have at least 2 or 3 good fast bowlers : Zaheer, Irfan , Praveen. Speed carries big chunk of runs in T20 what we have seen so line length/swing is imp. factor. We have two good spinners : Harbhajan & Jadeja + other valuable spinners like Yusuf, Yuvraj and Raina. I prefer Uthappa over Virat/Rohit since they can not hit the ball hard as Uthappa and Uthappa can bat steady, too.

    Jadeja and Praveen can be included as per the pitch report and opponant team's strength/weakness

  • David_Doss on March 26, 2010, 6:05 GMT

    This is how it should be. Go by form, performance & commitment.

    Openers Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Dinesh Karthik

    No: 3 Suresh Raina, Robin Uttappa

    Middle Order MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, Virat Kohli

    Lower Order Harbhajan Singh, Vinay Kumar, Irfan Pathan, Praveen Kumar and Zaheer Khan .

  • DKan on March 26, 2010, 6:05 GMT

    A hypothetical for the author, if Sachin was to make himself available, and you presume he would still walk in to the playing 11, who would you drop ? Yusuf or Irfan ?? I am hoping selectors gamble with an injured batter or two, and maybe we see a repeat of Saha debut situation, but only this time Sachin being called in to rescue at the 11th hour (he would most likely be visiting to watch the tournament as in previous 2 editions)

  • TheOnlyEmperor on March 26, 2010, 6:02 GMT

    Harsha and the Indian selectors cannot think out of the box. Their side will never win any WC!... My 11 for India : 1. Sehwag 2. Manish Pandey 3. Raina 4. Yuvraj 5. Yusuf 6. Dhoni 7. Rohit 8. Jadeja 9. Irfan 10. Bajji 11 Zaheer. Batting 1st or 2nd, the team should go all guns blazing and score at the rate of 12/over. I wd have the entire team throw the bat right from the 1st over to score 220 rather than be 180 for 2 and lose. The team has 9 bowlers - except Dhoni and Pandey. Quick changes and handling 20 overs between them is the key. Remember, smart slow bowlers are far more difficult to score off than medium/fast bowlers. Check the economy rates of our fast bowlers. With a long batting line up, each batsman should aim for a strike rate of 200+. With this sort of talent, one need not fear a collapse. In fact, with an intent to smash, with all that "class" in "form", all it would take is ONE smashing big knock to secure a win. NB: If the 1st wkt falls early, then send in Rohit!

  • aruntheselector on March 26, 2010, 5:59 GMT

    Great to see that Harsha's and my views match. Even the opinion on Yuvraj (class above form). The 14 is perfect. The only guy who may be added in the option of 15th player is Saurabh Tiwary. However I would prefer Rohit Sharma or Uthappa. Rohit because he can bowl (even though Dhoni has not used him much as a bowler). Based on IPL performance till date and experience Uthappa also can be a good bet. I think it will be a toss up between Rohit Sharma and Uthappa.

  • dashin_comments on March 26, 2010, 5:59 GMT

    I think we should select vinay kumar instead of irfan pathan considering his form against mumbai indians and also the domestic season... as we req. genuine bowlers who are in good form.. we are already having 7 batsmen and hence 4 in form bowlers are must even if they cant bat tht good.... out of the 4 batsmen.. it could be betw uthappa and manish pandey as both are in good form..

  • Andyhere on March 26, 2010, 5:58 GMT

    1000000000000% agreed with Playing XI of Harsha...

    You are champion of cricket knowledge.. picked out best XI india have.. even for ODIs.. 3 all rounders.. just amazing line up..i hope selectors listen to Harsha..

