India's alternate ODI XI
In India, cricket is not a game, it is a religion, something very integral and natural to Indian culture. Children start playing with the bat and ball from a very young age, often running away from schools and colleges and playing cricket by bunking classes. It seems to have become a way of expressing ourselves, just the way Football is in Europe and South America.
Apart from being plenty of positives to take from that, there are several negatives aspects that one cannot ignore. The most major one being that, since there are millions of ardent cricket followers and lovers, there are plenty who are passionate enough to give it a shot.
These people take to Professional Cricket, but very few, in fact, a negligible percentage of them are actually able to make it even average, let alone making it big.
The likes of Amol Mazumdar, Wasim Jaffer, Ranadeb Bose and Yere Goud, among others, did not get opportunities to actually show their true potential. Many may blame the eras in which they played, as India never had any dearth of talent, with new and more impressive cricketers coming up in each generation.
These players who could either never play in the Indian jersey or could not do much in the very few games they got to play, might have also proven to be extremely effective and impressive if made to perform together. They might have even performed equally well, or just minutely worse, vis-a-vis their National team counterparts.
There are many such players today as well, who have shown immense potential and great temperament, but unfortunately, have not been part of the regular Indian team.
Let us look at one such playing XI that could give good competition to the current National side in ODI Cricket.
#1 Ajinkya Rahane (C)
Rahane was once India's go-to man for building partnerships, playing the anchoring role in the middle order and also smashing a few shots here and there in the latter part of his innings.
He was India's premier number 4 batsman in the 2015 ICC World Cup and had made that position his own. However, he could not justify his occupation of the spot for long, and soon found himself struggling to get into the playing XIs.
In spite of all odds, Rahane has made several comebacks to the National side post the 2015 World Cup, sometimes as an opener and sometimes as a number 4, and this ability of his to bounce back after lows in his career is what makes him a strong contender.
He has shown his excellent captaincy skills in limited overs matches in Zimbabwe and also in the longer format of the game. Having ample International experience and a calm and composed mind, he is the best choice for captaining the side.