Why India should play a second spinner

With the team excelling in their practice matches, Dhoni's men in blue have served notice again - this World Cup could well be India's.

updated: February 19, 2011 19:24 IST
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New Delhi: I saw India beat the living hell out of a Kiwi team that hadn't a clue what hit them. Sure, it was a practice match and there wasn't much at stake – but Dhoni's men in blue served notice again – this World Cup could well be India's. It is in the sub-continent, India has the hopes of a billion people riding on their shoulders, the team has struck form in the last year or so and most batsmen in the team seem to have hit a purple patch.

India has an embarrassment of riches in the batting department. Sehwag and Sachin are any one-day side's dream opening combination – between the two of them, they have over 70 one-day centuries and over 25 thousand runs. Then at number 3, there is Gautam Gambhir – who has been batting well, can open and seems to have a wise head on young shoulder. He served notice by a run-a ball 89 at Chepauk's warm up game, consolidating when needed and accelerating at the right time.

Let's not forget, the top contender for the number 3 spot is Virat Kohli. He's also from Delhi and has had a year to kill for – almost 1400 runs since January 2009, at a 50-esque average and a strike rate touching 90. He has scored 4 centuries and has made the crucial No 3 spot his own with some sensible, yet scintillating batting. So clearly then this is a toss-up… not just for who gets into the final playing eleven, but also for who bats where.

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