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India retain same squad for World Cup!

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There has been absolutely no surprises in the Indian Squad that has been picked for next month’s World Cup. The same set of 15 players that were involved in the two One Dayers against Sri Lanka have been retained for the mega event. The same squad will be playing in the remaining two ODIs against Sri Lanka.

One of the debatable selection was that of Dinesh Karthik’s as a specialist batsman. Karthik who has played in 11 ODIs till date has managed just the one fifty with a mediocre average of 20.71. But the Selectors and the team management are keen on having this 21-year-old due to his spirited show with the bat and in the field in the recent series. The other questionable selections were that of Virender Sehwag and Irfan Pathan with both of them not doing much as far as their performance is concerned. However, the Selectors have kept faith in these two players who had won quite a few matches in their careers on their own.

All the fitness worries that were over Yuvraj Singh, Irfan Pathan and Ajit Agarkar were kept aside as the World Cup is still a month away. Whatever injuries that these players were having are just small niggles which could go away in two or three days according to the Indian team physio. Youngsters Suresh Raina and Rudra Pratap Singh have been names as the reserve players for the two matches against Sri Lanka in the ongoing series.

The Selection meeting was more of a formality as the five selectors, the coach Greg Chappell and the Captain Rahul Dravid knew well in advance of the 15 players they were going to pick for the event. Niranjan Shah, the BCCI Secretary read out the squad to the media and also mentioned that the players would assemble in Mumbai on February 26 before leaving on the 28th to the West Indies. India’s Group B matches will be played in Trinidad with its opening match being against Bangladesh on the 17th of March.

What has Greg Chappell done??

When Greg Chappell took over as the Indian team coach from John Wright, there were drastic changes in the side and in the batting order. The likes of Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan and many proven players just diminished out of the equation. There were many youngsters who were included in the team with some of them not even having any solid domestic performances to speak for them.

The Indian team under the combination of Chappell and Dravid won matches against England and Sri Lanka without sweating much and then beat Pakistan comfortably. But the downward slide began once the stars like Virender Sehwag, MS Dhoni, Irfan Pathan among few others started to flop. India had poor series against West Indies who were ranked much below them in the ICC Ratings. Their One Day Series against South Africa was a disaster and with that the Selection Committee headed by Dilip Vengsarkar started to repair the damage done by recalling the seniors.

Now nine out of the 15 players that were picked for the 2003 World Cup have made it four years later as well! India has gone back to the experienced campaigners who were almost ruled out of this edition of the Cup ever since Greg Chappell had taken over. So now the question is whether Chappellism has done any good for Indian Cricket??

Indian Squad for World Cup : Rahul Dravid (Captain), Sachin Tendulkar (Vice-Captain), Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly, Robin Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Wicket Keeper), Dinesh Karthik (Wicket Keeper), Ajit Agarkar, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Sreesanth, Anil Kumble, Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel

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