TEAM INDIA SPECIALS


Dhoni's crew get set for the tri-nation series in Bangladesh followed by the Asia Cup in Pakistan

Wednesday, June 04, 2021



Team India squad: Analysis


© Sai Mohan

From the band of players who traveled to West Indies for the 2007 World Cup, only five players are a part of the Team India that prepares for the forthcoming tri-series in Bangladesh and the Asia Cup in Pakistan. This 15-man squad will now formulate a unit for the next month and a half ahead of the tour of Sri Lanka in July.

Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Robin Uthappa, Sreesanth and Irfan Pathan are the five survivors besides Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh who are injured and banned respectively. It has been a momentous transitory phase in India’s ODI outfit. 

Here is a list of positive and negative aspects in the 15-man squad led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, which has been picked for the forthcoming tournaments.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain and Wicketkeeper)

Numbers:

Career Stats

CB Triangular Series, 2008
Innings: 9 | Runs: 347 | Ave: 69.40 | 50s: 2 | S/R: 74

Home Series versus Pakistan, December 2007
Innings: 5 | Runs: 185 | Ave: 46.25 | 50s: 1 | S/R: 85

Overall versus Pakistan
Innings: 17 | Runs: 727 | Ave: 55.92 | 50s: 5 | 100s: 1

Overall Versus Bangladesh
Innings: 6 | Runs: 146 | Ave: 36.50 | 50s: 1


© Getty Images
Once again, Dhoni has got the team he desires. Will it click again?
Constructive
> Has proven particularly devastating against Pakistan in his four-year long ODI career. Also, he has a stupendous record playing in Pakistan (where the Asia Cup will be held).
> Has been consistently amongst the runs in the last 12 months or so and has formed a deadly ‘finishing’ combo with Yuvraj Singh, especially against Pakistan. The duo have won numerous matches for India, especially while chasing totals.

Downbeat
> Although, he has already played numerous match-winning knocks in his career, Dhoni’s biggest criticism remains playing irrational strokes and throwing his wicket away
> The new-fangled ODI captain has been touted as someone who has caused a junior-senior rift in the team and will be under fire as the Indian middle-order is quite an inexperienced one.

Yuvraj Singh (Vice-captain)

Numbers:

Career Stats

CB Triangular Series, 2008
Innings: 9 | Runs: 202 | Ave: 22.44 | 50s: 1 | S/R: 84

Home Series versus Pakistan, December 2007
Innings: 5 | Runs: 272 | Ave: 68 | 50s: 1 | S/R: 85

Overall versus Pakistan
Innings: 28 | Runs: 1055 | Ave: 47.95 | 50s: 9 | 100s: 1

Overall Versus Bangladesh
Innings: 7 | Runs: 268 | Ave: 44.66 | 50s: 1 | 100s: 1

Constructive
> Yuvraj has maintained a tremendous record against both oppositions in the tri-series.
> Has vast experience of playing in Bangladesh. Is the most experienced middle-order batsman in the team.

Downbeat
> Despite establishing his place in the Indian team almost three years ago, Yuvraj Singh has not earned the tag of ‘Mr. Dependable’. He is the most experienced batsman in the Indian team (besides Sehwag) and will need to start firing more constantly.
> The pitches in Bangladesh take sharp turn and Yuvi has faltered on innumerable occasions in the past against quality spin bowling. 

Rohit Sharma

Numbers:

Career Stats

CB Triangular Series, 2008
Innings: 10 | Runs: 235 | Ave: 33.57 | 50s: 2 | S/R: 84

Home Series versus Pakistan, December 2007

Innings: 2 | Runs: 53 | Ave: 26.50 | 50s: 1 | S/R: 85

Overall versus Pakistan
Innings: 1 | Runs: 52 | Ave: 52.00 | 50s: 1

Overall Versus Bangladesh
Yet to play

Constructive
> Cool and composed character. Rohit has proven to have the ability to succeed during testing times.
> Despite being patient, is a natural striker of the ball. Can turn the game around in a matter of minutes with his attacking strokeplay.