  • abhi22m on March 26, 2010, 5:53 GMT

    I agree with most of the selections of Harsha.I would urge the selectors to pick Irfan Pathan because he gives lot of depth to the Indian team,both in bowling & batting.He along with Jadeja are the most vital cogs in this team.On the last batting spot,I would select Kohli just because of his recent batting exploits in ODIs & current IPL.Add to that he has got decent international exposure.My bowlers would be Zaheer,Harbhajan,Ishant,Nehra & Praveen.No need to select second spinner because ,Jadeja fills in that role admirably well.Finally mt playing XI would be-Sehwag,Gambhir, Raina,Yuvraj,Dhoni,Karthik,Jadeja,Irfan,Harbhajan,Zaheer,Ishant.

  • on March 26, 2010, 5:39 GMT

    i would rather prefer vinay kumar over irfan ......and harsha i want to tell you that vinay kumar can bat lower down the order. look at his average in domestic cricket. its above 25..

  • Manu_Sachin on March 26, 2010, 5:31 GMT

    My playing 11 would be Sachin Tendulkar as a capt coz i dont see dhoni at his 100% fit, Virender shewag Manish Pandey Raina Jadeja A Nayar Karthik Harbhajan Zaheer Praveen kumar Nehra. Opening sehwag & tendulkar as sachin is in great from, raina / manish can be a back up for sehwag if lost wicket early. middle order Raina Nayar & Jadeja can turn the match withtheir big hits at the end, there is no chance for Yuvi as struggling with his form and he needs to attend some rehabilation course at this moment. spinners we have Bhajji follwed by Jadeja & Nayar who can bat well at any positions. Seamers we have Praveen who can start with his swing & Zaheer the expert in his yorkers & lastly Nehra. Howzzzzzzzzzzz this ?

  • VipulPatki on March 26, 2010, 5:25 GMT

    I agree. Irfan must be there in the team. We must not forget that apart from the frontline bowlers, we also have Yusuf, Raina, Sehwag and Yuvraj who can bowl decent spells and concede just about eight runs per over. Irfan can also easily slip in one or two overs especially the tenth or eleventh overs. I also think Umesh Yadav should get a look soon. He looks promising. All said, I think it's tragic that Irfan has lost his touch so greatly. Looking at his bowling, you sometimes get the impression that he is almost the twelfth man for the opposition, inspite of his amazing talent.

  • Alexk400 on March 26, 2010, 5:25 GMT

    I completely disagree with Harsha' s thinking. It is like go with existing stuff and don't change even if we lose.

    India do not have fast bowling all rounder. Irfan pathan is neither batsman or a bowler and he is awful in both. I have no clue why people bringing to the team selection is beyond any common sense unless people like to cheap politics?.

    My own probable Playing XI and XV.

    1. Sehwag 2. Pandey 3. gambhir 4. raina 5.yuvi 6.Dhoni 7.Yusuf Patan / Jadeja 8.Mishra / jadeja 9.Bhajji 10.Zaheer khan 11. Nehra/P Kumar

    12 Dinesh karhik 13 Uthappa

    I really think Selectors should postpone selection for another 2 weeks to see who is in form and select based on it.

  • on March 26, 2010, 5:22 GMT

    sachin should be taken in squad.Plz Plz anyone say him to play....Please

  • abhijeet1in on March 26, 2010, 5:20 GMT

    Perfect team! People bitching about other so-so domestic talent should remember that its a world cup. Deserving players will get their chances when the time comes. But for the time being this is the best mixture of players available. We already had a disastrous t20 world cup last time because of this obsession with choosing the ipl youngistan brigade. For the same reason Virat Kohli would be my pick for last batsman spot being the most calm headed among the four. Time to go back to basic stuff. Hope the selectors see this.

