Tag Archives: Cheteshwar Pujara

Indian Rookies Have A Lot To Play For

parvez rasool

By Kartik Kannan

India are currently ranked No. 1 in ODIs and one of the hallmarks of a top-ranking side over time is the quality of bench strength. While India get ready to play Zimbabwe without some of their senior players, it’s a good opportunity for some of the newcomers to perform and prove that the team’s DNA is not dependent on a few individuals, but is a high-performance culture that runs deep. I am reminded of the quadrangular series between England, Zimbabwe, Australia A and Australia in 1994-95, where the finals were contested by the two Australian sides. That showed to the world that Australia’s second XI was better than many international sides. India can learn a thing or two from that series as they aim to build an ODI team for the future. Over to the youngsters.

Parvez Rasool

The offspinning allrounder from Jammu and Kashmir has made it to the team on the back of consistent performances in the domestic season. Rasool will be looking to ease himself into the international scene in Zimbabwe, where the pressure on him to deliver would be lesser. He’s had a taste of the highest level, having played against the touring English and Australian sides recently.

If Rasool clicks, India would have found someone to share the spinners’ workload with R Ashwin. Rasool’s partnership with Ravindra Jadeja, who turns the ball the other way, will make for interesting viewing in the middle overs.

Pepsi IPL - The Final CSK v MI

Mohit Sharma

Mohit Sharma’s rise to the top was fast-tracked by his 2013 IPL season for the Chennai Super Kings. Mohit’s key strength is the ball that goes away, and he bowls an impressive attacking line. He was handled well by MS Dhoni in the IPL, and that surely played a part in his success. Having Mohit and Bhuvneshwar Kumar – a swing bowler who bowls at a lesser pace – bowling in tandem will give India an edge with the new ball.


Cheteshwar Pujara

India’s new-found performance man in Test cricket finally gets a chance to shine in the shorter format. Despite a tremendous List A average of 56.97, Pujara has unfairly been labelled as a slow run-getter. Given his recent successes, there’s no question over his technique on tricky wickets or against good quality seam bowling. In recent times, India have missed a sheet anchor in ODI cricket, and with two new balls coming into play, Pujara could be just the man for them.


Jaydev Unadkat

Unadkat sure knows the demands of international cricket, having endured a forgettable Test debut in South Africa in late 2010. He is a vastly improved bowler now, and has forced his way back into the set-up with consistent IPL performances. He has also had very successful A tours in New Zealand and England in the last couple of years. Zimbabwe’s spongy bounce could be helpful to his style of bowling, which relies on hitting the seam more often than not. His inclusion brings variety to India’s inexperienced seam-bowling group.

Ambati Rayudu

Having been one of the lynchpins of Mumbai Indians’ renaissance since IPL 3, Rayudu’s chance to represent the India team comes at just about the right time. He will lend depth to the middle order, and in Dhoni’s absence, could slot in as a finisher. Dinesh Karthik is likely to be India’s first-choice wicketkeeper, which could work against Rayudu. But if he gets a look-in, possibly ahead of Ajinkya Rahane, he should make it count.

This article was originally published at cricinfo and has been published with the authors permission

5 Reasons Why You Can’t Write-Off Sehwag



Geoffrey Boycott, the legendary former England opener has opined that we might have seen the last of Virender Sehwag. Here are five reasons why we think he is wrong.

  1. Sehwag has been written off many times previously but he has always come back stronger. People write him off stating his attitude towards hard work and his work ethic but what they forget is the huge amount of talent and the reason for that attitude. He probably has never had to struggle and on times he had to, he has come back strong, courtesy the same ego and nonchalant attitude. History is proof that only the ones with the biggest willpower succeed against the battle of aging. One cannot possibly have greater willpower than Viru.
  2. Some numbers will tell us why we are so confident he would make a comeback. We are talking of numbers that only legends could boast. For starters, Sehwag’s average of 51.72 is the highest by any Indian opener and a second all Test cricket’s best for a player who has opened for his country’s cricket team in 100 or more innings. Let’s take strike-rate because it’s important considering the number of matches players like Sehwag win on their hitting prowess. Keep aside Shahid Afridi, and Sehwag comes out number one on numbers. Sehwag’s strike rate is above 82 and do we need to tell how many times India has won after a Sehwag blitzkrieg.
  3. The bigger the challenge, the more dominating Sehwag has been so how can we write him off in a daunting situation like this. He knows the chips are down, he knows there’s huge pressure considering calls for his exit are loud but at the same time he also knows all about his talent and has been sounding confident on and off when we hear from him. He was once before also discarded from the team and we all know the kind of comeback he made so rest assured of another happy surprise and a nightmare for opposition.
  4. India’s biggest challenge lie ahead in foreign conditions, in South Africa, in New Zealand and though we have seen some youngsters of the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane do well, we still know what can happen to a young team with no experience in African conditions. For the sake of India, it would be great to see Sehwag back in the side and leading the younger brigade from the front. He might not have the best technique in foreign conditions but we all do remember what he did in Australia a few years back and a similar repeat is not out of consideration.
  5. The last bit is the fact that IPL has always been kind to Indian stars and this is Sehwag’s opportunity to tell the world his worth. We all know the potential, we all know the carnage qualities, it’s just that there has been a delay in display. He would be burning inside as well considering the amount of criticism he has seen in the last few months. The timing of IPL could not have been better for him to hit his critics on their backs.

Overall, someone like Viru cannot be written off just like that. He is a confidence and a quick 30 sometime might get him back to what he does best. I am hopeful that the showman, Indian cricket’s biggest entertainer stays for a while and entertains at the top of the order. 

Sehwag IPL