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World Cup: Tendulkar's 6th, debut for 7

Cricketnext.com
Jan 17, 2011 at 10:46pm IST

New Delhi: The platoon is named, equipage sanctioned and attacking orders passed! Hold your thoughts! It's not war, but it's not going to be much less either! Fifteen Indian men dressed in blue are ready to be at the throat of 13 opponents hovering like eagles over the ICC World Cup!

The Indian squad for the month-and-a-half long quadrennial extravaganza has been selected, with most of the household names in India picking themselves. While the dining-table debates get ignited, let's take a stroll and see who are the men trying to emulate Kapil's Devils.

BATSMEN

World Cup: Tendulkar's 6th, debut for 7

Sachin Tendulkar will be playing his sixth and probably the last World Cup.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni: The gold from his hair may be missing but there is no desertion of the Midas touch that the Indian skipper has brought with him since being handed over the reins. From the days when he used to put his tresses over his ears, Dhoni has transformed himself from a swashbuckling batsman and gawky wicketkeeper to a polished cricketer who follows his instincts and does the job more often than not, and does it well.

ODI Career

Matches 174 - Runs 5796 - Highest 183 not out - Avg 49.96 – Strike Rate 88.01 – Hundreds 7 - Fifties 37 - Catches 172 - Stumpings 55

World Cup Specific

Matches 3 – Runs 29 – Avg 9.66 – Catches 5 – Stumpings 2

Virender Sehwag: World's most intimidating opener knows only to stress out the bowlers, not take any on himself. While the bowlers may fancy their chances against his carefree approach, Sehwag would least mind that, provided his troublesome shoulder holds out for the length of the tournament. Some may call him a flat-wicket bully but who cares!

ODI Career

Matches 228 - Runs 7380 - Highest 146 - Avg 34.64 – Strike Rate 103.27 - Hundreds 13 – Fifties 36

World Cup Specific

Matches 14 – Runs 463 – Avg 33.07

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar: He gave the biggest scare to India's World Cup hopes when he returned from South Africa with a hamstring injury, but his inclusion must have allayed those fears. He is closing in on 100 international hundreds and having seen that God reserves the best for the master, the 100th century may coincide with Sachin winning India the World Cup.

ODI Career

Matches 444 - Runs 17629 - Highest 200 not out - Avg 44.97 – Strike rate 86.18 – Hundreds 46 – Fifties 93

World Cup Specific

Matches 36 – Runs 1796 – Avg 57.94

Gautam Gambhir: He is probably the best thing to have happened to Indian cricket in the last three years but is also on the injury list with a troublesome elbow. Partnering Sehwag at the top in all three forms of the game, Gambhir can at times be more attacking than Sehwag. And while he looks pint-sized, he knows how to give it back when provoked, both with the bat and mouth.

ODI Career

Matches 105 - Runs 3680 – Highest 150 not out - Avg 40.43 – Strike rate 86.52 – Hundreds 9 - Fifties 21

World Cup Specific

Yet to debut.

Virat Kohli: Another youngster who now commands a place in India's limited-over setup. Kohli bats mostly at No. 3 or 4 and knows how to convert good starts into match-winning knocks.

ODI Career

Matches 42 - Runs 1555 - Highest 118 – Avg 45.73 – Strike rate 81.97 - Hundreds 4 - Fifties 11

World Cup Specific

Yet to debut.

Suresh Kumar Raina: The southpaw exudes talent and can provide an innings the impetus it needs in the middle. He has a penchant for big shots and pulls them off with consummate ease and flair. The UP lad also brings with him electricity while fielding in the inner ring.

ODI Career

Matches 108 – Runs 2571 – Highest 116 not out - Avg 35.70 – Strike Rate 90.08 – Hundreds 3 – Fifties 16

World Cup Specific

Yet to debut.

ALL-ROUNDERS

Yuvraj Singh: He is undoubtedly one of the cleanest and strongest hitter in the game today but seems to have lost touch of late, more in the mind than with the bat. A match-winner beyond doubt, Yuvi's proven track record and more than handy left-arm spin on subcontinent pitches helped him keep his place.

ODI Career

Batting: Matches 262 - Runs 7653 – Highest 139 - Avg 36.97 – Strike Rate 87.85 - Hundreds 12 – Fifties 45

Bowling: Matches 262 – Wickets 89 – Best 4/6 – Avg 40.15 – Economy 5.04 – Strike Rate 47.7 – 5w 0

World Cup Specific

Batting: Matches 14 – Wickets 376 – Avg 37.60

Bowling: Matches 14 – Wickets 5 – Avg 17.00

Yusuf Pathan: The elder of the Pathan brothers – the other one being Irfan – is also a big hitter and quite a useful off-spin bowler. He was probably fighting for a place with one of the spinners but the selectors couldn’t dare ignore that he can win India matches single-handedly on his day.

