Saturday, 4 October 2014

Selectors eye stability ahead of World Cup

MUMBAI: India's squad for the five-match ODI series against West Indies will be announced on Saturday.

The selectors, who were in full attendance keeping a close eye on the India 'A'-West Indies tour game at the Brabourne Stadium on Friday, are unlikely to spring any surprises in wake of the recent 3-1 win over England.

The fact that the World Cup is just a few months away should prevent chairman of selection committee Sandeep Patil and his colleagues from experimenting as they look to settle the composition of the 15-member squad.

The dilemma for them, however, will be to decide on the third spinner who, given captain MS Dhoni's selectorial fixations, will primarily be a back-up for R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

The 31-year-old Mishra, who has been a frequent flier with the Indian team over the last few years, has fully recovered from the back injury and his bowling figures (10-126-3) against the West Indies in the practice game does inspire confidence. But then, will it be fair to dump Karn Sharma without giving him a fair run? Rest for key players?

The big question is whether Dhoni or some other key players need some much needed rest ahead of the gruelling tour of Australia (four Tests and tri-series involving England as the third team) and then the World Cup.

Dhoni has had no respite since March this year, where he has led the team in the T20 World Championships in Dhaka, followed by the IPL, the long tour of England and now the Champions League T20 which has overlapped with the West Indies' tour opener.

The series against the West Indies comprises five ODIS, one T20 and three Tests.

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