5 controversial selection-related decisions in cricket
The most difficult part of being a captain, coach or a selector is selecting the playing eleven for a game and benching the four other players in the squad. The decision needs to be a rational one else it may lead to grave repercussions for the team and its performance.
Cricket has seen many controversies born out of unreasonable and questionable team selections which ended up demotivating the players and diluting the fans' zeal for the game.
The team selection should process should be governed by factors like player's form, fitness, the pitch and the opposition. Over the years, many debatable team selection-related decisions have been taken. Here are five such controversial instances in cricket.
#5 Dropping Mithali Raj in the 2018 Woman's World T20 semi-final
Mithali Raj is one of the gems of Indian cricket and a true legend who scored a plethora of runs in women's cricket to lead her country to numerous victories.
As a captain, Mithali led India to the World Cup final on two occasions but unfortunately couldn't lift the trophy. She is one of the stalwarts of India's middle order in ODIs and is also a reliable opener in the T20 format.
Mithali is the only batter to score more than 6000 runs in women's ODI cricket. She is also the first Indian batter to cross the 2000-run mark in T20Is.
India recently lost to England in the semifinal of the 2018 ICC Women's World T20. Perhaps, the biggest factor of the loss was their team selection that raised many eyebrows. The experienced Mithali, who had won Player Of the Match awards in the tournament, was axed from the team in the semi-final.
In her letter to the BCCI, Mithali gave a detailed description of her dispute with head coach Ramesh Powar. CoA member and former Indian women's team captain Diana Edulji was also embroiled in the controversy. The veteran batter's axing and the accompanying chaos has taken centerstage in Indian cricket during the last few days.