On the right path for World Cup 2011?
India's preparation for the mega event next year seems less than ideal!
While the World talks of two mega powers - India and China, being the force to reckon with in the near future, both these countries seem to be walking in a opposite direction. China, definitely with the successful hosting of Beijing Olympics cleared all the negative thoughts one had with it. One thing to be noted is that how quickly the image of country changes after it hosts any mega sporting event in a efficient manner- both in case of China and South Africa.
India on the other hand has more than one opportunities to prove its mettle. The Common Wealth Games and the Cricket World Cup in 2011 are two major events lined up. While the Common Wealth Games have turned into Con Wealth Games, the Cricket fraternity in India would not like to see such a fiasco for the Cricket World Cup. With fiasco, I mean both in terms of Administration and Performance.
Leaving aside the administrative and non-Cricketing matters for BCCI to resolve and talking only about the performance part, it still seems less than ideal. For a team which holds number one ranking in tests, least I can say is that it is not the kind of effort, a champion team puts in.
Talking of the ongoing Tri-Series, it will be very much fair to say that India are in finals not because of any team effort, but because of one man - Virender Sehwag. Indian batsmen have scored 585 runs so far, out of which Sehwag has scored 240 runs. Dhoni is the second highest contributor with 73 runs and the third highest contributor is 57 runs in form of extras. Now that is enough to put all other batsmen to shame. A hallmark of a Champion team is its team effort and not individual brilliance.
A question that comes to my mind is, Is this the ideal team for World Cup? No doubt, we would be bolstered by the return of Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh. But is this the bench strength we have?
The search of the all-rounder still goes on. Dhoni is still hoping that Ravindra Jadeja would turn into one, if not by his talent, then by the quantum of cricket he has played. Irfan Pathan still seems to me as a better choice compared to Ravindra Jadeja. This guy must definitely thank his stars, for other deserving players are not even getting a chance to enter the team.
The middle order looks in complete disarray. It is high time for players like Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik to stand up and be counted. How long would they be excused for being youngsters? The other thing is the attitude of many middle order batsmen. Do we remember the times when Mohammed Kaif and Yuvraj Singh were the new entrants in the team? Do we see a change in attitude compared to then? I do not know how Dhoni is going to fix this middle order problem, but one of the solutions was given by a gentleman from our neighbouring country - Wasim Akram. Recently he had suggested bringing Rahul Dravid into the scheme of things for he still has lot of Cricket left in him.
The bowling unit is doing well in pathches. But on course to the World Cup, Dhoni may face a problem of plenty to chose from Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel, Sreesanth, RP Singh, Abhimanyu Mithun, Ishant Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha etc. Also the frequency with each bowlers are getting injured, the fitness needs to be looked into as well.
May Dhoni and Co may fix all these problems before the World Cup and give our little master a perfect farewell gift, for most probably this is his last world cup!