Calcutta: The focus is pretty much on England’s Michael Vaughan as the six ‘super’ selectors prepare to name the ICC World Test and ODI squads for the October 5-19 Super Series face-offs versus Australia in Australia.
According to chief selector Sunil Gavaskar, he and his colleagues (Clive Lloyd, Richard Hadlee, Aravinda de Silva, Michael Atherton and Jonty Rhodes) are to meet in Durban on Friday.
The full panel wasn’t together in either of the two previous meetings, but Gavaskar is hopeful all six are going to be there this time.
Apparently, there’s some doubt over Hadlee only.
Vaughan isn’t among the 20 probables for the three ODIs in Melbourne, but has survived the 20-cut for the October 14-19 Super Test in Sydney.
He’s seen as best suited to lead the World XI.
There are three other current captains ' Inzamam-ul Haq, Graeme Smith and Shivnarine Chanderpaul ' among the Test probables, but Vaughan should captain if he makes the final 13.
[Incidentally, Inzamam has alone made the 20-cut for the ODIs as well.]
If that does happen, then irrespective of the Ashes scoreline, Vaughan will be eager to make an impression on Ricky Ponting’s turf.
“The captaincy is to be decided later' Picking the best 13 for the Test and the best 14 for the ODIs is our first job' That’s a guideline from the ICC and has to be respected,” Gavaskar told The Telegraph.
Speaking from Mumbai, on Tuesday evening, he added: “Vaughan, therefore, cannot be thought of as captain till he’s in the 13'”
Not too long ago, many spoke of New Zealand’s Stephen Fleming and our own Sourav Ganguly as the finest captains in the post-Nasser Hussain and Steve Waugh era.
In more recent times (not just after the stunning win in Edgbaston), though, Vaughan has caught the imagination of the fraternity and beyond.
The other day, for example, Ian Chappell was most generous in praising him.
Meanwhile, with Sachin Tendulkar provisionally selected for the two-Test series in Zimbabwe (which precedes the extravaganza in Australia), there’s little reason for Gavaskar and Co. to not name him in both squads.
Even a Super Series can do with such a crowd-puller.
Sachin apart, the Indians among the probables are: Anil Kumble (only for the Test), Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag (both the ODIs and the Test).
It’s an awesome bunch.