Tuesday, August 23, 2005

"Supers" selected...

ICC has just announced the final squads for the super series scheduled to take place in Australia this coming october. The squads had been the subject of much speculation over last few days (well, I was speculating at any rate...). The squads are:

super test squad: Graeme Smith (capt), Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid (vc), Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Jacques Kallis, Andrew Flintoff, Shaun Pollock, Mark Boucher, Steve Harmison, Shoaib Akhtar, Muttiah Muralitharan, Daniel Vettori.

ODI squad: Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar (vc), Jacques Kallis, Brian Lara, Kevin Pietersen, Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Flintoff, Shaun Pollock (capt), Kumar Sangakkara, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar, Makhaya Ntini, Muttiah Muralitharan, Daniel Vettori.

pretty strong squads these. That is no surprise - these are world XI squads, after all. I am already salivating at the prospect of seeing so many individual battles over the super test. Not too excited about the ODIs though. I know that for many people the fact that there is no real "national" bias added to the contest will decrease the level of interest by a lot, I personally don't think that the level of play would be less than any normal test. Add the quality of players and it should be a cracker of a match. Not expecting anything as amazing as the current ashes, yet it'd be great.

As for the teams, I probably would've put Inzamam ahead of Sachin in the test squad for both form and fitness reasons. Also, Kumble ahead of Vettori. However, their records against Australia were probably what tilted the balance in favour of Sachin and Vettori. Not saying I personally wouldn't have wanted to see Sachin there. In fact I am very happy he is there. Gives him an opportunity to play another great innings! And what can be better than that! Just that Inzamam will probably be justified in feeling hard done by.

As for ODIs, Sehwag is probably there on the strength of his performances more than a year ago. Gayle would probably be better. Again, I'll love to see Sehwag bat (if he gets to bat, that is)! Just that Gayle should probably have been there purely going by performance.

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