ODI Career

Batting: Matches 42 - Runs 528 - Highest 123 not out - Avg 29.33 – Strike Rate 110.00 – Hundreds 1 - Fifties 2

Bowling: Matches 42 - Wickets 29 - Best 3/49 – Avg 34.06 - Economy 5.66 – Strike Rate 36.0 – 5w 0

World Cup Specific

Yet to debut.

BOWLERS

Zaheer Khan: Zaheer 'Zak' Khan has often been compared to Pakistan great Wasim Akram when it comes to make both the new and old balls talk. He may not be as fast as Akram but is none lesser mentally. Zaheer is one fast bowler who can take wickets even on batsman-friendly wickets in the subcontinent and will be critical to India's chances while spearheading the bowling unit.

ODI Career

Matches 179 - Wickets 247 - Best 5/42 – Avg 29.69 – Economy 4.90 – Strike Rate 36.2 – 5w 1

World Cup Specific

Matches 14 - Wickets 23 - Average 21.57

Munaf Musa Patel: Musa burst onto the scene like none other. Clocking 140 kmph consistently and breaking wickets into half in the Ranji Trophy, he was looked upon as the raw pace India needed to challenge top teams. Sadly, though, injuries hit this rookie badly, forcing him to compensate pace for McGrath-like line and length. In hindsight, it proved to be a blessing in disguise for the pacer whose four-wicket haul in the second ODI versus South Africa, which India won by just one run, turned out to be a clincher.

ODI Career

Matches 51 - Wickets 60 – Best 4/29 – Avg 29.81 - Economy 4.74 – Strike Rate 37.7 – 5w 0

World Cup Specific

Matches 3 – Wickets 4 – Avg 26.25

Ashish Nehra: Ashish Nehra's name brings back memories of India's win over England in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa where he fetched 6-23. If the Delhi medium-pacer can live up to that billing in 2011, he can prove to be the pick of the Indian bowling unit along with Zaheer Khan.

ODI Career

Matches 115 – Wickets 153 – Best 6/23 – Avg 31.32 – Economy 5.19 – Strike Rate 36.1 – 5w 2

World Cup Specific

Matches 9 – Wickets 15 – Avg 19.27

Praveenkumar Sakat Singh: Another one with a bothersome elbow currently, Praveen shot to fame in the 2007-08 CB series in Australia, where he bowled match-winning spells in the finals. He can turn life into a hell for even the best of batsmen with his prodigious swing and can use the long handle well lower down the order.

ODI Career

Matches 48 - Wickets 57 – Best 4/31 – Avg 33.57 – Economy 5.07 – Strike Rate 39.7 – 5w 0

World Cup Specific

Yet to debut.

Harbhajan Singh: The passionate offie is the ignition unit with an ability to provide the spark that is needed to win big tournaments like the World Cup. If the 'Singh' can channelize his passion and combativeness in the right way, he may well prove to be the 'King' of India’s World Cup campaign.

ODI Career

Matches 214 – Wickets 244 – Best 5/31 – Avg 32.93 – Economy 4.30 – Strike Rate 45.8 – 5w 3

World Cup Specific

Matches 12 – Wickets 11 – Avg 38.00

Ravichandran Ashwin: With due respect to Ashwin's abilities, it won't be wrong to admit that he was lucky to board the bus ahead of left-armer Pragyan Ojha who could have provided variety to India's spin attack. But to Ashwin's credit, he has done well in the limited opportunities he has got and is not only a wicket-taker but also a miserly bowler. He has also been Dhoni's choice to bowl the most critical overs for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL and Champions League and never disappointed his skipper.

ODI Career

Matches 7 – Wickets 14 – Best 3/24 – Avg 23.21 - Economy 4.92 – Strike Rate 28.2 – 5w 0

World Cup Specific

Yet to debut.

Piyush Chawal: A World Cup in the subcontinent is bound to have focus on spinners and the Indian selectors stamped that notion with the inclusion of a third spinner in Chawla who can not only provide variety to the attack with his leg-spin but is more than a useful batsman coming in at No. 8 and 9.

ODI Career

Matches 21 – Wickets 28 - Best 4/23 – Avg 32.53 – Economy 4.96 – Strike Rate 39.3 – 5w 0

World Cup Specific

Yet to debut.

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