The Indian selectors announced the probables for the World Cup and also named the 15 for the first two "scene-setting" ODIs against West Indies.
As expected (and as I had 'predicted' earlier today), Uthappa and Joginder Sharma got the selectors' nods for the West Indies games. Sehwag and Pathan have been left out. My feeling is that this is a scare the spur them onto getting their houses (and more importantly, their minds) in order. I can't somehow imagine an Indian ODI team without Sehwag and Pathan in it. This has to be a scare tactic...
The surprise packets for the games against the Windies include Ramesh Powar and Gautam Gambhir. I must say the selection of Powar baffles me somewhat...
Pathan and Sehwag are in the WC probables list of 30 though. I'd expect thatboth Pathan and Sehwag will come in to the final WC XV at the expense of Powar and Gambhir (from the current team of XV announced for the first 2 ODIs). My suspicion is that Powar and Gambhir are keeping the seat warm for Pathan and Sehwag respectively while the latter two sweat it out a bit in the nets! The slight worry is that Delhi have no Ranji games left in the competition...
Given the surprise inclusion of Powar, the team for the first 2 ODIs looks like a well balanced ODI team.
West Indies one-dayers (in probable batting order)
Robin Uthappa / Dinesh Karthik / Gautham Gambhir
Rahul Dravid (capt)
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk)
Joginder Sharma / Ajit Agarkar
Harbhajan Singh / Ramesh Powar
Rudra Pratap Singh
The probables include a few surprises too. My sense is that VVS. Laxman, Mohammed Kaif, Cheteshwar Pujara, Dinesh Mongia and Rohit Sharma are just making up the numbers -- just as I had RS. Sodhi, et al in my list of 30 probables earlier in the day! The surprise packet in the 30 is Parthiv Patel. This must be a joke!
Oh well... Here's hoping that the Pathan-Sehwag scare works well...
World Cup probables
Rahul Dravid, Robin Uthappa, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, Mohammad Kaif, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Parthiv Patel, Anil Kumble, Gautham Gambhir, Zaheer Khan, Ramesh Powar, Sreesanth, Harbhajan Singh, Joginder Sharma, Ajit Agarkar, Rudra Pratap Singh, VRV Singh, Munaf Patel, Irfan Pathan, Rohit Sharma, S Badrinath, Cheteshwar Pujara, Dinesh Mongia, Ishanth Sharma, Rajesh Powar