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T20 WC squad: Questions over inclusions and omissions

March 26, 2010 18:19 IST

Pragyan Ojha"We have selected the best team for the Twenty20 World Cup," chairman of selectors Krishnamachari Srikkanth said, after naming India's 15-man squad for next month's Twenty20 World Cup in the West Indies.

"We are happy with the performance of every member of the team. They have shown consistency," he added, explaining the choice of the selectors.

- T20 squad: Career stats

Indeed, the squad in on predictable lines, and there are a few surprises. But question marks do arise on the inclusion of some so-called surprise packages.

Having unexpectedly won the inaugural edition in South Africa in 2007, India disappointed by abject surrender of the crown in England last year, losing three successive matches and bowing out in the pool stage itself.

And the Men in Blue's performance in the game's shortest format hasn't been good since then.

In such a scenario, if India is looking to put up a good show at the format's flagship competition, it had to select the best possible combination available.

But it doesn't seem the case. If the selectors had only tried to play safe, it wouldn't have been difficult to understand. However, it appears that they have tried to appease a few sections.

That probably explains the two surprise packages in the squad -- Piyush Chawla and R Vinay Kumar.

It can be argued that Kumar had a consistent season in domestic cricket -- but didn't include much T20 action. So, is it wise enough to hand him an international debut on a stage as big as the World Cup?

Considering the format of the game, if the Karnataka bowler does go for a few runs, it will be demoralizing on his confidence.

And why Chawla made the cut needs explanation.

If his performance in the ongoing IPL is the sole basis for selection, then why is Amit Mishra and Pragyan Ojha - both are doing well as well - kept out?

In fact, Ojha was one of the success stories in an otherwise insipid campaign in England last year.

Shouldn't he, or for that matter Mishra, two cricketers who have played more internationals recently, have got the nod over someone (Chawla) who hasn't featured in international cricket for almost two years now?

Also, the inclusion of Ashish Nehra is questionable considering that he hasn't played for some time now; he is definitely not one of those bowlers who gets into the rhythm with immediate effect.

Wouldn't it have been wise to pick a bowler who has some momentum going into the competition?

The decision to pick Nehra is shocking considering the alternatives that were available -- Ishant Sharma, S Sreesanth, RP Singh and even Munaf Patel, for that matter.

Also shocking is the omission of Virat Kohli.

The youngster has been in terrific form in recent times and consistent for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the ongoing IPL.

The rest of the squad though is on predictable lines.

In the run-up to the selection meeting, several former cricketers wanted Sachin Tendulkar back in the Twenty20 fold, but the Master Blaster negated all appeals saying he doesn't want to go back on his decision to quit the format in 2007.

Also, Ravindra Jadeja makes the cut as one of the two genuine all-rounders -- along with Yusuf Pathan -- despite being banned from this year's IPL.

Jadeja has appealed against the decision and his hearing is expected soon.

What the selectors need to explain is the omission of some regular players for a tournament that is as important as this.

The squad: MS Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag (vice-captain), Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra, R Vinay Kumar, Dinesh Karthik, Rohit Sharma, Piyush Chawla.