India’s tour of South Africa finally got the nod after weeks of deliberations and controversies. The Indian team is scheduled to arrive in South Africa on the 2nd of December. But the short series against the West Indies meant that the Indian players have only 4 days of rest between the last ODI and the start of the South African tour.
Indian players generally have played the most number of days in a calendar year over the last few years. But this scheduling is ridiculous considering some of the players play in all 3 formats of the game. In 2013, India has played 28 ODIs which is the most by any team. Six more matches will be added to that tally before the year ends.
Considering the amount of cricket the team is about to play in the coming months, the selectors were supposed to rest our top players for the one day matches against the West Indies. This would have also given an opportunity to some of the fringe players who deserve their chances after some good performances in the last one year or so.
These are the four top cricketers who I believe should have been rested for the upcoming series:
It’s hard to realize the fact that captain cool is currently the oldest member in that one day squad. No other team around the world has a captain who is a wicket keeper batsman across all three formats. He is 32 years old and has been India’s captain cum keeper for six years now. Surely that has to take a toll on your body especially given India’s tight schedule.
He is a very fit individual. You rarely see him getting injured or skipping games, but even he felt the heat when he injured his hamstring during the tri series a few months ago. Since he is set to play every single game starting from the South African tour till the IPL, the selectors should have rested Dhoni.
Ambati Rayudu would make an ideal replacement and he is present in the squad. He can keep wickets and he did make some runs in the Zimbabwe series. But it’s hard to imagine how he would get a game with Dhoni around. The selectors could have even sprung a surprise by giving a chance to young Sanju Samson who has impressed everyone in the IPL and the CLT20. He has also made a strong start in this season’s Ranji.