  • Dayanidhisn on March 26, 2010, 4:59 GMT

    The lack of depth in pace bowling is seen quite glaringly in the IPL and i would put my bet on Vinay Kumar in place of Irfan because Irfan 's military medium pace is being taken to cleaners already and i suppose Vinay is the most promising swing bowler in the Country in the last one year. He occasionally bowls the quicker one bending his shoulders and maintains a tidy line and length. Robin Uthappa is the best bet for the 15th slot because he has become mature now and uses tenacious power while striking compared to Kohli. Jadega is a shrewd customer and a good fielder and will add variety to Harbajan at other end in middle overs.So no need for third spinner.Mansh Pandey and Rohit sharma should be groomed for test cricket the way Aussies are doing with Hughes.They have great skill and style to succeed in test Cricket. Regards Dayanidhi

  • mrgupta on March 26, 2010, 4:59 GMT

    Its a pity that Sachin is retired from T20I, in his current form he would have been our most dangerous batsman in the WC. But i respect his decision and the fact that he does not want to block any youngster's place even though there still nobody to take his place even in T20 games. In any Format i would love to have Irfan in our team, he is a very gifted player and currently the only genuine allrounder available in India, I hope he gets picked. For me Rohit Sharma has been given enough chances and also he hasnt done anything miraculous in the current IPL, Manish Pandey or Saurabh Tiwari deserve a chance ahead of him. Also Shikhar was brilliant in his last 2 matches. Zaheer, Ishant, Praveen and 'Fit' Nehra can be our fast bowling unit with Bhajji and Murli Karthik as spinners.

  • on March 26, 2010, 4:57 GMT

    Nice article... I don't think Pandey can bat in one-down position. Sourabh Tiwary is the best option in that position. Also wish Vinay Kumar in the team instead of RP Nehra/RP Singh/Ishant/Sreesanth.

  • Sri_The_fan_of_cric on March 26, 2010, 4:56 GMT

    Rohit can BAT, BOWL and FIELD ...so Rohit should be the best fitting player in that spot... :)

  • on March 26, 2010, 4:54 GMT

    Harsha this would be my team.

    Batsmen-Sehwag,Gambir,Yuvraj,Raina,Jadeja,Manish Pandey,Uthappa

    Bowlers-Zaheer,Nehra,Praveen,Vinaykumar,Harbhajan

    Keepers-Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik

    Last spot I would toss up between Irfan and Rohit Sharma probably the former.Do the rules permit picking somebody not in the original list of thirty.

    Also I am sceptical about Yusuf who just does not have the quality to deserve an India cap.He does not play the short ball well(Fact most Indians dont) and does not seem to be a thinking cricketer,probably too much Biriyani.

    Lets hope these guys stay Injury free and give more than 200 per cent and perform well in all three depts and bring back the cup BUT IF SACHIN IS WILLING HE IS MY 15TH MAN BUT IN NO WAY THE LEAST.

  • JogeshPanda on March 26, 2010, 4:52 GMT

    Bowling is a far bigger concern, we don't have any bowler who is consistent and T20 our batting is not explosive as others.Big name Sewhag has never won a T20 match for India or Delhi on his own, Yousuf is more of misfire, Rainas, Sharmas can not play short pitch stuff. I would rather go for solidity then big names, Kohli is a must, go with Manish Pandey. Say complete no to RP,Ishant,Shreesanth because simply they are not good enough at this moment. Rohit sharma is a big let down dont even consider him.

  • GemsBond on March 26, 2010, 4:42 GMT

    Well Done Harsha...That is exactly the best Playing Eleven...Considering the slow wkts of WI As Zim stunned WI in recent series with All Spinners Strategy.But Out of scope i want Kartik(Murali) as he is a thnkng crcktr and bowling superbly these days.

  • on March 26, 2010, 4:40 GMT

    Why is it that world twenty20 somehow played immediately after IPL or the other way around..why is it that IPL somehow manages to be just before IPL?Club cricket taking precedence over international honors.IPL has all the strings pulled for it and now World Twenty20 will be relegated to just another ICC tourney status especially if India loses in the league stages..every other player will carry a niggle or an injury to the Caribbean.

  • Gupta.Ankur on March 26, 2010, 4:30 GMT

    Oh please my big no to Pathan Brothers......Irfan is way too slow for a medium-pace bowler and he will go for not less than 9 r.p.o if he is played.

