In Hot Seat, we present our writers with a tricky cricketing situation and ask them to captain their way out of it.
Scenario: You are captaining an ODI World XI against a team of aliens in a day-night game in Mumbai and have been set 310 to win. Rohit Sharma and Jason Roy are your openers and you reach 50 for 0 after ten overs. Off the next ball, Roy falls, but before the No.3 can come in, the umpires stop play for rain. When the game resumes, the DLS target is 221 in 30 overs. So the equation is now 171 to win off 19.5 overs. You can pick any active ODI cricketer to come in at No.3.
Danyal Rasool: Jos Buttler
This is no longer an ODI chase but a T20 one. And for a T20 chase in Mumbai, it is hard to look past Buttler, whose recent IPL record is irresistible. He has averaged 47.72 and struck at 153.94 over the past two seasons. In the 2016 and 2017 seasons, he played for Mumbai Indians, so he will be familiar with the conditions. Also, it helps that he often comes to the crease in situations where there's little time to get settled, and with the asking rate fast approaching 9, that ability should pay off. He played a couple of important cameos at the Wankhede in the 2016 World T20 too. While his side will need more than that against an, ahem, unfamiliar bowling attack, a flying start after the resumption should help keep the asking rate in check for the middle order.
Karthik Krishnaswamy: Shreyas Iyer
Rain has turned a steep ODI chase into a fairly straightforward T20 chase. I'm not sure what the field restrictions are, but I'm assuming the second powerplay - with only four fielders outside the 30-yard circle - will be in place until the last four or five overs. I'd want the batsman coming in to be able to read fields and bowlers' plans and pick off a boundary every now and then without taking too many risks. So step forward Shreyas Iyer. Over the last year or so, Iyer has more or less solved India's long-standing No. 4 issue in ODIs with a clear head, fast hands, and a great understanding of which bowlers to target and when. This situation is tailor-made for his game.
Nagraj Gollapudi: AB de Villiers
This has to be treated like a T20 chase. Sharma plays the anchor, so the No. 3 needs to be someone who can both attack and bat long. If I had to pick a young Indian player, I would go with Shubman Gill. He has the temparament, skills, and the right technique to attack and rotate strike, but I will put him at No. 4. At three, how about ABD? The experience and the aura will come in handy. With both him and Sharma able to play strokes that others can only marvel at, there would be constant pressure on the aliens, who might need to grow brains to figure out a way to stall the assault that will come from nowhere and everywhere. Good luck, aliens!
Alan Gardner: Jos Buttler
After a relatively sedate start, this World XI is going to have start tearing things up pretty quickly. This is basically a T20 chase, albeit with the fielding restrictions off, so I would turn to a man who oscillates between opener in the shortest format and finisher in ODIs. Buttler is also used to being bumped up the order if England have made a good start, so he'll be primed for the challenge. As a white-ball batsman who combines power with innovation, he has few peers, while his IPL experience should stand him in good stead to steer his side home under the Wankhede lights.
Send your answers to the scenario to firstname.lastname@example.org.