December 6, 2010

The case for Yuvraj and Munaf

Despite his problems in Tests, Yuvraj Singh is an integral part of India's World Cup XI, while Munaf Patel would make an ideal third seam option
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Cast your mind back nearly four years, to a New Year Test in Cape Town. After being thrashed in the one-day series preceding the Tests, few had expected India to win convincingly in Johannesburg. South Africa, with Makhaya Ntini bowling an inspired spell, evened it up in Durban and there was everything to play for in the shadow of Table Mountain.

On the eve of the game, much of the discussion focused on Munaf Patel. Having injured his ankle early on in the one-day series, he had watched the first two Tests from the sidelines. VRV Singh, who replaced him, had been a liability, especially in Durban where 10 overs in the second innings had gone for 64 at a time when the game was in the balance. The team management faced a straightforward choice - either gamble on Munaf's fitness or play Harbhajan Singh, with a dry, subcontinent-like pitch expected to take turn.

They went for Munaf. He bowled 20 overs in the first innings, taking the crucial wicket of Mark Boucher as India established a slender 41-run lead. But then, after the batsmen had lost their nerve and the plot, leaving South Africa a tricky 211 to win, he bowled just one over with the game on the line. "Not fit" was the word from the dressing room.

After South Africa clinched the series, the inquests began in earnest. Board officials labelled Munaf "less than honest" and he has played only five Tests for India since. There are still players in the team who shake their heads when they talk of the game, insisting that the man who was just 23 at the time had let the side down.

Vince Lombardi, one of the great coaches in the history of sport, once said: "The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall. For Munaf, that challenge came at the World Cup a few months later. In the ultimately decisive loss to Bangladesh, a game where very few of his team-mates distinguished themselves, he made 15 and took 2 for 39. It didn't really help. Since then, he has fought frequent battles with injury, and when fit, has been looked at suspiciously by the establishment.

Even if he was in the wrong in Cape Town, it's time that things moved on. In the three games that he's played against New Zealand, Munaf has shown how he can be the ideal third seamer for India's World Cup XI. As canny as Praveen Kumar, he can be a whole lot quicker on his day. And though he may currently lack the pace that Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth can operate at, he bowls with far more discipline and control. When you think back to that astonishing debut in Mohali nearly five years ago, what sticks in the mind isn't so much the pace but the fact that he looked like he'd been doing it for years.

There are two factors to think of while choosing a World Cup squad. You don't want too many scarred by repeated failures or defeat. But you do wish for a core of men with something to prove, those who have experienced soul-destroying disappointments and come back from them

The unreliable tag should be binned. Recall Matthew Hayden in his first avatar, deer in the headlights against West Indian pace. He averaged 21.75 in his first seven Tests and had no complaints when he was dropped. He came back six years later and in a second innings that lasted nearly a decade, he scored 29 of his 30 Test hundreds and averaged well over 50.

Think too of Damien Martyn, another dumped after seven Tests. In his penultimate innings, he scored 59, but the fact that he holed out to cover off Allan Donald with a Sydney Test in the balance was to be held against him for years. He too returned only in the new millennium, playing 60 more Tests with a grace and economy of movement that few batsmen in the history of the game have matched.

The same examples are valid when we talk of Yuvraj Singh. He scored a half-century in the last Test that he played in Galle, but hasn't even been able to find a place in the squad since, thwarted first by injury and then the emergence of Suresh Raina and Cheteshwar Pujara. Yuvraj's Test average of 35.63 is disappointing, but it's also undeniable that he's never enjoyed the kind of steady run in the team that others have had. Before Kolkata 2001, VVS Laxman averaged 27 from 20 Tests, many of those innings having been played as a makeshift opener. If the selectors had closed the book on him then, Indian cricket wouldn't have enjoyed a smidgen of the success that it has since.

Yuvraj may well struggle to reclaim a spot in the Test side, but it's ludicrous to mix up his performance in whites with his value to the one-day side. If India are to have any chance of winning the World Cup in a few months time, they will need to play seven specialist batsmen, at least two of whom will also bowl regularly. Would Yuvraj make that list of seven? Of course he would.

If the choice comes down to playing him or the faux allrounders that India possess, Yusuf Pathan and Ravindra Jadeja, it's really no choice at all. In home conditions, Yuvraj averages nearly 42 with a strike-rate of 91.48. In the last five years, he's had one bad one (2009). Add in his bowling, with an economy-rate of 5.04 after 258 games, and you're looking at the best left-handed option that India has by some distance.

There are two factors to think of while choosing a World Cup squad. You don't want too many scarred by repeated failures or defeat. But you do wish for a core of men with something to prove, those who have experienced soul-destroying disappointments and come back from them.

Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra and Harbhajan all played alongside Yuvraj when India were brushed aside in the 2003 final. Nehra apart, the other five were also on duty when Bangladesh pushed India towards the exit four years later. In Freedom From Fear, the recently released Aung Sang Suu Kyi wrote: It is his capacity for self-improvement and self-redemption which most distinguishes man from the mere brute. If the selectors remember that, then Indian cricket has a lot to look forward to.

Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 9, 2010, 10:15 GMT

    Sehwag, Tendulkar, Gambhir, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Yusuf, Harbhajan, Zaheer, Nehra, Sreesanth.

  • cricket_ftw on December 9, 2010, 9:03 GMT

    yuvraj in ODI is obvious .. his is not required in tests though ..

  • Rushikey on December 8, 2010, 21:57 GMT

    I think despite a blazing inning by Pathan and Good bowling performance by Munaf, BCCI will choose Sir. Ravindra Jadeja for World Cup squad, Since he is the most experienced and inform towel boy and 12th player.. Nobody can beat his record for 12th player.

  • NewYorkCricket on December 8, 2010, 20:13 GMT

    don't understand the article. nobody is doubting Yuvraj's place in the world cup!!

  • Bamarolls on December 8, 2010, 16:18 GMT

    IMHO, these guys have a secure spot on the XI barring injuries: Sehwag, Tendulkar, Gambhir, Dhoni, Khan, Singh (Bhajji), Kumar. That leaves room for 1 Bowler an 3 batsmen/part-time bowler - it would be a mistake to go with anything less that 4 specialist bowlers. Not all the bowlers would click in every game. Choice is between Ishant, Ashwin, Sreesanth, and Ojha. My choice would depend upon wicket. For the batsmen the choice is between Yuvi, Raina, Kohli, Pathan. I will rotate Yuvi and Pathan based on strength of opponent. Who should we drop to make room for Kartnik as a back-up WK?

