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Questions abound as Dravid is axed

The India squad selected on Thursday for the first two ODIs against Australia is balanced but not without anomalies. Spotted a contradiction? You won't if you are familiar with the way Indian cricket runs, reports Atreyo Mukhopadhyay.

cricket Updated: Oct 16, 2009 18:44 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay

The India squad selected on Thursday for the first two ODIs against Australia is balanced but not without anomalies. Spotted a contradiction? You won't if you are familiar with the way Indian cricket runs.

About the good things first. Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh are back. With a certain Gautam Gambhir in the mix to go with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, that comprises a formidable batting line-up.

Problem is, even taking into consideration the batting abilities of allrounder Ravinder Jadeja, in terms of back-up there is just Virat Kohli. Will that be enough?

And why drop Rahul Dravid after digging him out of nowhere? The BCCI isn't exactly forthcoming with answers.

Another question is why have five medium-pacers in the XV. By naming Sudeep Tyagi in the squad, the quintet of selectors have unfurled a surprise that might catch the Australians unawares as well.

The other and more significant question is about Ishant Sharma. Last year, when Australia came over for a four-Test series, his presence was a major factor behind India's success. The same can't be said now because the 21-year-old has been overused since. Couldn't he be rested?

Here's hoping Ishant won't become the beast of burden from a promising, young bowler, contradicting the concept of preserving the ones of his kind. He has lost pace, everybody knows. Why risk losing more of his other qualities? The poser may have been dealt with but the answer certainly hasn't been made public.

There is also the curious case of Dravid. His exclusion is probably with an eye on the future. So why was such a retrograde step was taken in the first place.

Why was Dravid chosen for the trips to Sri Lanka and South Africa?

That said and done, this isn't a bad squad. All those who could have been accommodated have been, Munaf Patel included. With Ashish Nehra firing on all cylinders, this certainly isn't the worst attack that India have had in recent times.

Anomalies in selection? Well, they will exist. Dhoni & Co should still look forward to deliver the best. The selectors meet again in Nagpur on the day of the second ODI.