If you're talking about the test series that just concluded, it's way past time to retire all the oldies - Dravid, Lakshman and Tendulkar. Just b'cos they are all great players who saw India to the #1 spot in test cricket over the last decade doesn't mean that they're still
the right choice for India. If Tendulkar's 100th century is that important, select him for India's next series against Zimbabwe or Bangladesh, but not beyond that. Let him make that milestone, and after that, just stop selecting him if he won't retire on his own. As for Dravid & Lakshman, if Cricket Australia can drop Ponting, and in the past, could drop Border, Taylor and Waugh, then there is no reason that the Indian selectors should treat any of them like sacred cows.
For India's next test series, I'd have a team that runs somewhat like
Gambhir, Valthaty, Pujara, Sehwag, Riana, Kohli, Dhoni, Harbhajan, Ishant, Aaron, Ojha
Extras would be Parthiv, Badrinath, Umesh Yadav, Shreesanth, Ashwin,
I don't see a reason for Dhoni to not continue as captain in tests, despite this defeat, b'cos he's generally been India's greatest captain to date. That said, captains nowadays last 2 years and don't wait until retirement to quit that job. If either the board or Dhoni chooses to change captains here, I'd put Harbhajan as the captain, rather than Sehwag, whose place in the side shouldn't be automatic, given his inconsistency in performance. Also, if Dhoni has to quit leading any of the formats, I'd rather he drop the limited overs formats rather than the tests, in which case, Zaheer should lead the 50-50 side, and Sehwag the 20-20 side.
If we are discussing the one day side, I'd say that India has it right about the batting (except Tendulkar) but needs better decisionmaking on the bowling side. I'd have preferred Praveen Kumar in the side instead of Vinay Kumar, and had for the spinners, had Ashwin, Jadeja, Amit Mishra and maybe Yusuf Pathan. I agree w/ the rotation policy, and think it should be spread out such that nobody is just warming the bench, but gets a go during matches, so that they don't suddenly find themselves out in the middle if and when somebody is injured. About the rotation of Gambhir/Sehwag/Tendulkar, I agree that all 3 of them shoudln't be selected at the same time, since their combined slowness in fielding costs the team 20 runs. And again, Tendulkar's scores haven't been any better than Ponting, so rather than embarrass him by putting him in the middle, they should stick to Gambhir & Sehwag, and look to strengthen the middle order. Maybe bring in Parthiv Patel or Wriddhiman Saha. I prefer the latter in that if he is brought in, he can bat after Jadeja, while Dhoni's role in that case can simply be that of a batsman, who can come in @ #3, instead of Kohli, who's not been clicking in that spot the way he used to. Rather, Kohli has been doing better coming later down, like in the tests, where he was #6.
So, for the one day side, I'd have
Gambhir, Sehwag, Patel/Dhoni, Rohit, Riana, Kohli, Dhoni/Saha, Jadeja, Irfan, Zaheer, Umesh/Ashwin
More long term, I'd have Kohli and Riana play mainly in tests, while bringing in some major performers from the T20 side into the one day side. Guys like Yusuf Pathan, Rahane, Saurabh Tiwari, Ambati Rayudu and so on.
Edited by .Vrish. - 20 February 2012 at 11:37am