So, the thrill of ongoing CL T20 will be over tonight after a much awaited interesting clash between Dhoni led CSK and equally capable KKR, flying high under the experienced Gambhir. Also, the Asian games are concluding today. For the sports loving people, the upcoming series of 5 ODIs will prove to be the only charm for next couple of weeks before the start of challenging away series in Australia.

To be honest, this series, by all means should prove nothing but a practice session for team India. We have already seen a glimpse yesterday when team India A led by Manoj Tiwari, thrashed them in almost a one sided encounter in first practice match in Mumbai.  But when it comes to the selection of a squad for any ODI series, anxiety reaches its peak as we have got a hell lot of talented ODI players and it becomes a matter of interest to see who is picked and which one in not given a chance. This proves especially crucial for young players knocking on the door with their splashing performance. I intend to just give a  passing reference of Unmukt Chand who has scored vital 71 runs yesterday against West Indies while playing for India A.

So today, the national selectors, led by Sandeep Patil, will finalize the Indian squad for ODI series against West Indies at Bengaluru. They are there to see the final of CL T20 between CSK and KKR. Hopefully this will be a 15 member squad, though possibility to facilitate any young upcoming cricketer and raising the number with another member cannot be totally ruled out.

For the majority of senior players, a berth is secured. Likes of M S Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane are sure to find a place. Manoj Tiwari who is leading the India A in two practice match against West Indies might be included. Thus the above six are apparently covered by virtue of their performance.

Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin being the experienced ones, will also be given a place in the squad. Thus the committee will be considering remaining seven. To fulfill the bowling requirements, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohhammed Shami and Umesh Yadav have a concrete claim. Before the next world cup, many of the supporters strongly believe that Umesh Yadav needs to give an extensive exposure to utilize his immense bowling skills. The sum total of above comes to 10.

Murali Vijay is also a strong contender and particularly against West Indies he might get a break. For the remaining slots, leg spinner Karn Sharm and off spinner Parvez Rasool stand a fairly good chance to be included in the squad. Parvez, in the need of hour, can successfully fit in the role of an all rounder. He is a very hard working cricketer with tremendous devotion.

Among the youngsters, Varon Aaron can be considered as he is very young and a keen learner with a good stamina to bowl long spells. Thus, the above contender makes 14 probables and for remaining slot, a stiff competition between Amit Mishra and Mohit Sharma is likely to take place.

Although many of the fans would love to see Unmukt Chand spreading his magic but barring his performance yesterday, he has not been able to display spark off late.

 Sanju Samson, Manan Vohra – the list is endless but for now, the selectors must be focusing on just one issue, the grooming of the squad for the upcoming world cup in February 2015.

Last but not the least, as a lay man, I insist only on one key issue that whosoever is chosen, please give him a break consistently and for a definite time span and do not count on a few of his below par performances. That way they will feel secure and will give their best. This is bare minimum to achieve consistency and optimize the term team work. Also, the seniors can assist the youngsters with their own experience which proves immense in grooming the skills. Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer khan have done remarkably well in doing so and were appreciated by one and all.  

    Established sports writer across various global platforms

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