The national selectors, who will be meeting sometime in the next hour, have a task on hand: they have a team to pick, till just the other day they pretty much knew who to pick, and at the very last minute, they have found their plans upset by a string of unexpected injuries.
So what do they do? They can pick on practical lines, looking purely at those players who have actually played in recent games. Or they can punt big time, picking players on the basis of potential and past performance, while keeping their fingers crossed hoping the picked players find full form and fitness in time for the team's first Cup engagement.
This is the team I think they will end up picking: Rahul Dravid [ Images ], Sourav Ganguly [ Images ], Sachin Tendulkar [ Images ], Virender Sehwag [ Images ], Yuvraj Singh [ Images ], Robin Uthappa [ Images ], Mahender Singh Dhoni [ Images ], Dinesh Karthik [ Images ], Anil Kumble [ Images ], Harbhajan Singh [ Images ], Munaf Patel [ Images ], Zaheer Khan [ Images ], Ajit Agarkar [ Images ], Shantakumaran Sreesanth [ Images ] and Irfan Pathan [ Images ].
Their reasoning likely will be that Dravid and Uthappa make up the pure batsmen. Sourav, Sachin, Sehwag and Yuvraj provide the part-time bowling options, while Dhoni adds keeping to his batting and Karthik provides cover in case of one of the main batsmen being injured.
Similarly, they will look at Munaf, Zaheer, and Agarkar as their main seam options with Sreesanth as back up; Harbhajan as their lead spinner with Kumble going along as a horse for any course that suits. And finally, Irfan Pathan as the player who will give them the luxury of going in with five bowlers, without compromising on batting depth -- in that sense, he will be seen as the buffer between Dhoni and the tail.
This to my mind is the lineup the selectors will announce. Is it the best we can put in the field? Tell us.
Also see: The team you picked