IPL: More Than A Window Of Opportunity




IPL - A Window Of Opportunity

IPL – A Window Of Opportunity

A look at the possible candidates for India’s tour of the West Indies.

After the euphoria of the World Cup and its ongoing celebration in the IPL, the Men in Blue get back on the road again. The cycle of away tours begin again starting with the tour of the Carribean which consists of three Tests, five ODIs and one T20 international.  India’s cricketers have been playing nonstop and as a result, there is news floating around that the senior players may be rested in a phased manner during the series. This gives an opportunity for the fringe players who would like to cement their place in the team.

Also Read: India Tour Of West Indies 2011 – Complete Schedule

Let me start with the test squad, where it more or less a settled lineup, with many slots being filled beforehand. Virender Sehwag looks certain to miss the series to undergo a shoulder operation; hence the automatic choices for the openers’ slot are Gautam Gambhir and Murali Vijay. The three legends of the game viz Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman will occupy their slots along with captain MS Dhoni. Zaheer Khan will lead the pace attack along with the much improved Munaf Patel. The other seamer who should make the squad are S Sreesanth and Ishant Sharma. Harbhajan Singh should lead the spin department while Amit Mishra and Pragyan Ojha should also make the trip. That leaves three spots and it will be an interesting tussle between Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli for filling two slots. A reserve keeper in the form of Parthiv Patel or Dinesh Karthik may also be selected, while a fifth seamer could also make the flight.

The shorter versions of the game are where all eyes will be, and the selectors are most likely to go with players on form in the ongoing IPL. Gautam Gambhir will most likely captain, with Yuvraj being his deputy. The only other certainties to make the trip are Virat Kohli, Harbhajan Singh, R Ashwin and Munaf Patel. Taking a look at players who impressed during this IPL, Paul Valthaty turned a few heads, while Rohit Sharma is back into national reckoning with some high quality knocks. Manoj Tiwari will also look to seal his spot, while Subramaniam Badrinath has been in tremendous form for the Chennai Super Kings.

The allrounders slot has to be Ravindra Jadeja’s while Irfan Pathan has a slim outside chance of making the cut, as the seam bowling department is wafer thin. The young leg spinner Rahul Sharma could also be given a fling. It is a straight up battle between Dinesh Karthik and Parthiv Patel for donning the gloves and although Ambati Rayudu has been exceptional with the bat, he is unlikely to make the team on pure glove ability alone. Young Aravind of the Royal Challengers looks a good prospect, but in all likelihood, it will be S Sreesanth and Umesh Yadav flying out. The young Iqbal Abdulla has also made waves. In my opinion, Suresh Raina should be rested while Yusuf Pathan and Saurabh Tiwary have just not made a strong enough claim for the India cap

The IPL is more than a platform for the players on the fringes of national selection, as they know that unlike previous editions, there is too much at stake this time around. An opportunity they cannot let pass by, a tour they cannot afford to miss out on.

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