If you remember, an “Australia A” team played in the 1994-95 world series cup in order to “compensate” for the weak competition offered by england and zimbabwe. Surprisingly, Australia A made the finals where they came close to beating the senior team in one of the games.
Anyways, today I had a look at the team that played one of the games. Look at the batting order. Let me shuffle it around a bit and you get Hayden-Langer-Ponting-Martyn-Blewett-Bevan! Has any other national second string batting order looked so familiar? Hats off to Australian foresight/perseverance.
Then in the ongoing ranji trophy, almost all national team players seem to be doing really well. Ganguly and Sehwag have scored quickfire hundreds. Laxman and Jaffer got good 70s. Dravid’s 56 against Saurashtra pales in comparison actually! Bowlers have also not done too badly – RP Singh and Agarkar have picked
pfeiffers michelles. VRV and Pathan have four in an innings (and pathan did it at an economy of 2.4!!). Only Harbhajan seems to have performed badly. (for the record, Tendulkar and Munaf are not playing because of injury; Kumble and Zaheer have been allowed to “rest; Sreesanth and Dhoni can’t play since their states haven’t qualied for the plate semis)
Wondering if this tells a story about the gap in standards of international and domestic cricket. Wonder if it also tells us what needs to be done in case a player is doing badly internationally – ask him to play Ranji! Among other things, Uthappa seems to be playing really well and is knocking on the doors of the national team yet again. Same is the case with Badrinath and Ranadeb Bose.
The five wise men will sit down this evening along with the captain and coach to name the 30 probables for the world cup and the team for the first two ODIs against the west indies. Will be interesting to see how much experimentation they will put for the eight ODIs before the world cup. My take is they will rotate amongst a small pool (of around 16-18), unlike in 1999 when they got a tournament against Kenya and Bangladesh where an almost A team played.