THE WORLD CUP TEAM WE NEED
The composition of the Indian cricket XI is hotly debated. As the World Cup draws closer, to get the flavour of what the cricket fan thinks, BT draws up its own panel of five selectors, who choose the team they feel has the aggro and the drive to win
The panel's decision is unanimous – Sourav Ganguly must come back as the captain of the Indian team.
Why… "Because he's a tiger. He's aggressive and can fire up the team. He's India's answer to Ricky Ponting, who plays to win," says Alyque. "Sourav can motivate the boys with his pep talk. And the youngsters are in awe of Ganguly. He is the only one who can bring team spirit to the quite fragmented team we have now," echoes Mandira. And Arbaaz feels, "He's the captain who stuck his neck out for his boys at the cost of displeasing selectors and coach. Imran Khan used to stick up for his boys, and that is why he was such a great captain. And Ganguly is similar in attitude." Bhatt echoes this with, "Dravid is Mr Right. They say Ganguly is erratic, temperamental… agreed, but he's got a charisma…."
BT'S WORLD CUP TEAM- WHO, AND WHY
Ganguly (Opener & Captain)
We have no choice. There's no replacement for Ganguly. He's an aggressive player, and can keep the scoreboard flying.
Virender Sehwag (to open with Ganguly)
It doesn't matter if he's out of form. He's a gutsy, big match player. He can, in three overs, change the course of the match.
Is the 'mental' backbone of the team. If he scores, the rest of the team is motivated to win.
MS Dhoni (WK)
His flamboyance is necessary for the team. A big match performer too.
Not a fast scorer, but he's a tenacious holder-on. Stabilises a match.
His catches have turned matches. Not too bat with a bat either.
Let's hope he comes back. Is a good mid-fielder, a big-hitter too.
He's India's best bowler.
Can complement Pathan's attack from the other end.
The only economical spinner
Quick hand in batting but his spin is no less unnerving. Reserves: Dinesh Mongia; Gautam Gambhir; Zahir Khan; Ramesh Pawar.
THESE STARS DON'T SHINE ENOUGH...
"They've Bollywood-ised cricket by making stars out of certain players. They give them all the money, all the backup, and when they are not in form, turn the other way. What if the prize money is shared by the entire team? Then, everyone'll be equally motivated, and there'll be no politics"
– ALYQUE PADAMSEE
"They do not show the door to some so called 'stars' who are nothing but jaded, tired people who're trying to match up to their own act. How can they inspire anyone else to perform?"
– MILAN LUTHRIA
"If you send a Dinesh Mongia to play when five wickets are down, and only 125 on the scoreboard, and then drop him for the next match because he didn't perform a miracle, that's wrong. That is why the Indian team sees players making a comeback sometimes as many as four times in a year"
– ARBAAZ KHAN
HOW CRUCIAL A COACH?
The selectors are still arguing this one… though the naysers are 4:1 in favour of Chappell.
Keep Chappell… Milan says, "Keep him as the coach, but put in someone else like Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, or even Ravi Shastri as an add on." Mandira and Arbaaz feel that this will create pandemonium among already low-on-morale team. "Where is the time for a new coach to try something new? It'll make a basket case out of the already pressurized boys. Let Chappell be," they say. Says Bhatt, "When everyone is making an ass out of themselves, why blame Chappell?" asks Bhatt.
Change Chappell: Says Alyque, "He has picked the right team, but has failed to coach them to win. Maybe because he's out to make a ruthless Aussie team out of our mild boys. We need someone like Nasser Hussain."
Who will choose the actual World Cup team
Dilip Vengsarkar (West Zone, chairman of the selection board); Venkatapathy Raju (South Zone); Sanjay Jagdale (Central Zone); Bhupinder Singh Sr (North Zone); Ranjib Biswal (East Zone)
THE BT PANEL
That thinks the team on this page should be the one going to the World Cup
Theatreperson and ad guru
Cricketers are not just players, they are performers too. Alyque talks of Team India's brand value and acumen
This self-confessed cricket freak never misses a big match. Just the reason why he has encyclopedic info of the game
He has a passionate one on cricket. Bhatt continues his tirade against 'star system' here too
Filmmaker, is currently making Hatrick
After research on cricket for his film, he knows everything about the game, and more
Cricket show host "I am an outsider with an inside view," explains Mandira, a veteran of cricket shows (yeah right)
So your views...
Should Ganguly be handed the baton ??
Should Laxman be included in the team?
Take your pick of the 16 member squad...
Do you think the current team stands any chance of clinching the world cup.....?? (I sense deja vu,in 2003,India went down in the tubes in New Zealand,where they lost both the test and the one dayers,...They bounced back wonderfully in South Africa??...Can we hope for soemthign similar)
Any more experimentations??Or should we stick to the usual team