  • Vnott on December 8, 2010, 13:39 GMT

    So many comments on Irfan. But unfortunately he is injured and is undergoing rehabilitation. There is no way he can be in the world cup side... Our only issue is the bowling in the end overs. Ashwin had done well before before the previous one day. We need to solve this.....This is the only missing link which can stop India in the world cup.

  • Vnott on December 8, 2010, 13:31 GMT

    Very interesting article and isn't it amazing how the selectors almost killed VVS by making him a makeshift opener. The stats paint such a poignant picture. Average of 27 in 20 tests before the epic 281 in calcutta which redefined VVS. I hope the selectors stop tinkering with middle order batsmen who are pushed to open. Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik. While Karthik is no VVS, he was a terrific team man and had to prove himself with 1-2 appearances every time and compete with Dhoni himself for a spot. He also averages 27.77 in 23 tests and has the same average in One days too.... Wish someone realizes this, he is still the best 2nd keeper in the country and just needs to be given a patient run in the middle order. He will succeed....

  • on December 8, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    WC XI should Be 1. Sachin 2. Sehwag 3.Gambir 4. Yuvraj 5. Kohli 6.Raina 7. Dhoni 8. Yousuf 9. Bhajji 10. Nehra 11. Zaheer 12. Munaf 13.Ashwin 14. Parthiv patel 15.Praveen Kumar

  • Percy_Fender on December 8, 2010, 5:13 GMT

    My team for the Word Cup is Sehwag, Gambhir, Tendulkar,Kohli,Yuvraj,Raina,Dhoni,Ashwin,Harbhajan,Zaheer,Nehra,Munaf,Rohit Sharma,Saurabh Tiwari and Yusuf Pathan.

  • msn2507 on December 8, 2010, 3:08 GMT

    My choice of the WC 2011 Indian team -

    1. Sehwag 2. Gambir 3. Raina 4. Tendulkar 5. Yuvaraj 6. Dhoni 7. Y Pathan 8. Harbhajan 9. Z Khan 10. Ishant 11. R Ashwin

    Sustitutes 1.Kohli 2.Pujara 3.Vijay 4.Ojha 5.Nehra

    ...and hopefully Sachin does it for India before he retirees :)

  • on December 9, 2010, 10:15 GMT

    Sehwag, Tendulkar, Gambhir, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Yusuf, Harbhajan, Zaheer, Nehra, Sreesanth.

  • cricket_ftw on December 9, 2010, 9:03 GMT

    yuvraj in ODI is obvious .. his is not required in tests though ..

  • Rushikey on December 8, 2010, 21:57 GMT

    I think despite a blazing inning by Pathan and Good bowling performance by Munaf, BCCI will choose Sir. Ravindra Jadeja for World Cup squad, Since he is the most experienced and inform towel boy and 12th player.. Nobody can beat his record for 12th player.

  • NewYorkCricket on December 8, 2010, 20:13 GMT

    don't understand the article. nobody is doubting Yuvraj's place in the world cup!!

  • Bamarolls on December 8, 2010, 16:18 GMT

    IMHO, these guys have a secure spot on the XI barring injuries: Sehwag, Tendulkar, Gambhir, Dhoni, Khan, Singh (Bhajji), Kumar. That leaves room for 1 Bowler an 3 batsmen/part-time bowler - it would be a mistake to go with anything less that 4 specialist bowlers. Not all the bowlers would click in every game. Choice is between Ishant, Ashwin, Sreesanth, and Ojha. My choice would depend upon wicket. For the batsmen the choice is between Yuvi, Raina, Kohli, Pathan. I will rotate Yuvi and Pathan based on strength of opponent. Who should we drop to make room for Kartnik as a back-up WK?

  • Vnott on December 8, 2010, 13:39 GMT

    So many comments on Irfan. But unfortunately he is injured and is undergoing rehabilitation. There is no way he can be in the world cup side... Our only issue is the bowling in the end overs. Ashwin had done well before before the previous one day. We need to solve this.....This is the only missing link which can stop India in the world cup.

  • Vnott on December 8, 2010, 13:31 GMT

    Very interesting article and isn't it amazing how the selectors almost killed VVS by making him a makeshift opener. The stats paint such a poignant picture. Average of 27 in 20 tests before the epic 281 in calcutta which redefined VVS. I hope the selectors stop tinkering with middle order batsmen who are pushed to open. Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik. While Karthik is no VVS, he was a terrific team man and had to prove himself with 1-2 appearances every time and compete with Dhoni himself for a spot. He also averages 27.77 in 23 tests and has the same average in One days too.... Wish someone realizes this, he is still the best 2nd keeper in the country and just needs to be given a patient run in the middle order. He will succeed....

  • on December 8, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    WC XI should Be 1. Sachin 2. Sehwag 3.Gambir 4. Yuvraj 5. Kohli 6.Raina 7. Dhoni 8. Yousuf 9. Bhajji 10. Nehra 11. Zaheer 12. Munaf 13.Ashwin 14. Parthiv patel 15.Praveen Kumar

  • Percy_Fender on December 8, 2010, 5:13 GMT

    My team for the Word Cup is Sehwag, Gambhir, Tendulkar,Kohli,Yuvraj,Raina,Dhoni,Ashwin,Harbhajan,Zaheer,Nehra,Munaf,Rohit Sharma,Saurabh Tiwari and Yusuf Pathan.

  • msn2507 on December 8, 2010, 3:08 GMT

    My choice of the WC 2011 Indian team -

    1. Sehwag 2. Gambir 3. Raina 4. Tendulkar 5. Yuvaraj 6. Dhoni 7. Y Pathan 8. Harbhajan 9. Z Khan 10. Ishant 11. R Ashwin

    Sustitutes 1.Kohli 2.Pujara 3.Vijay 4.Ojha 5.Nehra

    ...and hopefully Sachin does it for India before he retirees :)

  • on December 8, 2010, 2:29 GMT

    sachin, sehwag, gautam, yuvraj, dhoni, raina, pathan,harbhajan,parveen, zaheer,nehra Extra..Kohli,ashwin,Sreesanth, 15 man is either Munaf or Ishant

    Bit me if these people not injured this will be indian team for World Cup..

