Indian team selectors gave a hint of things to come for the national team that’s going through one of its poorest runs in international cricket. Senior batsman and one of the mainstays of the team in all formats, Virender Sehwag was dropped from the ODI squad for the first 3 one day international against England series beginning January 11.
India had been persisting with their jaded, out-of-form veterans while denying opportunity to young players in prime fitness and form. Sachin Tendulkar retirement and Sehwag’s axing has signaled that the status quo would change although through one change at a time.
Coming into the squad at Sehwag’s expense is India new broad-blade in the standard mould, Cheteshwar Pujara. Pujara The 24-year-old scored a surprising double hundred against Madhya Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy.
Pujara is known more for his ability to play the long knock, something India desperately needs at the top of their batting order. In the 3 ODIs against Pakistan, they had starts of 29-5, 103-6 and 111-6. In the last 2 games, they were bowled out in the 160 runs.
Since his comeback from a shoulder surgery in 2011, Sehwag has produced one ODI innings of note – his 219 against the West Indies. After that innings, he has passed 50 just once in 11 innings.
Interestingly, the Sandeep Patil has also retained Rohit Sharma, who has had a horror run in limited overs cricket. He made 2, 4* and 4 in the 3 outings against Pakistan. His played last 5 ODI innings read 0, 0, 4, 4 and 4.
He has been persist with, as has been Gambhir who failed to come to tackle the inquiring Pakistani pace attack. Against Pakistan, Gambhir made scores of 8, 11 and 15 in the ODIs and 43 and 21 in the T20s runs.
One thing that will be tough to change is MS Dhoni’s captaincy. After helping the team scale unprecedented heights in the distant past, Dhoni has presided over 3 of their gravest Test series defeats against England and Australia, and then in the ODIs against Pakistan at home.
One thing going for Dhoni is his well form with the bat. Since the World Cup win, Dhoni averages a Bradmanesque 88.50 in 28 innings, making 1062 runs. In the first ODI against Pakistan, he bent one of his top knocks, creation an unbeaten 113 when it looked like India will fold for less than a hundred runs.
|1ST 3 ODIs INDIA SQUAD AGAINST ENGLAND|
|MS Dhoni(CA/WIK)||Ajinkya Rahane||Gautam Gambhir|
|Virat Kohli||Cheteshwar Pujara||Rohit Sharma|
|Yuvraj Singh||Suresh Raina||Ravindra Jadeja|
|Ravichandran Ashwin||Ishant Sharma||Ashok Dinda|
|Bhuvneshwar Kumar||Shami Ahmed||Amit Mishra|