Downbeat
> An ODI batting average of 26 from 14 innings isn’t fantastic going from him, despite the fact that he batted at 4 or 5 on most occasions.
> An impulsive player, he threw his wicket away at crucial junctures during the CB Series.

Suresh Raina

Numbers:

Career Stats

CB Triangular Series, 2008
Did not play

Overall versus Pakistan
Innings: 3 | Runs: 81 | Ave: 40.50 | 50s: 0 |

Overall Versus Bangladesh
Yet to play

Constructive
> Experts reckon he is a more composed batsman than he was a few years back. Has all the shots in the book, a fantastic player of spin bowling and is ready for the big stage.
> The ever-improving Indian fielding outfit will gain with his presence. Greg Chappell once said that Raina is the best young cricketer in the country.

Downbeat
> Was bestowed with an Indian cap a little too early in his career and it exposed his weaknesses. May work as a blessing in disguise as he has come back stronger than ever.
> Is a bit too flashy at times and fails to analyse situations. A career average of 26 after 28 innings confirms that. 

Gautam Gambhir

Numbers:

Career Stats


CB Triangular Series, 2008
Innings: 10 | Runs: 440 | Ave: 55 | 100s: 2 | 50s: 1 | S/R: 84

Home Series versus Pakistan, December 2007
Innings: 5 | Runs: 53 | Ave: 26.50 | 50s: 1 | S/R: 85

Overall versus Pakistan
Innings: 1 | Runs: 52 | Ave: 52.00 | 50s: 1

Overall Versus Bangladesh
Yet to play

Constructive
> With a consistent S/R of 80 plus, he has become a far more consistent a player. ‘Gauti’ has hit the purple patch of his career and will be the player to watch out for.
> Has a brilliant track record of playing in Bangladesh. Also, most importantly, he is probably the best player of spin bowling in the Indian lineup.

Downbeat
> At times he gives the impression of going after almost anything wide of the off-stump. Has been found wanting in the past primarily because of his flashy ways.
> After five years in Indian team, Gambhir has finally established his place in Indian squad. 

Irfan Pathan

Numbers:

Career Stats

CB Triangular Series, 2008
| Matches: 10 | Overs: 68.4 | Runs: 377 | Wickets: 11 | Eco: 5.49 |

Home Series versus Pakistan, December 2007
| Matches: 5 | Overs: 47.5 | Runs: 270 | Wickets: 5 | Eco: 5.64 |

Constructive
> Made a tremendous comeback to the Indian side at the ICC World Twenty20 and hasn’t looked back ever since. Has developed into a matured one-day bowler.
> Is India’s most reliable bowler in the death overs. Can be devastating low down the order with the bat and is capable of coming up as a pinch hitter as well.

Downbeat
> Has turned into a very conservative bowler, losing his swing, rhythm and pace. Bowls with the wicketkeeper up and is strictly focusing on containing batsmen.
> He has invariably been ineffective on flat pitches in the sub-continent since he depends on swing for wickets. Fails to find a place in the Indian team as one of the four specialist bowlers. Will be played only if India opt for a fifth bowler/all-rounder. 

Virender Sehwag

Numbers:

Career Stats


CB Triangular Series, 2008
Innings: 5| Runs: 81 | Ave: 16.20 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 0 | S/R: 78

Home Series versus Pakistan, December 2007
Innings: 3 | Runs: 78 | Ave: 26.00 | 50s: 0 | S/R: 83

Overall versus Pakistan
Innings: 23 | Runs: 729 | Ave: 31.69 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 5

Overall Versus Bangladesh
Innings: 8 | Runs: 245 | Ave: 30.62 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 2

Constructive
> Has made a strong statement with spectacular performances in the IPL and the three-Test series against South Africa prior to that. Will lead the charge for India at the helm of the batting order with the absence of Sachin Tendulkar.
> Is the most experienced batsman in the Indian lineup and has a staggering record against Pakistan. He managed to maintain a strike rate of 184 throughout 14 IPL games and is in blitzing touch.

