Resting five seniors to test bench strength right: Akram

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram feels India is on right track in its preparations for next year's World Cup and resting five senior players to test bench st

Updated: October 18, 2010 10:32 IST
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New Delhi:

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram feels India is on right track in its preparations for next year's World Cup and resting five senior players to test bench strength in the ODI series against Australia was a right decision taken by the selectors.

"The decision to drop five senior players for ODI series against Australia has been a brave one. Sehwag and Gambhir are the best opening duo in the world and Sachin is like old wine, getting better every day. More than the batsmen, the decision to rest Zaheer and Harbhajan will definitely impact the bowling attack. But I am sure this is for a justified cause. Even if India lose the ODI series against Australia, there will be nothing to worry," Akram said.

"Indian cricket is surely on the right track. The Test series win against Australia justified their status as world number one and I must laud the national selectors for doing a good job in picking a balanced side for the two matches," Akram wrote in one of his columns.

Akram said at a time when Pakistan's selectors were groping in the dark, their Indian counterparts were taking some wise decisions which will impact the future.

"At this stage, all nations must be planning for the World Cup early next year and I think, India seem to be making the right moves," said the legendary fast bowler.

He said India's bench strength is now well established and because of that the selectors rested five seniors players against a strong team like Australia.

"India's bench strength has been well established now and this is a great sign. Even a few years ago, Indian selectors would not have dared to rest five of the best players in the country against Australia," he said.

"India are by no means a weak side (even without five senior players). Folks like Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Yuvraj Singh are good enough and Australia will not have it easy. This is a great opportunity for youngsters like Saurabh Tiwari and Shikhar Dhawan to prove themselves. I am sure, at the end of the New Zealand series, the Indian selectors will have a problem of plenty," said Akram.

Akram felt that Indian Cricket Board should take quick decisions in the IPL mess so that the Twenty20 league is held without any hitch next year.

"The only thing that is worrying me in Indian cricket is the crisis over the IPL. Whatever it is, the BCCI should quickly make its decisions so that the 'clean' franchises can plan ahead and make the tournament a success.

"IPL is a world product and has been organised very well so far. BCCI should be proud of the event and ensure that it goes on without any hitch," said Akram.

Talking about Australian cricket, the former Pakistan skipper said that Ricky Ponting is still the best man to lead the Kangaroos despite his side losing the Test series 0-2 against India.

"In the wake of losing to India, a lot of questions are being raised on Ponting's future as skipper. This is absurd. You just can't write off a man like Ponting just because he lost a series in India.

"Defeat has hurt Australian ego but that doesn't mean removing Ponting from the Test captaincy will help. At 34, he is still the best man to lead Australia and also has the credentials to do so. And someone like Ponting knows when to take a bow. So the critics should hold fire," he said.

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