Embarrassment Of Riches For The Selectors

The ongoing Asia Cup is considered a curtain raiser for the World Cup to be held in England next summer and the manner in which India are performing it augurs well for them as far as the big stage is concerned. Sure some leading contenders like Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa will be around but one can already see the No 2 ranked Indians as among the front runners to regain the cup they have won twice. After a none too impressive start against Hong Kong the Indians have demolished Pakistan twice as well as Bangladesh and should lift the trophy on Friday. They didn’t come up against Sri Lanka but like the West Indies the island nation too are clearly on the decline and cannot be taken anymore as serious contenders for a regional title let alone an international one.

This optimism also stems from the fact that the selectors could well have an embarrassment of riches on their hands when it comes to picking the World Cup squad. Right from the top order to the middle order in batting to pace bowling and spin bowling there are a number of choices and MSK Prasad and his co selectors could well have a bit of headache when it comes to deciding on the final squad.

Roughly the breakup of the squad for English conditions should be eight batsmen (including the wicketkeeper) an all-rounder and six bowlers. Among the eight batsmen three should be openers. Among the six bowlers, four should be pacemen and two spinners with the all-rounder being the additional paceman. If one analyses the contenders for the slots there are any number of ready claimants and it is here that the selectors will face a tough task as they have to restrict the number to 15.

Granted that some of the players are certainties but these would constitute perhaps half the squad. It is the remaining half for which there are at least twice the number of claimants if not more and picking from among them will provide a welcome problem for the selectors.

Of course there are more than seven months left for the start of the World Cup and form and fitness could play an important role in the final selection. Yes, these are early days still but at the moment there is every reason to feel optimistic about the Indian team’s chances at the mega event.

Tags: MSK Prasad

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