Downbeat
> Despite all his accolades and ability, Sehwag’s batting average in ODI cricket is still below par. He has lacked consistency and is still learning to bat through an innings.
> It was reported by cricketnirvana.com that Sehwag and Dhoni had differences during the CB Series in Australia.

Robin Uthappa

Numbers:

Career Stats


CB Triangular Series, 2008
Innings: 10 | Runs: 142 | Ave: 20.28 | 50s: 1 | S/R: 66

Home Series versus Pakistan, December 2007
Innings: 5 | Runs: 31 | Ave: 10.33 | 50s: 0 | S/R: 77.50

Overall versus Pakistan
Innings: 6 | Runs: 43 | Ave: 10.75 | 50s: 0

Overall Versus Bangladesh
Innings: 1 | Runs: 9 | Ave: 9.00 | 50s: 0

Constructive
> With his hostile approach, he fits in perfectly into ‘Dhoni’s cavalry’. Is a clean striker of the ball and is capable of tearing a bowling attack apart, especially on flat pitches in Bangladesh and Pakistan.
> Has toured with the Indian team to England and Australia in the last one year or so. Uthappa has gained good experience and should be cracking some tons now!

Downbeat
> Despite being given numerous opportunities, he hasn’t still delivered as consistently as some of his other cohorts.
> In 31 ODI innings, Robin Uthappa has managed an inexcusable average of 27. This, despite the fact that he has been pushed up to open the batting on numerous occasions.

Piyush Chawla

Numbers:

Career Stats


CB Triangular Series, 2008
| Matches: 2 | Overs: 19 | Runs: 78 | Eco: 4.10 |

Home Series versus Pakistan, December 2007
DNP

Overall versus Pakistan
Yet to play

Overall Versus Bangladesh
| Matches: 1 | Overs: 10 | Runs: 37 | Wickets: 3 | Eco: 3.70 |

Constructive
> Will be leading the Indian spin-attack in the absence of Harbhajan Singh. Is an attacking bowler who gives the ball a lot of air and entices batsmen to play strokes.
> Has shone remarkably well in his petite ODI career. Has averaged two or three wickets in almost every match he played. Was impressive during the CB Series best-of-three-finals series.

Downbeat
> Has been picked for plenty of runs despite his wicket-taking abilities. Has maintained an economy rate of almost 5 in the 15 ODIs that he has played in.
> Will be truly tested against players who are masters against spin bowling. Chawla will have to adapt quickly or will get thrashed around on flat tracks.

Praveen Kumar

Numbers:

Career Stats

CB Triangular Series, 2008
| Matches: 4 | Overs: 40 | Runs: 175 | Wickets: 10 | Eco: 4.37 |

Home Series versus Pakistan, December 2007
| Matches: 1 | Overs: 10 | Runs: 50 | Wickets: 0 | Eco: 5.00 |

Overall versus Pakistan
| Matches: 1 | Overs: 10 | Runs: 50 | Wickets: 0 | Eco: 5.00 |

Overall Versus Bangladesh
Yet to play

Constructive
> Proved his mettle against Australia during the CB Series. Is the perfect limited-overs bowler with his smooth run up and wicket-to-wicket line and length.
> Has proven economical during the death overs. Seems to have a knack of sensing a batsman’s thoughts. Possesses some brilliant slower deliveries and variations. 

Downbeat
> Will not receive any lateral movement or swing in Bangladesh and may prove to be expensive.
> Does not generate too much bounce with his skiddy action and will could prove to be ineffective if he fails to swing the ball. Does not offer enough variety to the bowling attack.

Yusuf Pathan

Career Stats

DEBUTANT


© Getty Images
Yusuf Pathan is all set to explode into the international scene

Constructive
> Was named the ‘Indian Cricketer of the Year’ in the CEAT Awards for the year 2007. Has provided sparkling performances consistently at the IPL and other domestic one-day competions.
> He invariably came to his side Rajasthan Royals’ rescue during the IPL. Is a high-pressure impact player and is capable of turning the tide of a game with his lusty hitting. Is more than useful an off-break bowler and will be chipping in to bowl alongside Chawla.