  • umeshgadhavi on December 7, 2010, 23:18 GMT

    In continuation to my previous comment -

    Genuine All Rounder - Irfan Pathan Other All Rounder could be - Yusuf Pathan (mainly for his dangerous & potential match winning batting in the lower middle order).

    Wanted to include Dravid in terms of his experience and stability which is required sometimes when wickets fall quickly, but couldn't find a place to accommodate him due to the pushing youngsters/new talent.

  • umeshgadhavi on December 7, 2010, 23:13 GMT

    WC 2011 Squad according to me in batting order- 1. SACHIN TENDULKAR 2. VIRENDRA SEHWAG 3. GAUTAM GAMBHIR 4. VIRAT KOHLI 5. YUVRAJ SINGH 6. SURESH RAINA 7. MS DHONI 8. IRFAN PATHAN 9. HARBHAJAN SINGH 10. ZAHEER KHAN 11. ASHISH NEHRA

    12. Yusuf Pathan 13. Rohit Sharma 14. R. Ashwin 15. 16. Munaf Patel.

    I know i have missed one back-up wicket keeper and an extra seamer but i just wanted to make it less complicated, rather than going for various options and combinations. Still Dinesh Kartik/Parthiv Patel and Praveen Kumar can be considered by sacrificing couple of members as mentioned above (12-16).

    Ashwin is a full time spinner, if something goes wrong with Harbhajan by any chance during the WC and same applies to our opening pair, as Gambhir can chip in and Rohit can replace Gambhir's place and Virat can go at Number 3 in that case, followed by Rohit. People can give their views on this if they want.

    Part time Spinners - Yuvraj, Sehwag, Raina, Sachin & Rohit

  • manasvi_lingam on December 7, 2010, 22:23 GMT

    Yuvraj and 6 and Yusuf Pathan at 7 is the right way to go. Yuvraj is fast enough and can also play a longer innings. Yusuf again is the only right choice at 7. He is the only other international batsman apart from Afridi who has a career strike rate of over 110 in ODIs. Dhoni at 5, Gambhir at 3, Kohli at 4 and Tendulkar and Sehwag as openers. Bye, bye Raina!

  • on December 7, 2010, 20:29 GMT

    Ashish Nehra, Kumar and Munaf are all same kind of bowlers....do you need three of them??

  • Ranjeet_Mumbai on December 7, 2010, 16:50 GMT

    Dileep, while I agree with you on Yuvraj, I am not too sure on Munaf. In fact, I feel that Zaheer is the only bowler who automatically picks himself in the playing 11. Praveen comes a distant second i nthe shorter forms of the game. The rest of the bowling is pretty bad and no bowler really picks himself automaticlaly based on skills in any form of the game, Bhajji included. And that is why I feel India's chances, if any, remain with the batsmen in the WC to be played in sub-continent.

  • on December 7, 2010, 15:08 GMT

    Dileep is an intelligent man, he once said that he knows Heaven is right here on earth because he had seen VVS bat. Hence, his piece on making a case for Munaf beggars belief. Munaf is a trundler who bowls at around 120 kmph, is a liability in the field, and cannot contribute with the bat. If at all you want someone to ball at that speed, go for Irfan Pathan, at least he would be perky in the field and may also contribute handy runs. And as far as Yuvi is concerned, if anyone believes that he needs to make a case for being in the World Cup squad, then such person is grossly mistaken. Yuvi has to be fulcrum around which our batting has to revolve in the World Cup. Its imperative that he is given confidence and regains his touch very soon. He is close to indispensable as far as our World Cup plans are concerned.

  • on December 7, 2010, 4:13 GMT

    LalluMowdi : Chill dude ;-)

  • Krikey on December 7, 2010, 3:30 GMT

    This article is a no-brainer. Munaf doesn't deserve a place in the starting eleven -- yet. But should be retained as cover for the main bowlers. The other day Bhogle was wondering who the remaining four in the WC squad should be. And he is right. The first eleven pick themselves: Sachin, Sehwag,Gambhir, Kohli (Yes, play him at 4, rather than 7), Dhoni, Raina, Yuvraj (at 7 he gives a fallback option and he is one of the cleanest hitters around and considering his form in the last one year guess ppl shld think twice before expecting him to build an innings),Harbhajan, Praveen, Zaheer and Nehra. The remaining four could be Dinesh Karthick (he could double up as a specialist batsman, ppls seem to forget that he starred in the Asia Cup final in Lanka), Ashwin, Sreesanth (if the wicket is helpful), and Munaf (who cld take over if any of the first three are injured).

  • on December 7, 2010, 2:01 GMT

    Yeah, I wouldn't drop Yuvi, but that still doesn't change the fact that he is fairly lazy at times. In the field, he is a shadow of his former self. His batting and a bit of handy left arm spin will carry him into the team. It's a long shot, but if he can get fully fit and work on his left arm spin, he can be the all rounder (sort of) that we are looking for. My 16-man world cup squad is (in batting order): Sehwag, Sachin, Gambhir, Yuvraj, Kohli, Raina, Dhoni, Ashwin, Zaheer, Praveen, Sreesanth. It's flexible though. 12th man: Pujara; Other reserves: Nehra, Harbhajan, Munaf, and Vijay.

  • on December 7, 2010, 1:39 GMT

    Irfan Pathan would be the ideal no. 7 for india. he is in gd form and the perfect allrounder at current! he should be selected as a part of the world cup 11 or at least 15! He is in great form and will easily be able to beat his brothers strength in ODI.

  • King_soothsayer on December 6, 2010, 22:10 GMT

    What ppl dont understand is that u dont need to be lightning quick to be a fast/medium pace bowler. On the contrary, if ur quick and you get ur line wrong your bound to get smacked all around the park considering that the World Cup is being played in the subcontinent. Pitches are going to be flat, and you need to be disciplined as a seemer. Munaf is always there and there about and is nagging away. Its not that easy to score of him unless the batters are willing to step out and create their own length. Sree is the kinda bowler batsmen cherish. He comes on nicely to d bat, his slower one is merely a gift and he gets most of his wickets hoping for the batsman to make an error. However the 3 seemers who are likely to play are Zaheer, Praveen and Nehra. Munaf wud replace any1 of these guys if they happen to lose form.

