Dissecting Indian ODI team selection for Srilanka series

To put all the blames for your failures into non-existing thing called “luck” is a very costly mistake, and a sin if you don’t learn anything from it.

We should try to live in past because Indian cricket team future may well taste bitter.

Indian selectors headed by Kris Srikkanth announced the team for limited over tour of Srilanka later this month. There was some expectation preceded towards this meeting since it was start of new and long season ahead and this selection will pretty much make the statement for future ahead after the disastrous last season. It was also expected that selectors will finally throw answers for poor overseas performances. But what happened was just contrasting. No reports or real analyzed reasons were given for poor performances. Team selection for upcoming series is just plain whitewash for damage done. Indian selectors are always been criticized for lack of courageous decision making and doing nothing sort of deep analysis to evaluate performances. And they proved again.

The team selected indicate neither any future planning (is there ever exists such thing in Indian cricket?) nor any issues addressed which were risen during last season.

Team for Sri Lanka’s ODI series:

Openers: Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Ajinkya Rahane.
Middle Order: Virat Kohli (VC), Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Manoj Tiwary.
Wicket Keeper: M S Dhoni (C).
Spinners: Ravichandran Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha and Rahul Sharma.
Seamers: Zaheer Khan, R Vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Ashok Dinda.

Suresh Raina is somehow been carried in the team despite poor performances with bat. He has just one score above fifty in his last 11 outings. The case of Rohit Sharma is also of the same with one fifty in last 8 matches. There is nothing need to be told about Sehwag since i forget when he played an reasonably good knock against good teams.

If these inclusion don’t raise eye brows then exclusion of Irfan Pathan should. This is how Irfan stat reads from CB series: 8 matches, 61.1 overs, 2 maidens, 343 runs, 11 wickets at an average of 31.28 and economy rate of 5.64 with a wicket per 33.03 balls. In his 4 outings down the order, Irfan scored 96 runs (higher than what Rohit Sharma managed in CB Series). What more a bowling all-rounder expected to do?

And then, statement from selectors when questioned about axing of Jadeja, Irfan and Yusuf Pathan, ” I don’t want to talk about individuals, like why not X why not Y or Z? You should look at who is selected and what is available. Everybody should look at the performance of the guys who have been selected and you yourself will understand that the team is an automatic choice,” indicating its individuals not team was selected.

Jadeja deserved the axe for Asia cup itself, so it is expected one but why Yusuf Pathan? he was recalled for Asia cup where he was given a mere 5 overs to bowl and didn’t get a single chance to bat in 3 matches. Now on what grounds is he dropped? IPL? then aren’t Dhoni, Kohli, Raina and Manoj Tiwary deserved the same considering their below-par performances?

It is bewildering fact that no all-rounders were selected for Lankan ODI series. When asked, selector decided to dump the question. With no true all-rounders, is India following the blue print of England ODI team? 6 batsmen – 5 bowlers is the way team thinking to go? Or Raina and Rohit will fill the 5th bowler slot (the reason for their selection may be)?

Ashwin gets the nod with no real competition from anyone (our spin department is weak as Chris Martin batting). Ojha is always talked of as best current left-arm spinner, so he deserves the chance. What about Rahul Sharma? this is crazy if you know that Rohit Sharma and Jalaj Saxena out bowled him by some margin in tests and ODI respectively in recently concluded WI A tour.

And finally, Sachin Tendulkar. Opts out of one more ODI series and selectors still saying he is part of ODI plan.

I don’t know what to do than laugh at the selection, selectors press statements, Indian captain Dhoni choosing to be at United States instead of being at team selection meeting and India’s future. I will let you to decide whether this team selection is good or bad.

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