Buck Up Cricketers!
I think the Indian cricket team needs a major resuffle. And I am not talking about just captaincy. As most captains opine the captain is as good as the team. This is correct to a great extent, but at the same time the captain should take responsibility- of the team, it's performance, decisions that he has taken and also for the selection in tours overseas.
Let us face it, the middle order is whimsical. Virender Kohli is the only one we can look upto. Dravid and Laxman are not there any longer, and we cannot depend on Tendulkar all the time. The pace bowlers are prone to injuries, and they do not have the stamina to continue series after seies. This is the difference between fast bowlers in India, and that of other counties like England or Australia. The openers are now brittle, though there was a time when both Sehwag and Gambhir were veritable run machines. Now they seem to be like profligates, getting themselves out brashly or irresponsibly.
The spin department just does not seem to settle down, and Harbhajan is also going through a rough patch, so much so that the selectors have no choice to fall back upon Ashwin and Ojha, although one fails to understand the inclusion of someone like Piyush Chawla. Saurav Ganguly had once said, that when the trio of Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman retire, especially at the same time, there will be a deep chasm, and a void to fill, which will be difficult. This has been in evidence in the series against England at home.
Our only hope now seems to be in the 50 overs and T-20 formats. And there too of late, the performance has not been very encouraging or dispelling fears.
The BCCI has to sit down patiently and identify a list of at least 25-30 players as probables, out of which they can rotate selection. Gone are the days, when a player can take his place for granted. Today, there is competition, but this competition is also abetted by the money factor. More emphasis should be given to the importance of Ranji matches, and there should be at least two selectors present every match. Their salaries are whoppingly high, they enjoy the best of facilities and amenity, there is no reason why they cannot do the grind. Again, it must be mandatory for all players to play domestic cricket, except of course when they are on national duty. Sunil Gavaskar took domestic matches as seriously as international cricket, there is no end to the process of learning.
So, buck up Indian selectors and cricketers, there is plenty to do.
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Ananya S Guha
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