Are Talents In India Decaying?




The leap from domestic cricket to Internationals seems to be increasing that many proven players from Ranji are struggling at bigger stage recently for India.

Domestic Cricket - Ranji Trophy

Domestic Cricket – Ranji Trophy

For long in Indian, Ranji Trophy being the top domestic competition was only a level below the International standard of cricket but in the last five years the gap seems to be widened enough that no longer players can be judged on the performance of Ranji alone. In early 2000s, players who had performed well in Ranji enjoyed success when they got chances for Indian team like Jaffer, Dinesh Karthick, A Chopra, Bangar, Murali Karthick and L Balaji. Not all had the same amount of success but it is fair to say most of them delivered what were expected of them. It is to be noted that players like Sachin, Kumble, Dravid and Ganguly played major part of Ranji season for their respective state teams during this periods. It provided competitiveness, offered different challenges for domestic players against international players and raw talents were nurtured.

But the situation is very different now. Look at some of the products of Ranji to Indian team in recent years such as Badrinath, Dhawan, Jadeja (playing in Ranji from 2006 season onwards), Ojha, Mishra, Vinay Kumar plus you can add all our current crop of youngsters from Raina’s to Sharma’s. All these players came to Indian squad on the back off big performance in Ranji but failed to even sustain their places in Indian team. Although some got less chances but still they failed to show the same kind of ease or class in their playing style against international teams like they do in Ranji.

What could be the reason?

Selection of players done on the same basis like it was done on earlier 2000s, same big performers from Ranji and same limited opportunity at first. Then, why do India experiencing shortage of players in performance (not in talents)?

Two of the major reasons could be lack of challenges and nurturing of talents in Ranji that widened the length to big stages. You can hardly see any of our current Indian team player playing for their state team in Ranji. Also the other factor is players in domestic teams getting used to their oppositions over the seasons. Good players were hardly challenged by any players or conditions. The prime example for this is Badrinath, a run-machine in Ranji but for India? You know the answer. It’s not that Badrinath didn’t have potential, he failed to correct his mistakes due to lack of challenges from conditions and bowlers in India. Those mistakes are found out when he plays for India and as a result sent back to Ranji again.

Remedies are? County cricket and more A tours

BCCI must stop saying no to county cricket. Some of our modern greats including Sachin had a season of county cricket during their initial phase of career. But off late what BCCI done? Stopped players like Sehwag, Gambhir, Ishant, VVS Laxman from playing county cricket. BCCI even stopped sending upcoming talents to Australian Academy on the scholarships. The number of A team tours significantly got reduced over the years compared to earlier 2000s which again denied chances for young talents with challenges to develop their ability for international standards.

Rahane showed what a difference of three weeks of playing cricket in Australia can make in his two outings for India already. Harsha Bhogle on air said, “I have seen him play before, but I never seen play so good like this, pulling, cutting, and driving up in covers”. The words of Harsha pretty much sums up the difference of playing cricket in and outside India can make to players ability.

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