Monday, October 29, 2007

India's Selection Flawed.

India is probably the only country that kick off its domestic season by holding a triangular ODI tournament comprising of 33 of the best players in India - The Challenger Series. Well arguably so. The usual captains of India Blue, Red, and Green - Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, and Saurav Ganguly were 'rested' from this weekends tournament given BCCI's 'vision' for the future, and plus the 50 odd cricketers that have joined the rebel ICL, missed out as well. Despite this, the Challenger put on show the immense talent that India has with Mohammad Kaif, Virender Sehwag, and Parthiv Patel captaining the India Red, Blue, and Green respectively.

Now ideally, such a series should provide as the basis of selecting a squad for an upcoming ODI series. Obviously the regular internationals and the 1st choice XI automatically make the squad, but the form of the benchers can be adjudged from a series like this, but the BCCI selectors led by Dilip Vengsarkar went ahead and announced the squad for the first 2 ODIs againt Pakistan even before the Challenger was half way through.

Dropping Dravid is probably the biggest blunder the selection committee has ever done. I understand that India is looking at younger stars and Dravid is somewhat out of form and it is claimed that he is being 'rested' but you still can't leave him out of a squad. Younger players will only improve and get proper grooming if the side includes some seniors and who better than Dravid to do this as he can provide several valuable tips to the younger batsmen.

And then who do the selectors replace Dravid with - a has been Sehwag, who has done nothing of note in the recent past to warrant a place in the Indian team. He flopped in the 20-20 world cup with 1 innings of note and even in this challenger he scored 9,75, and 1 in the 3 matches he played. Whats worse is that the squad was announced while Sehwag's innings of 75 was going on. So what made the selectors pick Sehwag over Dravid? Even if they had kept the 75 in mind, would that have been enough for Sehwag to make a come back?

Wouldn't it have made sense for the selectors to have asked Dravid to play in the Challenger to regain some form and confidence ahead of the series against Pakistan?

Moreover, the talented Dinesh Karthik, whom India have been wasting at #3 in the ODIs, scored a 48 ball 65 in a round match and a match winning unbeaten 116 of 91 deliveries in the final of the Challenger. And he found himself dropped from the ODI squad even before the selectors had the chance to witness the 2 innings. Guess where he was batting during those innings - at number 5! Where's the justice?

Make your pitch on this post...

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