There is a new debate raging in India. And no it is not about FDI and price-hike. This has to do with the more 'serious' aspect of an average Indian's life - Irfan Pathan or Virender Sehwag?
While a problem of having too many players in a slump can be haunting, it is almost equally bad for a skipper to have to choose between players in fine form (let's assume Sehwag is in fine form for ease). After the match against England - an effective thumping in other words - skipper MS Dhoni has to make several decisions regarding the best playing XI to field in the Super 8s and perhaps, hopefully, even ahead in the World T20 tournament.
To someone here who may be unfamiliar with Indian cricket, here is an attempted explanation of the dilemma which also goes on to list possible solutions. See in Indian cricket, the difficulty is not so much about making a choice. It is about making a choice after a win. When the team loses without raising hopes, the brickbats will come. Period. There is no escaping it regardless of the frequency or the magnitude of experiments. When it wins and when, in this rare case, it wins after making four changes, Dhoni knows a win will get him the adulation but a loss will bring him curses to the power of a billion-plus.
So, keeping sentiments expressed through the comments section on this website after each report involving India in Sri Lanka, in mind, here is a list of things that MSD can do and things that can be done to help his cause. Of course, he can alternatively just listen to Ranbir Kapoor from a TV commercial and drink his way to World Cup success.
Option 1: Call for divine intervention
Yes! He can request the Board of Control for Cricket in India which can in turn ask Sachin Tendulkar to rescue the side. If Sachin Tendulkar obliges and returns to play T20, he will take the opener's position with Gautam Gambhir. India will not lose a batsman and can still have Irfan Pathan's services as a bowler.
Option 2: Youth Parliament
Dhoni recently, was sad that sportspersons sometimes are unable to get their fair share of education. Therefore, he can call in Unmukt Chand and Harmeet Singh. The benefits? Three-fold: 2.1) Fresh from their success in the U-19 World Cup, Unmukt and Harmeet can get their lessons in playing for the national team; 2.2) Can negate queries about any senior member they may replace with the age-old 'focusing on youth' statement and 2.3) Can bat, can spin and will post updates on their respective Twitter and Facebook pages!
Option 3: Play all and rest
Play Sehwag at the top. Get Pathan in at six. Play Harbhajan and play Ashwin too. Heck, even get Kambli! With Virat Kohli already being billed as the next skipper of the Indian cricket team, Dhoni can relax and soak in the Sri Lankan hospitality, opening up his own position. After all, with the World Cup already in the bag and with the World T20 already won earlier - when he still had long, flowing locks - a now greying Dhoni should be above such 'trivial' pleasures of life.
Option 4: Did you know?
Duncan Fletcher was a batsman. He averaged 66.08. Had a highest score of 71*. Has a best bowling figure of 4/42. Most importantly, he turns 64 a day before the clash against Australia. Birthdays and birthday gifts are big Down Under, we hear.
Option 5: Mid-term-tournament elections
High time that not just the Indian squad but even the playing XI is chosen by the masses of the country. It may not have a precedence anywhere else in the world but then again, nowhere else is a national side debated upon as fervently. So much is the frenzy that people pitch player against player. When Harbhajan is removed - he is past his prime and Ashwin is the new star. When Harbhajan claims four - class knows no age and Ashwin is over-confident!
Ask people who won Ranji last year and they won't know but ask who is better between Piyush and Pragyan and poof - there'll be the replies.
So, an online poll by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the results of which will have to be made public even if just this once, to select the playing XI in the Super 8s. It consequently, can be amended and enshrined in our constitution, if Sri Ajay Maken and Sri N Srinivasan can look into each others' eyes and through it, their hearts!
Statutory note: Of course, names of only those touring Sri Lanka currently will be the options. Else Sachin Tendulkar will have six positions in the playing XI, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid will get two positions each and somehow, Suresh Kalmadi will get himself elected here as well!
This ends the list of suggestions for MS Dhoni and his team. While he frets about who to pick and whom to axe, we get set to put his every move under the most powerful microscope there exists in our country - opinion. After all, prices and inflation can reach the sky but any team beside India, reaching for the trophy cannot be tolerated by any 'sensible, understanding and genial' Indian cricket fan here, this author included.
Note: If the comments section is not big enough for brickbats (or the rare accolade), the author can be reached also at firstname.lastname@example.org