OK… now that poor dada is carrying a niggle, (and without jest, Ganguli needs to be preserved for the important matches), this is my proposal for the next warm up match against West Indies. (including Bowling/Batting order).
Chiefly, my concern is to give the bowling department as much practice as possible. Zaheer would do his stuff in the beginning and then leave (to avoid injury). Agarkar would certainly have to practice bowling at the death. I feel even Munaf should practice bowling at the death, so that’s my end combination. In a large bowling line-up, one bowler would certainly bowl less, and my vote for least bowled goes to Sreesanth, who I’m hoping will not get to bowl too often for important world cup matches. Within this, I want to give Yuvraj and Sehwag their full five overs each just to get them used to the idea of being the fifth bowler.
For batting, I would ‘rest’ Tendulkar, push Dravid lower down the order and give Yuvraj and Karthik more responsibility in the middle orders. They need the practice and an understanding of the conditions. Pathan coming up 1-down is just to keep the Uthappa kind of pinch-hitter feel to the line-up… because that’s how it’s probably going to be.
Zaheer Khan (1, 3, 5, 7, 9 then no more bowling for rest for the match)
Ajit Agarkar (2, 4, 6, 8 then 48, 50)
Irfan Pathan (11, 13, 15, 17, 19 and then 43, 45)
Munaf Patel (10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and then from 45, 47, 49)
Harbhajan Singh (20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30)
Kumble (21, 2o3, 25, 27, 29, 31)
Sreesanth (42, 44, 46)
Yuvraj (32, 34, 36, 38, 40)
Sehwag (33, 35, 37, 39, 41)
1. Virender Sehwag
2. Robin Uthappa
3. Irfan Pathan (pinch hitter slot to replace Uthappa)
4. Yuvraj Singh
5. Dinesh Karthik
6. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk)
7. Rahul Dravid (captain)
8. Ajit Agarkar (Opening spell of about 4 overs and then come back at the death for 4)
9. Harbhajan Singh
10. Anil Kumble
12. Zaheer Khan
13. Munaf Patel