WC debut for 6 Indian players

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Published: Monday, January 17, 2011, 15:37 [IST]
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WC debut for 6 Indian players

While the majority of players in India's 15-member squad for the World Cup are veterans, everyone will have their eye out for the half-a-dozen players due to make their debut in the mega-tournament. The selectors have gone with the perfect combination of exuberance and experience and the opportunity just might be ripe for the younger entrants to shine.

Yusuf Pathan - Often termed a "flat-track bully", Yusuf has the ability to make a match pivot on its head. He is useful both for short spurts of quick runs or even to play the longer, stabilising innings. He is also an effective spin option for the middle overs. Yusuf has aggregated 528 runs from 42 matches at decent average of 29.33 and a phenomenal strike rate of 110. He has also picked up 29 wickets at an average of 34. 06 and an economy rate of 5.66.

Suresh Raina - The southpaw reeks of prowess and can provide an innings the momentum it needs in the middle. He has an appetite for big shots and pulls them off with much flair as witnessed especially in the IPL and Champions League. The UP youth is also a very proficient fielder in the inner ring. Raina has played 108 matches, notching up 2,571 runs at a good average of 35.70 and a very healthy strike rate of over 90, with three centuries and 16 fifties to his credit.

Virat Kohli - has proved one of India's most versatile batsman, adapting with relative ease
to any sort of wicket. He has been simply the most consistent batsman up the order in recent times with a stunning average of 45.73 and an aggregate of 1,555 runs from 42 matches, with 4 hundreds and 11 fifties under his belt.

Praveen Kumar - Though currently restrained by a troublesome elbow injury, Praveen will be a valuable player in the World Cup. He first burst on the scene during India's tour of Down Under in 2007-08 and bowled match-winning spells in the finals. Though his form has been somewhat wishy-washy since that high, he is still able to effect deadly swing with the ball and is power-hitter lower down the order. Praveen has picked up 57 scalps from 48 matches at an average of 33.57 and an economy rate of 5.07.

Piyush Chawla - has proved a nifty little leg-spinner. But the 21-year old has just played 21
one-dayers thus far and his last appearance for Team India was way back in in July 2008. His bowling stats are good but not outstanding, showing an average of 32.53, a economy rate of 4.96 and a tally of 28 wickets with a best of 4/23.

R Ashwin - has done well in the limited opportunities he has got and is not only a wicket-taker but also a miserly bowler. He has also been Dhoni's choice to bowl the most critical overs for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL and Champions League and never disappointed his skipper. He is probably the least experienced of all the players going into this World Cup, with just 7 matches played. But he has taken 14 wickets from those encounters at a stunning average of 23.21 and an economy rate of 4.92.


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