  • on December 6, 2010, 22:06 GMT

    I would like to see the following 15 in the WC SQUAD. 1. TENDULKAR 2. SEHWAG 3. GAMBHIR 4. VIRAT KOHLI 5. YUVRAJ SINGH 6. RAINA 7. DHONI 8. HARBHAJAN SINGH 9. PRAVEEN KUMAR 10. ZAHEER KHAN 11. Ashish NEHRA 12. SREESHANTH 13. WRIDHAMAN SAHA 14. ASHWIN AND 15. MURALI VIJAY. (First 11 playing and next 4 back up) If any of the allrounders gets injured, Irfan should be the replacement, since he have international experience and skills to fill in, he should do the job.

  • anilkp on December 6, 2010, 20:38 GMT

    Dileep, you seem to mix up the prospects of Tests and ODIs. As far as ODIs are concerned, Munaf has not been written off, that's why he is in the current tournament (means, he will be in the WC if he does well). Yuvraj is there, and will be there for the WC; no Indian selector is naive enough to drop him from the WC squad. So, what is the point in your article? In Tests, Yuvraj has been much better than any batsman in several other Test teams; but more was expected from him. Raina did well, so is there; but with him faltering, Yuvraj's chance will come again. Why cry? You can only have 11 players taking the field; you cannot accomodate all good players you have. Writing for the sake of writing has no meaning; please determine a clear cause and spine for an article before sitting down to write one. You writers need to respect the fact that we readers spend valuable time reading the articles.

  • ajaysarin on December 6, 2010, 20:33 GMT

    I do not agree with the writer as I think Munaf should be given more time before such kind of articles are written or any judgements are passed about his inclusion in the team for the world cup. Agreed that he bowled well in last 2-3 matches but there is still lot to be desired from him. To be able to qualify for being part of the world cup team, the player should minimum qualify the following criteria 1) Has an ability to play on trot for atleast 5 matches . 2) Excellent fielding and catching. 3) Exceptional in one of the areas (Batting, Bowling, Fielding) or 3) All rounder or a multiskilled player. I am sorry as I dont see Munaf fitting the bill.

  • jithujose on December 6, 2010, 20:31 GMT

    Common guys (saleem &dileep especially)...we have a certain phenomenon, the legend of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, in the team for aggression, temperament, brilliance and thus stability. For the same reason we need inform players who can support him and the team. I am a huge fan of Yuvraj...but I don't believe World Cup is a tournament to experiment with limited (in consistency, duration and records) past glory. We have so many new, young, promising and inform players. Kholi and Raina for instance. So how does Yuvraj Feature in the scheme of things? May be he cant. But the scope is very limited. My top six would be 1.Sewag 2.Sachin 3.Ghambir 4.Kholi 5. Raina 6.Dhoni and my 4 main bowlers would be 1.Harbagan 2.Zaheer 3.ohja 4.Sreeshanth/Nehra/ P.Kumar/. This leaves us with one extra player.And this could be Yuvraj, Dravid or Yusaf Pathan

  • Nampally on December 6, 2010, 20:03 GMT

    Yuvraj should be one automatic choice for the India World XI. He was the only guy in the World who hit England's Broad for 6 Sixers in one over. Broad is a very good fast bowler and anyone with this talent cannot be dropped. More recently in the third ODI against NZ, Yuvraj took 3 catches in close in position- catches win matches. He was not given the ball because Gambhir opted for Jadeja for unknown reason and jadeja responded - 5 runs/over+ No wicket in 7 overs. Yuvraj took 4 wickets in the first ODI and also scored about 40 runs. Who else fills in all rounder's spot better than Yuvraj - Jadeja & Y.Pathan? - not even close. Yet these 2 guys got infinite chances but blew them.Yuvraj is also an ideal bat for ODI matching Sehwag in aggression.If only the Selectors don't treat him like a Yo-Yo and let him gain some confidence, he will produce. He must lose 15 Lbs. in weight to make him trim.Munaf on the other hand with his past "attitude problem" will find it tough to get in the XI.

  • LalluMowdi on December 6, 2010, 19:27 GMT

    I would gladly and willing drop Tendulkar, Sehwag ( not even 1/2 yuvraj in ODIs ) , Gambhir ( not even 1/4 Yuvraj ) , Raina ( 1/2 Yuvraj ), Kohli ( 1/2 yuvraj ) any day for Yuvraj. Only Dhoni comes ahead of Yuvraj because of his captainship abilities.

  • Cricket_BornForIt on December 6, 2010, 19:06 GMT

    I think India should go with best four bowlers. We should not consider we then can bat. It's responsiblity of rest 7 to take care of it. While selecting bowlers 4 best should be in. And Munaf is good bowler. He can make into his side. For me Zaheer, Nehra, Sreesanth are good but Munaf is definately a nice third seamer to have

  • LalluMowdi on December 6, 2010, 18:52 GMT

    Is this mischivious reporting ? If you have to select one player for ODI , Yuvraj's name comes 1st. Yuvraj is the greatest ODI player India has ever produced. Multiply his average with strike rate and you will see why cricinfo ranked him among the 10 all time greats in ODIs in cricket. To think of Indian ODI squad without Yuvraj today is a sick joke.

    In tests, selectors never gave him a consistent opportunity for 7 years , as he waited for the seniors to retire. Then he got couple of opportunities and was taken out of squad. vicious injustice has been done by selectors to Yuvraj and Indian cricket.

  • ajee on December 6, 2010, 18:46 GMT

    I cant imagine you calling Munaf a seamer :)..... bowling at a max speed of 120ks which includes 4 slower balls / over . . . . . i remember of him being fastest when he first entered but again same old stories.. injury/ slow it up etc etc.. Kumble was much faster i guess ;)..

    I believe the third seamer should be sreeshanth... at least he has some pace in him.... ( though not happy with his econ rate)

  • on December 6, 2010, 18:33 GMT

    Is anyone confusing Yuvi's test record with his value in ODIs? Apart from the author, I don't see anyone else doing that. Yuvi will play.No brainer. It's a waste of time telling us what we already know. Case for Munaf is valid on the back of recent performances.

