Former selector Saba Karim says they chose to put emphasis on fitness and not just talent in their selections during his tenure
The 2011 World Cup was perhaps the last time when we saw a clutch of senior players play together in the same side. The likes of Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan etc all played a critical role as India lifted the coveted trophy after a gap of 28 years.
However, post that triumph, each of those players began to go on a decline and eventually went out of the team for extended periods of time. Sehwag and Zaheer eventually retired from the game last October, while Yuvraj continues to battle on in the domestic circuit, trying to make a comeback into the Indian team across all three formats of the game.
Former selector Saba Karim has now come out and reasoned the dropping of these players, stating that post the win, the team tasted defeats in a few series and when Sandeep Ptil-led selection committee, the on which Karim was a part of, took over, their idea was to build a new side.
"We came in as national cricket selectors in 2012, a year after India had won the ODI World Cup. There were a number of senior players with immense contribution to the team's success. But after winning the 2011 World Cup, India had lost a few series.
"So we had a vision on what we wanted to do in the next four years and that was to see India becoming No.1 team across all three formats of the game. We chose to select players who had high fitness levels, besides talent and skills and slowly included them in the team. And eventually we met our goal of becoming number one in Tests, ODIs as well as Twenty20 cricket," the former wicket-keeper said on Friday.
After the 2011 World Cup, India suffered whitewashes in England and Australia and also failed to make it through to the finals of several big-ticket events, including World T20 in Sri Lanka in 2012.
But backed by some excellent performances from the youngsters, the team, led by MS Dhoni, clinched the Champions Trophy in England in 2013, going undefeated right throughout the competition.