Chennai have the same problem as Delhi – way too many foreigners, who, because of the rule, will have to warm the bench. Clearly, the four best foreigners are Hayden, Hussey, Oram and Murali, so they’ll start. And L Balaji’s lack of fitness, and Sreesanth going to Mohali, and Ntini’s likely benching means that Chennai will go in without a real quick bowler (yo, ganapathy, etc. are jsut military medium).
That said, I get the feeling the Super Kings might destroy the Chepauk and make a slow low pitch, and put one dibbly dobbly attack. Anyways here goes…
12. Stephen Fleming
13. Parthiv Patel
14. Albie Morkel
15. Makhaya Ntini
16. R Ashwin
I’ve put in Abhinav Mukund there based on current form, and Ranji performance. However, given that VB Chandrasekhar (the selector) is close to Srikkanth, you might see Anirudha walking out with Hayden.
One name you’d find surprising in there is former Indian swing bowler Debashis Mohanty. The reason I put him here is that he doesn’t seem to be in line for selection to his “catchment” Hyderabad team – they seem to have stuck to a Gult policy (apart from Halhadhar Das) and preferred people like P Vijay Kumar over Mohanty. Given that this team has no quick bowlers apart from Ntini (Yo is dibbly-dobbly level) I think Mohanty has a good chance.
Also, looking at the Calcutta team composition, it’s likely that their pace attack consists of Akhtar, Agarkar and Ishant, thus leaving space for exactly one of RR Bose and SS Paul in their squad. I think the spillover will happen to Chennai, who lack quick bowlers. I haven’t listed either of them here, but I won’t be surprised if they boot out say Stephen Fleming from the squad (bringing him in only when Hayden isn’t playing) and including this guy – whichever of the two it is.
The captain also hasn’t been appointed formally, though it is very likely to be Dhoni. Unless, of course, Karunanidhi protests against Aryan dominance, in which case Murali will get the armband.
I hear that Sudeep Tyagi has signed for Chennai. An excellent acquisition, since they didn’t have any decent fast medium bowlers apart from Ntini. Tyagi might take Yo’s place as the latter has some fitness concerns.
I was thinking of another combination actually. Maybe they could drop Hussey for Ntini. And put in a bits and pieces line-up.
They could also try this kind of stuff when australia is playing international cricket – both Hayden and Hussey will be out then, and based on the original starting lineup they could be replaced by Morkel and Ntini.