  • on December 6, 2010, 18:06 GMT

    I guess we'll hear a lot of conflicting arguments. Yuvi is a lock-in - a matchwinner and someone who would be needled with a chance at redemption. He has the necessary devil needed to grab by horns a match hanging in balance and make something out of it. Munaf however has yet to produce such riches. Agreed cricket is a team sport but you need game breaking individuals. It is for that reason alone Ashwin gets the nod over Ravindra Jadeja, or Pragyan Ojha. Sure, Munaf is accurate, and much more reliable now - but for someone who would be in the team solely for his bowling ( his fielding and batting are a joke, lets admit!) he definitely needs to be an attacking option not a containing one. Every match wouldn't be played in Dambulla where you choke your opponents out of the game.

  • bipulgrishma on December 6, 2010, 17:58 GMT

    Following cricket for a long time, my choice for India WC 2011 squad would be: 1. Sachin 2. Sehwag 3. Gambhir 4. Virat Kohli 5. Yuvraj Singh 6. Suresh Raina 7. MS Dhoni 8. Harbhajan Singh 9. Zaheer Khan 10. Praveen Kumar 11. Nehra / Ishant Sharma / Munaf Patel Feel sorry for the likes of Yusuf Pathan and Rohit Sharma - both can be devastating on flat subcontinent pitches. Ravindra Jadeja is a certain NO.

  • TheMeanMachine on December 6, 2010, 17:56 GMT

    I have never considered Munaf to be a frontline seamer. He is at best a fifth or a sixth replacement for the team. At his best he can be a steady bowler but I see streaks of Agarkar in him with the inconsistency he has shown till now. Add to it his injury woes and he might become a liability. Yuvraj is a must for the World Cup and I still regard him as India's best batsman in the middle order. Instead of sending Yusuf higher up the order in the next ODI, they should send Yuvraj at number 3.

  • mits6 on December 6, 2010, 17:54 GMT

    Ashwin is the worst fielder in the team right now . @fadms aren't u enjoying no. 5 test ranking.

  • Rahulbose on December 6, 2010, 17:53 GMT

    Performance against an out of form Nzl side is not reliable, a more attacking bowler ala Nehra or Sreesanth should be India's 3rd seamer, Munaf is good enough to be the backup.

    On Yuvraj it would be crazy not to play him in the WC, only his fitness needs to be monitored. He is the KP of India, the team management needs to show more faith in him for test matches.

  • KARAN_AHIR on December 6, 2010, 17:22 GMT

    TEAM SHOULD B 1. TENDULKAR 2. SEHWAG 3. GAMBHIR 4. YUVRAJ SINGH (CONSIDERING HE WILL ALSO BOWL ON INDIAN SUB CONTINENT WICKETS)5. RAINA 6. DHONI 7. IRFAN PATHAN 8. HARBHAJAN SINGH 9. PRAVEEN KUMAR 10. INDIAN WASIM AKRAM (JUST KIDDING) ZAHEER KHAN 11. SREESHANT.

  • KARAN_AHIR on December 6, 2010, 17:15 GMT

    WHERE ON EARTH IS IRFAN PATHAN???? WHY ALL OF A SUDDEN HE HAS JUST VANISHED FROM THE SELECTORS RADAR???? HEARING & READING THESE FOR LONG LONG TIME THAT INDIA NEEDS A FAST OR SHALL I SAY {BY INDIAN STANDARDS ONE THING ADMITTED INDIA CAN`T HAVE AN OUT & OUT FAST BOWLER}A MEDIUM PACER ALL ROUNDER. BUT IF INDIA CAN`T HAVE ANOTHER KAPIL DEV ATLEAST V SHALL TRY TO FIND SOMEONE LIKE MANOJ PRABHAKAR??????OPTIONS ARE THEIR IRFAN PATHAN FIRST & FOREMOST...HE CAN VERY MUCH B THE BEST 3RD SEAMER FOR INDIA....EVEN IF GOES FOR 50 IN HIS 10 OVERS I WOULD SAY THAT`S OK...OTHER OPTIONS WHICH I GUESS OUR SELECTORS HAVE VOWED NOT 2 TRY R ABHISHEK NAYAR, SACHIN RANA, LAXMIRATAN SHUKLA, JOGINDER SHARMA OR WHY NOT EVEN AJIT AGARKAR....HE CAN BOWL....HIS STATS R BEST AMONGST INDIANS SEAMERS...SPARE A THOUGHT MR SRIKANT....INDIA NEEDS A GUY WHO CAN BOWL IF NOT 10 OVERS EVERY GAME BUT 6 TO 8 OVERS A GAME & CAN BAT @ 7.

  • on December 6, 2010, 17:03 GMT

    praveen is the master of swing......also a pinch-hitter,so anyday better than munaf.

  • nkt60 on December 6, 2010, 16:42 GMT

    Why don't we explore Kohli the bowler, like Mark Waugh or Asif Iqbal, who made good use of slow medium pace with good line and length and some swing. This opens up the line up even further. Kohli a part time batsman, has proved himself in the intermittent opportunities he got, still fastest Indian to reach 1000 runs in ODIs and now heading to 2000 at a similar pace.

  • mrgupta on December 6, 2010, 16:20 GMT

    Dileep as much i respect you for your Cricketing knowledge i beg to differ here on Munaf Patel. At 120Ks he is just few Ks highes than Anil Kumble who actually was a Spin bowler. At that pace Munaf is no threat and the fact that he can barely hold the Bat when it comes to his batting skills makes him unsuitable for Team India's selection for the WC. Praveen Kumar though also slower can swing and move the new ball appreciably.

  • on December 6, 2010, 16:18 GMT

    Yuvraj - yes for one days. Raina still hasn't mastered the short ball and will be targeted in SA. Yuvraj is definitely the better bet. I don't see why Raina is compared to Yuvraj.

  • on December 6, 2010, 16:07 GMT

    Dileep is obviously a great fan of Yuvraj. We have had several articles pushing his case in the Test team, at the expense of VVS who is being eulogised in this write up. Not taking anything away from Yuvraj, but i fail to understand the need for this sympathy. He obviously will be given a run before the WC to prove himself again!

  • on December 6, 2010, 16:00 GMT

    Dileep, are you becoming the new Vir Sanghvi of Sports Journalism? On what basis is Munaf in your list of options? Your logic is extremely complicated, roundabout and unconvincing.