    On other hand,Big Bro,Yusuf is a more matured version of Afridi with the bat and his off-spin is not world class anyway...

    However i would make strong case for both Manish Pandey and Virat Kohli....Both are excellent batsmen who can attack freely and also curtail their play when needed...

    As for Sreesanth,i think he is a good bowler but he concedes way too many runs and will be a liability....

  • nikita_karthick on March 26, 2010, 4:13 GMT

    partially agree with Harsha... I don't know the selection procedure? Can selectors select players other than 30 probables.. last year RP bowled at 130-140s.. Now he is bowling at 120-130s.. even he isl at 25.... Ishant, Rohit and Sree are inconsistent materials! we should give a chance to Vinay.. MSD @ 3?? Raina should be 3 and kartik at 4...followed by UV,Ms, yusuf! Jadeja/ harbajan, praveen,zaheer, vinay/nehra

  • rpramod on March 26, 2010, 4:13 GMT

    Harsha, you start off saying that we shouldnt be selecting fewer bowlers as on an off day for a part-timer the game is lost, but yet in the playing 11 you have 8 overs (2 bowlers worth) filled in by part timers - Jadeja and Irfan (lets be plain, Irfan is more of a part timer now). One of the claims of the IPL is to breed local talent and give them platform to perform against the worlds best and yet performances on this stage are not being rewarded. Dont you think its time we move away from the tried and tested Ishant, Sreesanth, RP and give people who have performed a chance-Vinay Kumar? You mentioned him but did not consider him!! Maybe players like Vinay should be given a chance to FAIL like Gony, Rohit Sharma etc were last time round!!

    As for batters, again I'd move away from tried & tested Rohit to go for someone fresh like Pandey. It is mere coincidence that i barrack for RCB and thats not a reason why I speak in support of Pandey and Vinay Kumar

  • crikbuff on March 26, 2010, 4:13 GMT

    Quite a disappointing analysis coming from Harsha here. Irfan and RP have been disgraceful in the IPL and do not deserve a spot. Ishant and Sresanth do not even deserve a mention. The only decent Indian seam performances have come from Pravin and Vinay Kumar, even better than Zaheer, and both should make the starting 11. Jadeja is overrated, and we need a specialist batsman - Manish Pandey has shown enough to deserve a spot. Anyway - we will have more injuries over the next couple of weeks and all analysis-paralysis can go down the drain. So let's forget the WC, and celebrate the new 'era' of IPL tamasha.

  • RezaThahir on March 26, 2010, 4:05 GMT

    spot on, i agree 100% with the team, this is the best team, but i would prefer to have uthappa in the 11, since raina's return to form, it'll be either raina or uthappa.

  • vpyati on March 26, 2010, 4:03 GMT

    Selecting RP Singh? Really? What has that guy done in last year to justify his selection? I think Vinay Kumar should get a chance as he has been the most consistent bowler in all forms of game in the last year and is also doing well in IPL.

  • on March 26, 2010, 3:57 GMT

    I feel we left out on Saurabh Tiwary who is in great form. I will pick him ahead of Robin Utthappa or Rohit Sharma. In bowlers I feel we should drop Ishant and pick new pace sensation Umesh Yadav who is raw and sharp and hitting 140 KM plus speed consistently http://abhiru.blogspot.com

  • joel1992 on March 26, 2010, 3:50 GMT

    Have the same team we had in 2007.

