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Posts Tagged ‘irfan pathan’

India’s squad for their upcoming tour of the Caribbean makes interesting reading. In the absence of Sehwag and Raina (injured), Tendulkar and Zaheer (rested), and Munaf Patel and Irfan Pathan (dropped), there are one or two names that require a little mental exploration before recognition is achieved.

Ashish Nehra hasn’t played for India since 2005, and Abhishek Nayar, is, I must confess, a mystery to me – although he has made an impression on some, and his 99 in the Ranji Trophy final (as well as his IPL experience) marks him out as someone to keep any eye out for.

Ravindra Jadeja is also a relative newcomer to the full Indian side, having only played a single ODI, but he has impressed in the past for the Under-19 side, and featured in the World Twenty20 side.

The squad in full is as follows: MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Yusuf Pathan, Murali Vijay, Subramaniam  Badrinath, RP Singh, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Abhishek Nayar, Ashish Nehra, Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Karthik.

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With Sehwag out of the One-Day series against Sri Lanka, India’s limited-overs side faces a conundrum in selecting his replacement. Virat Kohli was thrown in at the deep end in the first ODI, and fared poorly (although who didn’t for India?).

Subramaniam Badrinath has never opened in a One-Day match, Parthiv Patel has but not very successfully, and Irfan Pathan has but even less successfully. What’s to be done?

I’d keep faith with Kohli, although I am probably not in the majority on that, and it might put a lot of pressure on Gambhir, who would need to adapt his approach in the absence of an experienced swashbuckler at the other end. Ultimately, India need a bit more solidity and confidence all the way down the order, and worrying about Mendis is counterproductive, especially when he’s not bowling.

That said, if India are all out again for less than 250 tomorrow, heads might start rolling.

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After the failure of their middle order and all the wicketkeeping issues in the Test series, India will be relieved to wave goodbye to the Failing Fab Four and welcome back the ‘rested’ MS Dhoni for the One-Day matches against Sri Lanka.

As well as Dhoni, the likes of hip young gunslingers Yuvraj Singh and Irfan Pathan also join the tour for the limited-overs segment, as does hipper, younger gunslinger Virat Kohli. There was always going to be pressure on the One-Day specialists following India’s poor performances in the Tests, and the absence of Tendulkar through injury means there will be even more. Success will also depend on whether openers Sehwag and Gambhir can continue their good form, one of India’s few bright spots, from the longer form of the game.

For Sri Lanka, much rests on the spin bowling of Muralitharan and bright young thing Ajantha Mendis, but they will also be happy to welcome back ‘Uncle’ Sanath Jayasuriya for the One-Day series. Following victory over India in the Asian Cup final, Sri Lanka will find themselves favourites. Their fast bowling, however, remains much-depleted, with only Vaas having any real experience.

If India’s ‘new blood’ can deal with Mendis and Muralitharan better than their aging Test counterparts, they have a good chance in the series, but Sri Lanka’s home record is almost as formidable in the 50-over format as it is in Tests.

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This week’s videos are on the subject of that Holy Grail for Bowlers – the hat-trick.

Irfan Pathan’s in the first three balls of a Test match against Pakistan is a classic of the genre, as is one of my personal favourites, Dominic Cork’s ‘Champagne’ hat-trick against a formidable West Indies side.

Spinners’ hat-tricks tend to be a bit heavier on the psychological warfare, and Warne and Harbhajan have both ripped through batting orders using this tactic.

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