  • pakspin on December 6, 2010, 15:49 GMT

    This maybe the only chance India gets to win, but i am afarid they probably will not..sure the pitches will be dead rubbers without any bounce, something Indian batsman will like (remebering the horror of the other Wcs), however , this means that the pitches will be dead for the other side as well, and with a bowling attack slightly better than that of a club level team, you can score 400 runs on dead pitches like your batsman has always been, and then have those 400 runs chased easily by the opposition..India should make lively pitches no matter how much tendulker protests for dead rubbers to make records. So india will have to chose between individual batsman being dead pitch kings, or making lively pitches and giving their bowerls some assitance. Historically, India prefers individual dead pitch king records over vicotry, hopefully this time, they will have learned their lesson, otherwise be prepared to be kicked out by Bengladesh again.

  • on December 6, 2010, 15:46 GMT

    Yuvraj is an automatic choice in the 50 over game.. There is no need to make a "case" for him.

  • sharma_aatish on December 6, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    Don't quite agree with you on Munaf as 3rd seamer. Zaheer, Nehra are frontline two and for 3rd it should be a toss up between Praveen and Sreesanth. Or if it's a turner then play 2 seamers and Harbhajan, Ashwin. Plus Munaf isn't the fleetest of fielders and he epitomises true No.11 whereas Praveen, Ishant and Sreesanth have shown that they can hang around if needed.

  • on December 6, 2010, 14:36 GMT

    Please dont give such misguided views. Munaf will never be a good enough bowler at international level except for a few odd games against Bangladesh ,Zimbabwe etc as a Third seamer.He definetly does not belong to the international level . Bowling at 120 will never make you a good bowler let alone great. Also Praveen kumar ( Is goddamm slow ) is faster than Munaf . The bane of India is we have to make do will all these

    Silly Slow Fast bowlers who bowl a lot of Slow balls ( If pitch is not helpful God save them ). We shouldnt encorage them cause they believe they can get away with this stuff. We must stricly kick them out or ask them to try Spin instead.

  • D.Nagarajan on December 6, 2010, 12:58 GMT

    Yuvraj Singh will be needed for sure in the World Cup as his skills are needed in large run chases which is a definite possibility in the World Cup. Munaf Patel really has confidence crisis created by lack of faith in him by the management and also by the captain(s) of the sides he has been part of. When Munaf first came he bowled wonderfully well against England in Tests and would have taken many more wickets if not for poor fielding. When he last played for India vs NZ in NZ he did a good job but it seems Dhoni doesnt see him fitting into the side in tests at home, he is a sure shot 3rd seamer choice in tests abroad. Dhoni needs to trust him and motivate him like Shane Warne trusted him in IPL.

  • on December 6, 2010, 12:47 GMT

    It is an absolute joke that Raina gets in the test side ahead of Yuvraj. OK Yuvi hasnt always done himself justice in the test arena, but he has more talent & a greater match winning ability than Raina will ever have. Raina just got lucky by scoring a debut hundred on a flat track with Sachin at the other end to guide him. In SA you have to stand up for yourself but Raina will merely be a sitting duck for Steyn & Morkel. Yuvraj is more streetwise, more experienced & has a better all round game, he just needs a fair run in the side to showcase his talents. It seems he only gets a chance when one of big 4 was injured and always one failure away from being dropped. He is still only 28 and has ample time to right some wrongs - if only he has the backing of the selectors and is given a fair run.

  • fadms on December 6, 2010, 12:01 GMT

    Yuvraj or no Yuvraj, India will not win the world cup......enjoy your so called no. 1 test position. Sri Lanka all the way!!!!!!!!!

  • Ankitpatel007 on December 6, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    India needs Yuvi as he is a match winner and also bowls well but he need to do some batting practice against spinners. He is vulnerable against spin bowling specially against Murali, Mendis and Vettori. For Munaf, he is bowling well at the moment but he is inconsistence player and also he hasn't got good cricket attitude. I prefer Praveen Kumar instead Munaf as he has an attitude. He bowls well and also does good batting. He always gives his 100% effort on the field whether it is bowling, batting or fielding.

  • lankarminnows on December 6, 2010, 11:34 GMT

    very thoughtful article dileep.

  • muski on December 6, 2010, 10:02 GMT

    Dileep- With all the aspersions being cast on Journalists after the Radia tapes, I could be given the benefit of doubt if this article of yours was Ghost written by Yuvraj. The article itself is confusing. Are you making a point for Yuvi in test side on in the 11 in the world cup. The very fact that a place for Yuvi in ODI is under threat should speak volumes of this man's dedication to the game which has given him so much. His talent is beyond doubt- so was Kambli and we all know what happened to Kambli. As the say, in life,opportunities dont come too often and when they do come, they have to be grabbed by the scruff of the neck. Ask Anil Kumble and he will tell you that it was the Irani trophy game that gave him a lease of life.If indeed we take your point about Laxman, has he looked after after the kolkatta epic.With some many youngsters breathing down his neck, I think he is holding his fort becoz of sheer performance.

  • manikolbe on December 6, 2010, 9:24 GMT

    Dileep.. I dont agree at all!! we are seeing it on every oneday munaf plays... his lack of interest from anything apart from his bowling.. okay he is bowling well, but he has never been a team player or never showed an attitude to fit in to the present indian team. Regarding Yuvraj, he needs to prove his test batting skills in the rengi trophy before he can ever raise a request for selection!! he has played atleast 5 first class games this year and u can verify his record.. compare it with the likes of pujara or kohli.. u will know what I am talking about!! Dileep please write with something truthful and dont let us loose the respect we have in you!

  • on December 6, 2010, 8:16 GMT

    Praveen is far better option than munaf. Munaf just balls line and length and the pace is not higher at all. He could do it but he does not bend his back which is understandable because he does not want any injury. Praveen swings the ball at will and quite a lot plus he can hit a few quick runs in last overs if needed. Praveen is also a better and more athletic fielder. Munaf to me is only option if any of Zaheer, Nehra or Praveen gets injured. My playing eleven provided they are fit - Sachin, sehwag, gambhir, kohli, yuvraj, dhoni, raina, bhajji, praveen, zaheer and nehra. 4 extras - munaf, ashvin, rohit, karthik

  • on December 6, 2010, 7:43 GMT

    I totally agree with Dileep's views. My first choice XI would read:

    1. Sehwag 2. Gambhir 3. Tendulkar 4. Yuvraj 5. Kohli 6. Dhoni 7. Y. Pathan/Raina (depending upon opposition and conditions) 8. Harbhajan 9. Zaheer 10. Sreesanth 11. Munaf Patel

  • on December 6, 2010, 6:58 GMT

    Dileep, World cup is no grooming ground , I guess we all agree with it.