  • critic12345 on March 26, 2010, 2:08 GMT

    Gambhir is coming out of injury and also not in best of touch in IPL. So, Pandey with his impressive show, should be drafted in the squad.Yuvraj has gained 2KGs in his waist since the injury and is in pathetic in IPL. He will be selected just for his reputation. I dont have problems with his form, he will get back his form.But whats worrying is his physical fitness, not able to dive or field properly due to his belly. Honestly seeing the bowlers list is not encouraging. Bhajji is aweful in the last 1 year. To me, Ohja has proven farmore in T20 than Bhajji. Fast Bowlers - Only Zaheer,Praveen Kumar are automatic choices. Others are just fillins. Sreesanth - no way with economy of 9.RP - Yes, there is a case for his inclusion. Vinay Kumar deserves a chance too. My squad would be Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Ohja, Zaheer Khan, Irfan Pathan, Praveen Kumar, RP Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Manish Pandey,Harbhajan

  • nithy34 on March 26, 2010, 2:05 GMT

    I think that Irfan pathan should be added in the worldcup squad, because we are having only one fast bowling allrounder.The selectors should consider him as a batsman and then as bowler.

  • yevaru on March 26, 2010, 1:22 GMT

    A solid squad but a tad boring, don't you think? Where the *real* left-field pick, Harsha? As is so often the case, the question to ask is, "What would Imran do"?

    Raw pace sometimes is often unhittable in T20 as Nannes, Tait and Lee have proven on occasion. Don't know about you, but I'm super excited by this Umesh Yadav kid of the Daredevils. Capable of 90+ mph, swings it and able to deliver yorkers at will. Hayden roughed him up a bit, but I'd take him to the WI. Might just light up the tournament like Mohd. Aamer did last year's one.

    Yusuf Pathan feels like he should be an automatic pick, but why? He's done great things for RR, but in the mind's eye, has never played one innings of significance for India.

  • manickaraj on March 25, 2010, 23:42 GMT

    Irfan's bowling can be handy on certain pitches, but including Irfan in the playing 11 weakens the bowling. Why weaken an area that's already weak?

  • Rake1 on March 25, 2010, 22:41 GMT

    Not convinced about Irfan Pathan & RP Singh. Would prefer Nehra & Vinay Kumar. Uthappa & Rohit ahead of Yuvraj.

  • Krishna_Sydney on March 25, 2010, 22:39 GMT

    R Vinay Kumar deserves a chance in view of the fitness issues with the other seamers. You need someone who can vary his pace and be a back up for Praveen.

    I'd vote to go with Manish Pandey and Virat Kohli apart from Raina. Yuvraj has been in woeful touch. Success requires consistency.

  • knowledge_eater on March 25, 2010, 21:50 GMT

    I agree Irfan Pathan must come in, RP must come in as well, since we need pace in Carrib., It will be very very tough call, if anyone miss out from your list. I think Jadeja has learned his lesson, so he must come in. Out of pandey, kohli, sharma and Uthappa will be very tough one. But assuming success of spinners in recent ODI between WI/Zam I would go with Rohit. You can't drop yuvi.,since broadi will be there haaha Very tough comp. India's future is fertile after all.

  • Alter.G on March 25, 2010, 21:03 GMT

    Unfortunately, another all-round prospect - Abhishek Nayar - hasn't got his chances in the IPL yet. He seemed in great domestic form towards the end of the season!

  • ILaughAtThee on March 25, 2010, 21:02 GMT

    Indian batting and bowling units have gaping holes.Sehwag/Gambir have not been as intimidating as in Tests, Yuvi is a letdown, Raina and other youngsters have been exposed by shortballs, Dhoni will be reduced to the role of building innings which is a sign of batting weakness in the lineup. The bowling, well where to start from :) Apart from the spinners, I have no hopes from anyone. This WC could start with Aus and SA as possible favs. Kallis is in great form and so are the SA seamers. Aus loooks red hot favs! But I would love to see Eng go all the way. For some silly reason I enjoy an english victory in these formats.

  • on March 25, 2010, 21:02 GMT

    Class analysis, yet again. And your last paragraph highlights one of the huge list of problems I have with IPL. Players will be fatigued/injured/mentally-drained/less-motivated to play the tournaments that matter more.

