Never too early to start rampant selection speculation, no? The Times of India is a-flutter because all the major players of the Indian team — Dhoni, Khan, H. Singh, Tendulkar, Gambhir, Sehwag — expect to sit out the West Indies tour in June. Their proposed list of replacements makes sense (based purely on 3/4 IPL matches), and could include some second-acts and surprises. Questions:
1. Will the selectors really go for P. Valthaty? This could be a beautiful thing.
2. Don’t know why, but D. Karthik, V. Rao, and A. Rayadu have never inspired confidence. On the other hand, I have irrational cricket crushes on R. Sharma and R. Uthappa. Go figure. (And the Times misses out the greatest cricket crush of all time, M. Kaif — who’s doing little to nothing in the IPL, I suppose?)
3. The bowling department looks a bit better: Praveen Kumar’s back. L. Balaji returns from the cold? Don’t know a thing about I. Abdullah; don’t care for I. Sharma in ODIs, and I’ve liked P. Chawla since those World Cup warm-up matches.
All in all, not bad options. Should be a good series. Will S. Raina captain?