Downbeat
> Is preparing for his ODI debut and will be under immense pressure when he comes against more experienced players
> Will be destructive on most occasions but will get tested if the ball seams around. Has been found wanting in the past since experts believe he doesn’t have a solid technique.

Pragyan Ojha

DEBUTANT

Constructive
> Is extremely confident of performing well in his debut series. Will have huge boots to fill as India does not have the experience of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh.
> Was Deccan Chargers’ star spin bowler during the inaugural edition of IPL. He picked up 11 wickets and managed to contain the best of hitters.

Downbeat
> May not be the best possible first ordeal for a young spinner while traveling to Bangladesh. Ojha may easily lose confidence on flat pitches if he doesn’t get it right.
> Early observations suggest that he is someone who restricts his loop due to the fear of getting smacked around. Needs to possess a more aggressive mindset.

Ishant Sharma

Numbers:

Career Stats


CB Triangular Series, 2008
| Matches: 9 | Overs: 62.1 | Runs: 285 | Wickets: 14 | Eco: 4.58 |

Home Series versus Pakistan, December 2007
DNP

Overall versus Pakistan
Yet to play

Overall Versus Bangladesh
Yet to play

Constructive
> Has taken the world by storm with his accuracy and pace. Most importantly, he seems to posses the right mindset for a fast bowler, not refraining from bowling quick bouncers even in an ODI game.
> Will give India the x-factor on flat pitches in Bangladesh where pace may prove to be vital. He can hurry the batsmen and has been spectacular while bowling at the death, having developed a deadly yorker.

Downbeat
> With an over-aggressive mindset, he proved to be ineffective at the IPL. Ishant Sharma is looking to unleash at all times and hasn’t developed a knack of containing batsmen.
> Is carrying a niggling injury and could prove to be futile. Needs to be handled carefully by the Indian management as the Asia Cup and the tour of Sri Lanka are not far away.

RP Singh

Numbers:

Career Stats

CB Triangular Series, 2008

DNP

Home Series versus Pakistan, December 2007
| Matches: 4 | Overs: 36 | Runs: 216 | Wickets: 6 | Eco: 6.00 |

Overall versus Pakistan
| Matches: 9 | Overs: 66 | Runs: 357 | Wickets: 14 | Eco: 5.40 |

Overall Versus Bangladesh
Yet to play

Constructive
> Has returned from injury really well, grabbing heaps of wickets for Deccan Chargers at the IPL. Has done well in the past against Pakistan and knows most of their batsmen.
> Possesses the deadliest yorker in Indian cricket and is a wily exponent of reverse swing. He is most likely to lead the pace-attack in the absence of Zaheer Khan.

Downbeat
> Despite his constant improvement as a bowler, RP Singh remains an expensive bowler. He may lose his rhythm easily while coming up against attacking batsmen on flat pitches.
> RP seems to go on the back-foot when he gets struck for a couple of boundaries. He needs to develop a good slower delivery as he lacks the extra variations that teammates Irfan Parthan and Praveen Kumar possess.

Sreesanth

Numbers:

Career Stats

CB Triangular Series, 2008
| Matches: 7 | Overs: 40.2 | Runs: 232 | Wickets: 9 | Eco: 5.75 |

Home Series versus Pakistan, December 2007
| Matches: 1 | Overs: 10 | Runs: 52 | Wickets: 3 | Eco: 5.20 |

Constructive
> Is carrying a great rhythm into the tournament with splendid performances at the IPL. Sreesanth has developed a fantastic slower delivery that comes off the back of his hand and has emerged a smart operator in limted-overs cricket.
> Uses the old ball to great effect and adds a lot of variety to the pace-attack fiery stuff. Can infuse the batsmen into making mistakes with his argumentative approach to the game.

Downbeat
> His over-aggressive attitude has got him to get carried away on too many occasions in his short career. Also, he seems to lose his rhythm while getting into a war of words.
> Has the tendency of bowling extremely short of a length if there is no swing on offer in the pitch. With a career economy rate of over 5.5, he is still learning the tricks of the trade. 


Stats credit: Cricket Archive


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