  • Alter.G on March 25, 2010, 20:59 GMT

    @ my previous comment. Just realized that Harsha did name a 15th player - Ashish Nehra. But his name is not in the box list (maybe the editor's discretion to leave it out because of his fitness issue?)

  • Alter.G on March 25, 2010, 20:54 GMT

    The article seems strangely inconsistent, especially coming from Harsha. Only 14 names have been given although he starts off with a 8+7 theory! Mostly agree with the team though, except that I would pick Ishant or Vinay Kumar over RP Singh. Also, I think there should be two batsman from the four, and that would be Manish Pandey and Rohit Sharma. Unfortunately, Irfan and Uthappa may not be picked because they were not in the 30-man probables!

  • rookie4u on March 25, 2010, 20:53 GMT

    Well, I agree with Harsha this time. The playing team should be very near to what Harsha has gone with. It will be interesting to see how the selectors will ignore the likes of some serious talent like Uthapa, Raydhu, Fazal, Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Virat Kohli and others. But, as rightly said by Harsha, Irfan Pathan is a player that India should be looking forward to. Looking at him in IPL, one can say that he is definately a bit low in confidence. But, that couple of fantastic innings say a lot about his nerves. I'm afraid that if he is not quickly brought into the national side (not only T20 but also ODI's) we might just loose a vital talent. With Irfan there is always that extra stability in both batting and bowling because not only he can bowl at any position also he can be more than handy with the bat. He can make any captain at ease as he very easy to gel in the team though I also agree the Sangakar did not use him well.

  • TwitterJitter on March 25, 2010, 20:51 GMT

    First round exit for Indian team at World T20. It is absolutely true. Don't keep high hopes. As much as I support Indian team and as much as T20 is unpredictable, India would rank dead last in bowling of the 8 top teams. In batting, there are a lot of out-of-form and injured batsmen. I say this because the media (including cricinfo) build a lot of hype around Indian team pre-tournament (understandably so because so they have so much of their own financial stakes (ad, sponsorship revenues) involved in Indian team doing well) and then make a big deal out of it when they exit after first round. If you are realistic just pick 5 bowlers and compare them to bowling attacks of other top 7 teams. Our bowlers can't defend any score and our batsmen are either injured or out-of-form. My picks would be among Australia, Pakistan and WI. The rest are all pretenders.

  • Smruti8910 on March 25, 2010, 20:47 GMT

    yah, i wuld agree to this. Irfan has been poorly used by Sangakkara and deserves a spot in the T20 XI. Moreover, there is mention about class and form. Let alone both combined, even taking one at a time, Sachin is undoubtedly the best in class and in best form. Somebody tell him that India needs him...!!

  • on March 25, 2010, 20:20 GMT

    Don't we have any other bowlers apart from the crop of RP Singh,Ishant and Sreesanth. Do you have value the Indian cap so lowly that you treat it like a musical chair? Open your eyes and see bowlers like Sid Trivedi. Few months ago you included Dinda in your team list. Where is he now?Zak bats,Bhajji bats & Praveen bats, and why do you still consider Jadeja as your 2nd best spinner.Surely,Murali Kartik should be considered.What have Rohit,Virat and Pandey done to deserve a slot?

  • HundredPercentBarcelonista on March 25, 2010, 20:17 GMT

    Harsha, they pick a squad of 15. Nice of you to ignore Nehra and Mishra though.

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  • HundredPercentBarcelonista on March 25, 2010, 20:17 GMT

    Harsha, they pick a squad of 15. Nice of you to ignore Nehra and Mishra though.

  • on March 25, 2010, 20:20 GMT

    Don't we have any other bowlers apart from the crop of RP Singh,Ishant and Sreesanth. Do you have value the Indian cap so lowly that you treat it like a musical chair? Open your eyes and see bowlers like Sid Trivedi. Few months ago you included Dinda in your team list. Where is he now?Zak bats,Bhajji bats & Praveen bats, and why do you still consider Jadeja as your 2nd best spinner.Surely,Murali Kartik should be considered.What have Rohit,Virat and Pandey done to deserve a slot?

