Okay, right now, India is touring the West Indies, and due to the overkill of the world cup and then the IPL, a number of players, like Dhoni, SRT and so on skipped the LOI part of the series, and joined the team for the tests. But that highlights some more questions here.
Some of the cricketers, like Riana, Kohli, etc have not had any breaks whatsoever. In the meantime, some cricketers, like Ambati Rayudu, Paul Valthaty and so on are waiting in the wings, hoping that chances come their way. In the meantime, it's worth noting that some players, like Dravid & Lakshman, are only considered for tests and not ODIs, while some others, like Yusuf Pathan, would only be considered for ODIs, but not tests.
Given the packed international calendar, some teams are already looking at segregating the teams. England has taken the first step here w/ 3 captains - Strauss, Cook & Broad for the 3 formats, and possibly, might pick certain players only for certain formats. My question here, restricted to India for now, is whether India should have 3 completely separate teams, w/ no player playing in 2 or more formats. Obviously, that would mean 3 separate captains as well, not b'cos of any shortcomings of Dhoni, but rather, to reduce the burden on established players and at the same time, give opportunities to those who have proven themselves in domestic cricket or the IPL.
What do you think? Would you split up the Indian teams, and have 3 teams each specialized in their own format? Or would you continue to use the same players in either tests & 50-50s, or 50-50s & 20-20s, or all 3? And if you would split the teams, what would be India's test team, India's ODI team and India's T-20 team?
Here are my choices - feel free to weigh in. Note that I have 36 players in all, w/ nobody repeated across formats.
Gautam Gambhir/Rahul Dravid
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c & w)
Harbhajan Singh (vc)
Sachin Tendulkar /Virendra Sehwag (c)
A Mukund/Mayank Agarwal
Zaheer Khan (vc)Praveen Kumar
Rudra Pratap Singh
Yusuf Pathan (vc)
Dinesh Kartik (c & w)
R Vinay Kumar/Abu Nechim
In the above formats, since Gambhir & Sehwag are currently injured, the 12th man could be used - in the test side, Lakshman or Dravid could be asked to open alongside Valthalty, while in the 50-50 side, Mukund could temporarily substitute for Sehwag.
I kept Dhoni as the captain of the test side, w/ Harbhajan as his deputy (think it's a bit early for Riana so far). In the ODI side, I've had Sehwag lead, although given that that adds pressure on him, I might be open to either Zaheer Khan leading the side, or Rohit Sharma. While Sehwag is injured, I'd have Sachin in his place leading the side. I decided not to have the test team include all 3 of the senior players - Sachin, Dravid & Lakshman, so I put Sachin in one of the ODI sides.
For keeper, Dhoni stays in the test team, while I made Wriddhiman Saha as the keeper for the ODI side. That does weaken the batting of the 50-50 side somewhat, so while Sehwag is still injured, it might be a good idea to have Saha in the same team as Sachin, and have Dinesh Kartik & Parthiv Patel in the other. Parthiv Patel's keeping is still mediocre - it's his opening batting that he's used to claim a place back in the side, so if both Parthiv & Kartik are in the side, I'd have Kartik lead & keep.
In the test team, since Gauti is injured, I put Dravid to open, and brought Paul Valthalty into the side. The latter showed that he's capable of a long innings, but can't consistently give a sustained slog effort like a Chris Gayle, so I put him in the test side. Pujara did well in the one test where he was promoted to #3, and is certainly a test #3 bat. Following him is Laxman. In order to make the test side less vulnerable whenever Dravid & Laxman retire, I've included Kohli & Riana in the line-up, followed by Dhoni.
For the bowling, Ishant & Shreesanth - neither of whom are economical - have been included in this side to share the new ball. Harbhajan would be the primary spinner, and depending on the conditions, I'd either include Ojha or Aaron.
In the 50-50 team, since Sehwag is injured, I included Sachin in his place: once Sehwag is back, I might have SRT in the 20-20 side to strengthen that, and also put it under Sachin's leadership. Either Arvind Mukund or Mayank Agarwal would be the other opener. I included Ambati Rayudu here rather than in the 20-20 squad - he'd have been a better choice than Dhawan was in the WI. Badri too comes in based on his WI performance, followed by Rohit Sharma. I then followed it w/ Anirudha Srikkanth. Wriddhiman Saha is more of a pure keeper, which is why a big innings shouldn't be expected of him: in fact, I had him below Amit Mishra, but above Ashwin.
I'd have Ashwin open the bowling, and depending on the conditions, do it w/ either Zaheer Khan or Amit Mishra. If the conditions are not spin friendly, like, say Brisbane, I'd include RP Singh instead of Ashwin, and just open the bowling w/ Zaheer and Praveen. If Ashwin did open the bowling, I'd use him up in the first 2 powerplays, and use Amit Mishra and Sehwag/Sachin in the middle, and make sure I have enough of Zaheer and Praveen for the batting powerplay, as well as the last 10 overs.
In the 20-20 team, I'd keep Murli Vijay, who does well only in this format but not in others (and even for CSK, his performance was mediocre, but overlooked due to Hussey & Badri contributing big). Until Sachin could rejoin the team, I'd have Parthiv Patel opening w/ him. I'd follow that up w/ Saurabh Tiwari (who unfortunately had to bat low down since you had Gayle, Dilshan, Kohli, AB all precede him.) for some aggressive attack, and Manoj Tiwari as a middle order anchorman. Yusuf Pathan would follow to provide a late over accelaration. Dinesh Kartik would lead the side, as well as keep - a role akin to Dhoni.
The bowling has 3 medium pacers - Irfan, Munaf and Vinay Kumar, and 3 spinners - Iqbal, Piyush & Yusuf. That gives plenty of options depending on the attack. I'd prefer opening w/ Munaf and Iqbal for the first 6 powerplay overs, and then vary them w/ the others.
If you'd make up the teams differently, do so.