Dinesh Mongia.. making the right moves

In the past decade, the Indian ODI team selectors tried out quite a few utility cricketers (players who can bat a bit, bowl a bit and field really well) without much real success. There were atleast 4 left-handed batsmen (Dinesh Mongia, Hemang Badani, Rohan Gavasakar and Sridharan Sriram), who could also bowl a few decent overs of orthodox left arm spin, that were tried out. I have always believed that Badani was the naturally gifted of them all. But this post isn't about him, so let me not get into why he hasn't been able to reach his full potential.

This post is about Dinesh Mongia and the reason am making this post is because I believe that he is the only one of those four who still has a real shot at getting into that squad for next year's world cup. He played in the last world cup and has struggled to get back into the squad since then. After some very good performances for the Leicestershire Foxes, he managed to get a couple of games against the visiting Pakistanis in April last year. India lost both the games and he was dumped again after that. Suresh Raina is the current favourite, but I guess the search for a batsman who can consistently bowl 6-8 overs in each game is still on. And given the recent performances in the domestic games, I would have to say that Mongia is the front-runner for that spot (I would like to believe that Sourav Ganguly is also aiming to slot himself into the same position).

In the 5 Ranji ODI games that Punjab has played so far this season (the zonal league games are over) he has amassed 444 runs at an average of 148.00 with 2 tons and 1 half-ton. But more importantly he also managed to pick 11 wickets at 14.54 apiece and an economy rate around 4 an over. In North Zone's first game in the Deodhar Trophy against Central Zone, he failed with the bat, but returned with figures of 3/37 in his 10 overs with the ball. With just about an year left for the world cup, he is starting to make the right moves at the right time. He is still 28, experienced enough and has a good head on his shoulders. He probably is not yet in Chappell's list of world cup probables, but if he continues to put strong domestic performances like he has in recent weeks, there is no reason why he shouldn't be able to stage a comeback.

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Blogger Alok 5:48 AM

yup, mongia does deserve decent chance, he has beeen doing well like u said for past year or so, somehow i do not like the thought of raina being the price of it in any sort of way, i mean the way this guy fields ( i agree mongia too is good at this, specially his throws ) n bats, those drives in pakistan were literally beautiful. i just hope raina grows.    



Blogger vishnupavan 7:20 AM

I'm a big Raina fan and from the looks of it he does seem to be a certainty for the world cup (unless he does something really stupid from now till then).. But even with that, I still think for the sake of variety, it would be nice to have a left-arm-spin bowling all-rounder in the fourteen..    



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