The recent selection for the New Zealand test series and the T20 World Cup have posed more questions than answers. When the media quizzed chief selector Mr. Krishnamachari Srikkanth, the replies that surfaced were typical of post-Srikkanth selection. A lot of words rattled, but the questions remaining unanswered. Quite a few surprises sprang, lot of loose and a cloud of uncertainty around.
Getting into the thick of things, Piyush Chawla last played international cricket 18 months back. After the hiatus, he has bagged his place in the test squad. In those 18 months, he didn’t go the extra mile to prove his worth to the selectors. He hadn’t done anything impressive in the domestic circuit or the IPL to fetch the selectors’ nod, but still the selectors have taken him on board. On the other hand, Rahul Sharma, who was an apple in the eye of the selectors till the last series, is being overlooked now. Sharma could extract considerable bounce from the surface and did let the ball skid off the surface. If he was dropped due to his off field exploits (testing positive for drugs), that should have been disclosed by Kris Srikanth when prodded by the scribes. How did Piyush Chawla usurp Rahul Sharma to make the cut for the leggie’s spot?
Rohit Sharma for sure is looking out of sorts. In the Sri Lanka ODI series, he stuck to binary scores. From the very own words of Dhoni and Gambhir, Rohit for sure is a raw talent. Against the short ball, he is better equipped than the 13 others in the squad (Sachin excluded, hence 13). He flew to Australia along with the team, but was left to warm the benches. Given his style of batting and his impeccable technique, he could try his hand at the longer version of the game. On the contrary, Suresh Raina isn’t a class test batsmen. He might fair well in the Indian pitches, but being futuristic, test cricket isn’t his forte. The Indian left handers legacy stays – Ganguly, Yuvraj and now Raina, are great ODI batsmen, but the same doesn’t transpire to Test cricket. If not Suresh Raina, Manoj Tiwary could have been handed the test cap given his niche for constructing long innings. What made you recall Raina?
A player who is the most stylish and classy right handers the game has ever witnessed; the most underrated, but extremely talented test batsman, VVS Laxman, hasn’t been among the runs for quite sometime now. Given his pure class, he deserves a long rope and should be fed with time to discover his form, but this, when he was below 35. For someone who is in his wane, one year of not troubling the scorers deserves the axe. That could well be the end of his brilliant test career, but the end isn’t inevitable, is it? Emotions apart, don the pragmatic hat and you would nod in my favor. If he was asked to call it a day and this is his last series, I retract. If that isn’t the case, why is it you’re still persisting with VVS?
The billion dollar question is right there starring at you. After the ignominious 8 consecutive test losses in foreign soil, the selectors seemed to have comprehended nothing. The attitude hasn’t changed a bit and the squad selections seems to be done on the same lines. This transition phase is the most treacherous phase of Indian cricket and needs to be embraced well by the selectors. The selectors seem to be oblivious to the past drudgery. What is that you learnt from the 8-0 away loss?
These dangling issues need to be looked in to. This being the last sitting of the current selection committee, we pin our hopes on the successors to address such apprehensions and pick the best, and more importantly, a deserving squad.