THE INDIAN squad for the World Cup will be officially announced 10 days later, but the selectors seem to have more or less reached a consensus on the 15.
Virender Sehwag should be back, while Robin Uthappa’s Chennai blitz seems to have catapulted him ahead of Gautam Gambhir into the final 15.
On Friday, a day before the squad for the first two ODIs against Sri Lanka is chosen in Mumbai, selection committee sources indicated that the squad would comprise six batsmen, two wicket-keepers, two specialist spinners and five pacemen, including the beleaguered Irfan Pathan.
Among the batsmen, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, and the now-fit Yuvraj Singh pick themselves. There was uncertainty over the last two spots. Sehwag’s record and match-winning ability make him the front-runner for one.
The race for the other seems to be among Uthappa, Gambhir and Suresh Raina.
Said another selector, “If Gambhir had got runs in the last two games he played, it might have been a toss-up. But Uthappa played superbly in Chennai and looked solid in Vadodara.”
The composition could possibly change in case one of the players is injured, or found unfit. As a precautionary measure, Munaf Patel, for instance, was advised to get a second MRI scan of his ankle on Friday.
If unfit, he should logically be replaced by a paceman but a selector indicated that off-spinner Ramesh Powar might then get a look in.
The probable 15
Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly, Yuvraj, Sehwag, Uthappa, M.S. Dhoni (w-k), Dinesh Karthik (w-k), Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar, S. Sreesanth, Pathan, Munaf.