I was in my tenth standard when I saw eleven names written by a girl, in her rough copy.... To tell you frankly, I wasn't that much interested in watching cricket till that day, although I always considered myself a good all-rounder!!
But that day, I really liked that girl's idea of selecting MY ELEVEN for Indian team and the opposition. And I have been doing if for last 9 years, just one day before every match. Probably this gives me the feeling of being lot closer to my TEAM INDIA then I really am.
So......Lets do it for tomorrow's match and lets see what comes out -
Gautam gambhir Salman Butt
Virendra Sehwag Imran Farhat
Rahul Dravid Younis Khan
Sachin Tendulkar Mohammad Yousuf
Venkata Sai Laxman Injamam-ul-haq
Yuvraj Singh Shoaib Mallik
Mahendra Singh Dhoni Kamran Akmal
Irfan Pathan Mohammad sami
Ajit Agarkar Rana Naveed-ul-hasan
Harbhajan Singh Shoaib Akhtar
Zaheer Khan Danish Kaneria.
The biggest debate :
Why Yuvraj, why not Ganguly - I feel the batsman who is making runs should be preferred over the one who is fighting for form. Pakistan has been speaking loudly about making fast pitches but they seems to have done it otherwise, as the wickets looks brown and dry. But still the cold weather and the fog they are having can favour seamers. And conditions will be tough for Ganguly than for Yuvraj. So let Ganguly wait for a while.
Other debates :
Why Gambhir and Zaheer and why not Wasim Jaffar and R P Singh - Well, simply because of their experience. A good start in the series can be a huge boost, specially when it is only three match series. Selecting experience seems the way to me.
And in Pakistani fort :
Shoaib Mallik may be preferred over Shahid affridi(the better batsman) if Pakistan decides to go for 3-1 pace/spin bowling combination. But there is every possibility that they go for four seam bowlers and add "the Rookie" Mohammad Asif in place of Danish Kaneria. And in that case, Shahid Afridi may get the nudge over Shoaib Mallik at the all-rounder's position. Although Shoaib Mallik (Who married an Indian girl recently) has been cleared by ICC for a suspected bowling action, Shahid Afridi can prove to be more important fill-in spinner than him.
Pakistan may opt for Shahid Afridi at opener's position as our new ball bowlers aren't that much experienced and are young. And they are also not all that quick......this can be a huge gamble from Pakistan!!
We have the batting and they have the bowling. so I feel THERE batting and OUR bowling will be the deciding factor in this match. Another important thing - THEY HAVE A TAIL. We have seen over the years that many times tailenders stick at the wicket and frustrate a lot. But even if I am very wrong in selecting a Pakistani eleven, none of their bowler have the capability with the bat as Irfan and Ajit does. Even Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer are much better batsmen then their bowlers!!
The Pitch Report -
The Weather -