The Cricket Team Have-Nots




The Cricket Team Have-Nots

The Cricket Team Have-Nots

It is tough being the Indian Cricket Team’s second string these days. The ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 win has cemented many a players’ places in the team and in the hearts of the ordinary fan. The present series going on in the West Indies has given a chance for the bench – warmers to show their true mettle in the international circuit.

Also Read: India Tour Of England 2011 – Complete Schedule

But there is a rider attached to it. Some already know that they will have to sit out once the seniors return, irrespective of their performances. Such is the aura and the irreplaceability of the seniors. How disheartening must that be?

Take the case of young wicket – keeper Parthiv Patel. Selected as the stop – gap wicket – keeping option for the one – dayers, he did a reasonably good job keeping as well as opening the batting. But we all know he’ll have to sit out once Captain Dhoni returns to the fold, and he surely isn’t good enough to command a place in the Indian team purely on his batting skills.

Another interesting case is that of Virat Kohli. Having got a host of chances over the past year or two due to injuries to top players, he has repeatedly impressed the selectors with his maturity and willingness to learn. His match winning displays against top teams have been a treat to watch. Earlier questioned for his brash attitude, he has even gone on to break into the Test side and made his debut in the 1st test against the Windies starting today. He is, though, best remembered for a fighting knock of 90 he made for the Delhi Ranji team a day after his father’s death. Talk about grabbing your chance with both your hands!

Then there are others that simply haven’t grabbed hold of the numerous opportunities they have got and have oscillated in and out of the team. Names like Ishant and Rohit Sharma instantly come to mind. Termed as the next batch of prodigiously talented youngsters, they have struggled for consistency over the entire course of their careers.

Rohit, though, had a wonderful one-day series in the Caribbean and may just be realizing the true worth of his potential. He may consider himself unlucky to have missed out on a place in the Test team. The World Cup snub seems to have greatly motivated him and it seems that he’s channelizing his talents to achieve maximum results.

And lastly, a name comes to mind who is just, well, plain unlucky. Nobody can say with absolute certainty the reason why Ravichandran Ashwin is out of the team. He is talented, has a great cricketing brain and most importantly, has the temperament to succeed at this level of the game. The only thing that goes against him is the management’s reluctance to pair him with Bhajji, our premier off spinner.

But obviously, a healthy bench is a great asset for any team. It keeps the seniors on their toes and provides for healthy competition among places in the team.

Indian cricket, today, is at a crossroads. The old stalwarts would soon retire and so, there is an urgent need to groom today’s youngsters to take over the reins from the likes of Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman and Zaheer.

The Caribbean sojourn provides a good chance for the youngsters to prove their mettle under Dhoni and impress him first hand. Their impressive performances would only be good for the health of Indian cricket for years to come.

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