  • Smruti8910 on March 25, 2010, 20:47 GMT

    yah, i wuld agree to this. Irfan has been poorly used by Sangakkara and deserves a spot in the T20 XI. Moreover, there is mention about class and form. Let alone both combined, even taking one at a time, Sachin is undoubtedly the best in class and in best form. Somebody tell him that India needs him...!!

  • TwitterJitter on March 25, 2010, 20:51 GMT

    First round exit for Indian team at World T20. It is absolutely true. Don't keep high hopes. As much as I support Indian team and as much as T20 is unpredictable, India would rank dead last in bowling of the 8 top teams. In batting, there are a lot of out-of-form and injured batsmen. I say this because the media (including cricinfo) build a lot of hype around Indian team pre-tournament (understandably so because so they have so much of their own financial stakes (ad, sponsorship revenues) involved in Indian team doing well) and then make a big deal out of it when they exit after first round. If you are realistic just pick 5 bowlers and compare them to bowling attacks of other top 7 teams. Our bowlers can't defend any score and our batsmen are either injured or out-of-form. My picks would be among Australia, Pakistan and WI. The rest are all pretenders.

  • rookie4u on March 25, 2010, 20:53 GMT

    Well, I agree with Harsha this time. The playing team should be very near to what Harsha has gone with. It will be interesting to see how the selectors will ignore the likes of some serious talent like Uthapa, Raydhu, Fazal, Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Virat Kohli and others. But, as rightly said by Harsha, Irfan Pathan is a player that India should be looking forward to. Looking at him in IPL, one can say that he is definately a bit low in confidence. But, that couple of fantastic innings say a lot about his nerves. I'm afraid that if he is not quickly brought into the national side (not only T20 but also ODI's) we might just loose a vital talent. With Irfan there is always that extra stability in both batting and bowling because not only he can bowl at any position also he can be more than handy with the bat. He can make any captain at ease as he very easy to gel in the team though I also agree the Sangakar did not use him well.

  • Alter.G on March 25, 2010, 20:54 GMT

    The article seems strangely inconsistent, especially coming from Harsha. Only 14 names have been given although he starts off with a 8+7 theory! Mostly agree with the team though, except that I would pick Ishant or Vinay Kumar over RP Singh. Also, I think there should be two batsman from the four, and that would be Manish Pandey and Rohit Sharma. Unfortunately, Irfan and Uthappa may not be picked because they were not in the 30-man probables!

  • Alter.G on March 25, 2010, 20:59 GMT

    @ my previous comment. Just realized that Harsha did name a 15th player - Ashish Nehra. But his name is not in the box list (maybe the editor's discretion to leave it out because of his fitness issue?)

  • on March 25, 2010, 21:02 GMT

    Class analysis, yet again. And your last paragraph highlights one of the huge list of problems I have with IPL. Players will be fatigued/injured/mentally-drained/less-motivated to play the tournaments that matter more.

  • ILaughAtThee on March 25, 2010, 21:02 GMT

    Indian batting and bowling units have gaping holes.Sehwag/Gambir have not been as intimidating as in Tests, Yuvi is a letdown, Raina and other youngsters have been exposed by shortballs, Dhoni will be reduced to the role of building innings which is a sign of batting weakness in the lineup. The bowling, well where to start from :) Apart from the spinners, I have no hopes from anyone. This WC could start with Aus and SA as possible favs. Kallis is in great form and so are the SA seamers. Aus loooks red hot favs! But I would love to see Eng go all the way. For some silly reason I enjoy an english victory in these formats.

  • Alter.G on March 25, 2010, 21:03 GMT

    Unfortunately, another all-round prospect - Abhishek Nayar - hasn't got his chances in the IPL yet. He seemed in great domestic form towards the end of the season!