India in West Indies, 2011 May 12, 2011

Selectors meet with many variables

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India's first selection meeting after the World Cup triumph - to pick the side for the West Indies tour - promises to be an open affair, not least because at least three first-choice players are almost certain to miss the limited-overs leg. The new coach, Duncan Fletcher, too, flies down for the selection meeting, adding more interest to the proceedings.

With Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan almost sure to opt out, Virender Sehwag off for his shoulder surgery and Ashish Nehra still recovering from the broken finger that kept him out of the World Cup final, there are quite a few places for the selectors to debate upon. There is also doubt over the extent, if any, of MS Dhoni's participation in the limited-overs leg of the tour.

In any case, indications are that Gautam Gambhir is set to become the full-time vice-captain across formats, taking over from Virender Sehwag, who had previously expressed his reluctance to perform the role. Gambhir captained India to a 5-0 ODI series win over New Zealand last year when Dhoni flew to South Africa to acclimatise for a Test series that began six days after the last New Zealand ODI. If Dhoni shoulders arms this time, Gambhir will be the captain for the limited-overs games. If Gambhir too wants a rest, Harbhajan Singh, who has announced his availability for the whole tour, could make his captaincy debut.

Praveen Kumar is a ready replacement for Zaheer, and Ishant Sharma should take Nehra's place. Sreesanth's inclusion could face some competition from R Vinay Kumar. Piyush Chawla, who was part of the World Cup squad, is unlikely to retain his place. Pragyan Ojha is the logical replacement, but it is understood that Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja and Rahul Sharma are all in contention.

The interesting point here is whether the selectors will factor in IPL performances in the case of, say, Rahul. The legspinner has been a standout performer for Pune Warriors this IPL season, but does not have a strong domestic record to back him. Picking players straight out of the IPL hasn't been a fruitful experience in the past. Manpreet Gony and Ashok Dinda are prime examples.

M Vijay would have been the automatic replacement for Sehwag's opening spot in a Test squad, but things are not so straightforward in ODIs: he has a top score of 33 in 11 innings in the format. Picking Parthiv Patel, who has done enough to overtake Dinesh Karthik as the No.2 wicketkeeper, will provide India with a reserve opener in addition to a wicketkeeper. S Badrinath and Rohit Sharma, the two top run-getters in the Ranji Trophy, are strong contenders for the batting vacancies. The other left-field options are Manoj Tiwary and Ambati Rayudu, who can keep wicket as well.

Likely XV: Gautam Gambhir (capt), Parthiv Patel (wk), M Vijay (openers), Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Rohit Sharma / S Badrinath (middle order), Harbhajan Singh, R Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha / Ravindra Jadeja/ Amit Mishra / Rahul Sharma (spinners), Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel, Ishant Sharma, Sreesanth/ R Vinay Kumar (pace bowlers)

If Dhoni does go for the whole tour, though, he is not likely to play all five ODIs. One of the spinners or batsman might have to make way for him.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 13, 2011, 8:26 GMT

    For selectors its very difficult to miss out any one these three (RAYUDU,PARTHIB,UTHAPPA) as WK.One of the each pair should be picked as this. BADRI/VIRAT, ROHIT/RAINA, YOUSUF/YUVRAJ, IRFAN/PRAVEEN,ASWINI/HARBHAJAN, MANOJ/SAURAV, PARTHIV/VIJAY, RAYUDU/DHONI

  • Dummy4 on May 13, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    My proposed team is as under:

    1. Gautham Gambhir. 2. Robin Utappa 3. Virat Kohli 4. Rohit Sharma 5. Yuvraj Singh 6. Suresh Raina 7. Murali Vijay 8. R. Ashwin 9. RavindraJadeja 10. Amit Mishra 11. Rahul Sharma 12. Ishant Sharma 13. Munaf Patel 14. Irfan Pathan 15. Vinay Kumar 16. Badinath

  • Ravi on May 13, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    this is my team if dhoni is opted out : GAMBHIR (c) , yuvraj (vc) BATTING ORDER : VIJAY,DINESH KARTHIK,GAMBHIR, KOHLI,YUVRAJ,BADRINATH,,RAINA,HARBHAJAN,ASHWIN,PRAVEEN KUMAR,ISHANT,

    if dhoni is there then : DHONI (c) , GAMBHIR (VC) BATTING ORDER : MURALI VIJAY,GAMBHIR, KOHLI,YUVRAJ,BADRINATH,DHONI,RAINA,HARBHAJAN,ASHWIN,PRAVEEN KUMAR,ISHANT,

    i hope this team can do it.... many people may ask me questions why dinesh karthik and not parthiv patel the main reason is that dinesh karthik has the ability to play at any position and in our team we all ready have 3 openers with vijay,gambhir,kohli and even before raina was also sent 1 down so it would be great if karthik be in the team....and even some people may ask why vijay not parthiv .... the reason is that he has had a great ranji season and he is a prolific run scorers in ipl ... also got a wonderful century against aussie.. also got a century against his name in ipl... badri also a great player never got as many chances as rohit

  • Guru on May 13, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    Hey pals Here Is My ODI Team: Gambhir Capt, vijay, Badrinath, Rohit sharma, suresh raina, virat kohli, amati raydu, Ravindre jadeja, yusuf pathan, Amit mishra, munaf patel, Ishatnh Shrama, R Vinay kumar, Praveen kumar, Parthiv patel.

  • hrushikesh on May 13, 2011, 7:51 GMT

    where is valthaty ,he must be in playing xi.....

  • Dummy4 on May 13, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    Time to make way for the juniors..... seniors will have a loads of time to prepare for the English tour. My Probables Gambhir (c), Vijay, Parthiv (wk), Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Yusuf, Rohit, Badri, Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Rahul Sharma, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel, Ishant Sharma, Sreesanth, R Vinay Kumar.

    This could be a good chance for the juniors to chip in.

  • harish on May 13, 2011, 7:41 GMT

    WE must realize that though several young cricketers have done well in the IPL, most of them have mega flopped in the international scenario (you can check this yourself). So, the selectors have to be very cautious with people like Rayudu and Rahul Sharma. It is wiser to test these talents in an India A overseas tour against the likes of the England Lions and Australia A before plugging them into international cricket, which as history suggests is miscarriage.

  • Rohit on May 13, 2011, 7:36 GMT

    Why are'nt names of Pandey and Mithun in consideration?A stint with CSK might help

  • harish on May 13, 2011, 7:30 GMT

    Though M Vijay has been somewhat good this domestic season, I think his TN opening partner Abhinav Mukund deserves a scrutiny. But it is his and maybe the country's misfortune that CSK can't find a place for him in their current line up.

  • Dummy4 on May 13, 2011, 7:22 GMT

    I think Gauti is the best option for captaincy

    My 15 number squad for west indies without seniors is

    1.Gautam Gambhir (capt) 2.Parthiv Patel (wk) 3.Virat Kohli 4.Yuvraj Singh 5.Yusuf Pathan 6.Suresh Raina 7.S Badrinath 8.Harbhajan Singh 9.R Ashwin 10.Ravindra Jadeja 11.Praveen Kumar 12.Munaf Patel 13.Ishant Sharma 14.S.Sreesanth / Irfan Pathan(b'coz V want an all-rounder for continuing our NO.1 spot) 15.Rohit Sharma/ Ambati Raydu/ Manoj Tiwary.

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