    The argument of last innings 50 is also not valid as even dravid hit a beautiful 75 in his last ODI innings and never got the chance.

    I dont know why are we selecting youngsters (read untested) than a certain Dravid who will bring the assurance to the middle order when chips are down.

    Why are we obsessed with attacking game. With exception of Sachin do you think anyone can hold the fort ? so whats wrong in having Dravid in the world cup scheme of things. It cant be his age for sure.

    If Sachin can play and if Dravid can play 5 days , ofcourse he is suitable for ODIS. Should we read that Dravid is dropped for non-cricketing reasons.

  • pvwadekar on December 6, 2010, 6:35 GMT

    Good Article, that finally praises Munaf. He is really unappreciated, comes in, hits the pitch and bowls economics spell and gets wickets. Very difficult for a third seamer to do this in the sub continent. It's very important to have a third seamer who can maintain pressure and speed is not everything. Zaheer, Nehra and Munaf are an automatic shoo-in for the ODI team. Really don't understand why Praveen Kuman is preferred, he has not set the world alight with his "all-rounder" skills. As for Yuvraj, he is the lynch-pin in the middle order. Kohli, Raina, or Rohit cannot dominate an attack like he can,they should bat around him.

  • rahuja on December 6, 2010, 6:32 GMT

    Excellent points.

    Interestingly, Yuvraj's case has been bolstered many times over with the emergence of Kohli. Faux all rounders is the right term for Jadeja and Pathan, with the latter at least having something of a shock value. Neither of them even a remote match for Yuvraj.

    People who may scoff at Munaf's name - may do well to look at his economy in one dayers. 4.77... compare it with close to 6 of Sreesanth and Ishant Sharma. Similar averages, btw. I am happy that finally someone in media has noticed Munaf. I just hope that someone makes a stronger case for a guy who could solve the middle over bowling problems and be an excellent backup to the wicket takers in Zaheer/Praveen/Nehra (pick any 2)

  • Shripathi on December 6, 2010, 6:25 GMT

    Sehwag, Tendulkar, Gambhir, Kohli, Raina, Dhoni + 1 allrounder + four bowlers leaves little room for Yuvraj to break in considering Tendulkar, Sehwag and Raina are good for 10-12 overs, but he should be in the ODI squad in case Raina/Kohli fail.

    Tests? He does not show as much promise. His batting is really iffy against spin and swing. And given Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman are locks, just one spit remains, and he is behind Raina and Pujara. His bowling is of dubious value in tests.

    Munaf needs better fitness -- both for fielding and for making the squad

  • on December 6, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    good one boss......... India atleast needs yuvi in its team ...........

  • RaDIN on December 6, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    It's nice to see Yuvraj coming good with the ball. India is looking for a No: 7, allrounder's slot. Kohli's batting has put the limelight on him & he can't be ignored from the playing XI. That means, play him in Yuvraj's place & Yuvraj must fill the all rounder's slot. Top 7 batting line up can be changed slighltly like this: 1. Sachin, 2.Sehwag, 3.Gambhir, 4. Kohli, 5. Yuvraj, 6. Dhoni, 7.Raina. Raina & Sehwag can do bowling as well. I strongly believe batting should be perfect to win this world cup.

  • on December 6, 2010, 5:49 GMT

    Man...., i am looking for this kind of article which supports Yuvraj...True match winner. Cannot imagine India winning world cup without yuvi. No evidence to say that Yuvi had failed to perform in international leve at any point of time (exclude 2007 T20)l? any evidence?

  • on December 6, 2010, 4:55 GMT

    we need both yuvi and munaf.. and also Robin uthappa..but v don't kw y the selectors not considering him....Cricket is a skill not other than that....even for robin is not giving a single chance to get into the team...its too dangerous and also if the selectors gave importance to any other thing than the skills of a player.. it may affect future of our cricket...the same thing happening to irfan pathan also.....

  • Percy_Fender on December 6, 2010, 4:54 GMT

    I do not think that either Munaf or Yuvraj can or will be left out from the World Cup squad. Munaf is very M'grath like most of the time these days, but it is wrong to think that he is a mere 125 kmph trundler as we see him these days.He may be reducing his pace to keep free of injuries as he has had in the past He can bowl quite easily at around 140 kmph and generate a lot of bounce. The problem with Munaf is probably that he may be having that streak of rebellion in him against the establishment. To get the best from him, he must be allowed to realise and feel that his team values him. He can be a match winner if Dhoni nurtures his talent and utilises him strategically and making his position in the team secure. He has shown how good a bowler he now is in the three ODIs and must be selected. The other thing is this all rounder option crisis that we hear of so frequently. Yuvraj is indeed better than either Jadeja or Yusuf and can definitely bowl more than 6/7 overs in each game.

  • on December 6, 2010, 4:53 GMT

    The author has a point in the merits of Yuvraj but comparing an over-hyped careless player to somebody who spent decades in incarceration fighting for a cause against tyranny, is unacceptable.

  • on December 6, 2010, 4:35 GMT

    munaf is best bowler available for world cup.he is very consistent.he worked hard on line and length.I think he is better option than ishant sharma.yuvraj is more likely to play.there is no point in playing jadeja again n again.according to me this shoud be the indian team for world cup. 1.sachin tendulkar 2.virendra sehwag 3.virat kohli 4.gautam gambhir 5.suresh raina 6.yuvraj singh 7.m s dhoni 8.yusuf pathan 9.harbhajan singh 10.zaheer khan 11.munaf patel 12.ashish nehra 13.murli vijay 14.sreeshant 15.dinesh karthik 16.pragyan ojha

  • on December 6, 2010, 4:31 GMT

    why there is a talk yuvraj might miss WC.. nobody is saying that, what's the need to make an issue out of it, except for manufacturing news.. and secondly if munaf has to play, who he is going to replace? Zaheer, srisanth, ishant, praveen are four auto choices and aswin and bhajji as two spinners, then dhoni, followed by 8 batsmen. even if munaf comes in somehow in a 16 men squad he hasn't done anything spectacular recently to secure place in first 11. I don't get it why a whole article dedicated on lost cause!!!

