After the strokeful century scored against Bermuda, Sehwag appears to have re kindled the hopes of Indians that he has left his bad form back.  Even under the Naavi Cricket Rating System, he has taken the top position amongst Indian players (For watching the progress of indvidual players, watch their world cup ratings under Naavi Cricket Rating System at http://www.naavi.org/cwc_2007).

But what all Indians want is that Sehwag’s century against Bermuda should not be a flash in the pan. There is a critical match coming up against Sri Lanka and a failure in this game could be fatal to India.

Going by Sehwag’s trend, he fires some times but misfires more often. If the misfires when it matters most as in India’s next match, then every one will regret that he in fact scored a century against Bermuda to remain in the team.

If Sehwag has to remain a hero, there is no option for him but to score atleast 40-60 runs in the match against Sri Lanka. Otherwise he will not only be reduced to a zero but also reduce India to zero.

Sehwag in the past has been very inconsistent. Though over a few matches he averages out, the situation now is that there is no scope for failure. Yuvraj and Ganguly have already played two consecutive innings of merit. Will they play a similar or better innings for third match in succession?. Law of Averages does not seem to suggest so. If the law of averages which Sehwag is accustomed to, also catches up, we may have three batsmen protected from the excuse of the “Law of Averages” and could fail for valid reasons.

We are therefore left with Dravid and Dhoni along with Uthappa to save India. But there are already some suggestions that Uthappa should be dropped. I wish Dravid keeps the batting order for Lankan match at the top same as the one for Bermuda with Uthappa to open with Ganguly and Sehwag to follow if one of the wickets fall early. If there is a good partnership for the first wicket, Sehwag can be held back for the slog overs.

There is a logic to bring in Pathan ince this will give us the extra bowling option. If so, one of the options is to bring him  in the place of Uthappa.

Can India replace Agarkar with Pathan?. Yes…it is also an option ..again with a high element of risk.

If we can trust Sehwag, Tendulkar Yuvaraj Singh and Ganguly with the ball for about 16 overs, it would not be a bad idea to take Pathan in place of Agarkar.

If it comes to dropping Uthappa or Agarkar for Pathan, at this stage, I would suggest dropping Agarkar would be a better option. We need the batting power of both Uthappa and Pathan as it would be too risky to trust Sehwag to fire in two consecutive matches.

I am sure that analysts like Sidhu would make a strong case for dropping both Uthappa and Agarkar and accommodate Pathan and Harbhajan. After careful thought, I have rejected this thought and placed my faith in Uthappa.

I would be too happy to be proved wrong in my analysis. 

Naavi

March 21, 2007

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