Squad: M Vijay, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Suresh Raina (capt), Virat Kohli (vice-capt), Rohit Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Vinay Kumar, Ashok Dinda, Pankaj Singh, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Naman Ojha Note: Piyush Chawla will join the squad for the Twenty20s.
Call me a pessimist, but I sense an upset win for Zimbabwe sometime on this tour. They haven't been all bad, and I think this series will be decided on the basis of which spinners bowl best.
Suresh Raina gets his first captaincy opportunity for India, while Virat Kohli will be the vice-captain. This makes sense, as these are the only two players in the squad who have somewhat cemented their places in the one-day side.
And it wouldn't be wise to ignore the series, it could certainly lead to the discovery of potential stars. Mega-money players, players who will earn bigger IPL contracts, do lots of ads, put in some performances for the country, earn some more money, and then ultimately disappoint everyone by getting out to a short balls or losing their pace and/or swing/spin.
Anyway, the players to look out for are Umesh Yadav, Pankaj Singh and Ashok Dinda. Pacers are in short supply for India at the moment, and while Yadav is the only one with the pace, bowlers with brains are needed too. Haven't seen too much of Pankaj, but Dinda seems the type who can keep it together in a T20, not much more. I hope Yadav plays every match, I'd love to see him do well.
The spin department apart from Bhaj is still a game of musical chairs. Ojha, Mishra and new contender Ashwin will continue their tango. I say why bother with quicks, just get Yadav to bowl a couple of quick overs and use all the spinners. But that's just me.
As for the batting, I have no doubt that Raina and Kohli deserve to be there, but Rohit Sharma, Vijay, Karthik and Yusuf will feast on the medium pace offerings and the spinners. What exactly has Yuvraj done to deserve a rest from this? Blah.
About the T20 World Cup... nothing.