  • Nampally on December 6, 2010, 4:27 GMT

    Dileep, excellent historical summary of events behind Munaf and Yuvraj's treatment by the Indian Selectors.In the current Indian side Yuvraj should be an automatic choice for Indian World XI.Even in the last test Yuvraj was not given any bowling by Gambhir which is inexplicable. Instead jadeja was tried at over 5 runs/over and no wickets.Yuvraj took 3 sharp catches in close in field. In the previous ODI Yuvraj had 4 wickets against NZ.He also scored runs in the firat ODI and did not bat in the third and was NO in the second.It is futile to compare Yuvraj to either Pathan or Jadeja. He is head and shoulder above both in every department of the game.You correctly state India need 7 specialist bats which must include Yuvraj, who can bowl tidy overs.Munaf's place is still doubtful. Zaheer& Ishant and may be Nehra will make up the 3 pacemen. I personally prefer Unadkat or Mithun for the 3rd paceman.I prefer Ashwin/ojha to Harbhajan but Bhaiji will make it on his past record & batting.

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on December 6, 2010, 4:27 GMT

    The thing with munaf is that he just comes in and bowl at the aimed spot but there is no real zest or enthusiasm who does not care about his spot he can be so valuable to team with his hit the deck attitude and seaming it either ways he needs to develop a bit of PASSION this is the word for him for playing for country and can be a wonderful asset as he is perfect for any conditions in seaming or in flat decks to bowl consistently in the corridor that is good length and aim top of off stump consistently

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  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on December 6, 2010, 4:27 GMT

    The thing with munaf is that he just comes in and bowl at the aimed spot but there is no real zest or enthusiasm who does not care about his spot he can be so valuable to team with his hit the deck attitude and seaming it either ways he needs to develop a bit of PASSION this is the word for him for playing for country and can be a wonderful asset as he is perfect for any conditions in seaming or in flat decks to bowl consistently in the corridor that is good length and aim top of off stump consistently

  • Nampally on December 6, 2010, 4:27 GMT

    Dileep, excellent historical summary of events behind Munaf and Yuvraj's treatment by the Indian Selectors.In the current Indian side Yuvraj should be an automatic choice for Indian World XI.Even in the last test Yuvraj was not given any bowling by Gambhir which is inexplicable. Instead jadeja was tried at over 5 runs/over and no wickets.Yuvraj took 3 sharp catches in close in field. In the previous ODI Yuvraj had 4 wickets against NZ.He also scored runs in the firat ODI and did not bat in the third and was NO in the second.It is futile to compare Yuvraj to either Pathan or Jadeja. He is head and shoulder above both in every department of the game.You correctly state India need 7 specialist bats which must include Yuvraj, who can bowl tidy overs.Munaf's place is still doubtful. Zaheer& Ishant and may be Nehra will make up the 3 pacemen. I personally prefer Unadkat or Mithun for the 3rd paceman.I prefer Ashwin/ojha to Harbhajan but Bhaiji will make it on his past record & batting.

  • on December 6, 2010, 4:31 GMT

    why there is a talk yuvraj might miss WC.. nobody is saying that, what's the need to make an issue out of it, except for manufacturing news.. and secondly if munaf has to play, who he is going to replace? Zaheer, srisanth, ishant, praveen are four auto choices and aswin and bhajji as two spinners, then dhoni, followed by 8 batsmen. even if munaf comes in somehow in a 16 men squad he hasn't done anything spectacular recently to secure place in first 11. I don't get it why a whole article dedicated on lost cause!!!

  • on December 6, 2010, 4:35 GMT

    munaf is best bowler available for world cup.he is very consistent.he worked hard on line and length.I think he is better option than ishant sharma.yuvraj is more likely to play.there is no point in playing jadeja again n again.according to me this shoud be the indian team for world cup. 1.sachin tendulkar 2.virendra sehwag 3.virat kohli 4.gautam gambhir 5.suresh raina 6.yuvraj singh 7.m s dhoni 8.yusuf pathan 9.harbhajan singh 10.zaheer khan 11.munaf patel 12.ashish nehra 13.murli vijay 14.sreeshant 15.dinesh karthik 16.pragyan ojha

  • on December 6, 2010, 4:53 GMT

    The author has a point in the merits of Yuvraj but comparing an over-hyped careless player to somebody who spent decades in incarceration fighting for a cause against tyranny, is unacceptable.

  • Percy_Fender on December 6, 2010, 4:54 GMT

    I do not think that either Munaf or Yuvraj can or will be left out from the World Cup squad. Munaf is very M'grath like most of the time these days, but it is wrong to think that he is a mere 125 kmph trundler as we see him these days.He may be reducing his pace to keep free of injuries as he has had in the past He can bowl quite easily at around 140 kmph and generate a lot of bounce. The problem with Munaf is probably that he may be having that streak of rebellion in him against the establishment. To get the best from him, he must be allowed to realise and feel that his team values him. He can be a match winner if Dhoni nurtures his talent and utilises him strategically and making his position in the team secure. He has shown how good a bowler he now is in the three ODIs and must be selected. The other thing is this all rounder option crisis that we hear of so frequently. Yuvraj is indeed better than either Jadeja or Yusuf and can definitely bowl more than 6/7 overs in each game.

  • on December 6, 2010, 4:55 GMT

    we need both yuvi and munaf.. and also Robin uthappa..but v don't kw y the selectors not considering him....Cricket is a skill not other than that....even for robin is not giving a single chance to get into the team...its too dangerous and also if the selectors gave importance to any other thing than the skills of a player.. it may affect future of our cricket...the same thing happening to irfan pathan also.....

  • on December 6, 2010, 5:49 GMT

    Man...., i am looking for this kind of article which supports Yuvraj...True match winner. Cannot imagine India winning world cup without yuvi. No evidence to say that Yuvi had failed to perform in international leve at any point of time (exclude 2007 T20)l? any evidence?

  • RaDIN on December 6, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    It's nice to see Yuvraj coming good with the ball. India is looking for a No: 7, allrounder's slot. Kohli's batting has put the limelight on him & he can't be ignored from the playing XI. That means, play him in Yuvraj's place & Yuvraj must fill the all rounder's slot. Top 7 batting line up can be changed slighltly like this: 1. Sachin, 2.Sehwag, 3.Gambhir, 4. Kohli, 5. Yuvraj, 6. Dhoni, 7.Raina. Raina & Sehwag can do bowling as well. I strongly believe batting should be perfect to win this world cup.

  • on December 6, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    good one boss......... India atleast needs yuvi in its team ...........