The “Rest” is History…

Last night, the BCCI working committee selection committee, announced the team for the Bangladesh tour. Three ODIs and two Tests.

Here it is.

ODI Team : Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthapa, Virendra Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Manoj Tiwari, Dinesh Mongia, Piyush Chawla, Sreesanth, Munaf Patel, Zaheer Khan, RP Singh.

Test Team : Wasim Jaffer, Dinesh Karthik, Rahul Dravid (capt), VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Anil Kumble, Sreesanth, Zaheer Khan, VRV Singh, Ramesh Powar, Rajesh Pawar, Munaf Patel.

Given the performance at the World Cup and the buildup into this meeting, there was no way there would ever be a “satisfy-all” team composition. Going into the World Cup, the selectors said they had given India the team it wanted, the best available. Add that contrast in, and garnish with the rumblings from all and sundry and media gossip. That got us to a stage where nobody even wanted to hazard a guess. (I cant remember the last time we had nobody in either blogs or the press hazarding a guess about the 15. Bits and pieces about contenders maybe. But not about the overall composition).

Even with that background, the selections throw up more questions than answers. They had to. Do we want to blood youngsters? If so, why against minnows? If they do well against this opposition, will we stop saying “yes, but …” ?  If they fail, will we go back the guys wh are “resting”? Do we want to “rest” seniors? What from ? Why not give the guys who are struggling for form – like Irfan – a chance to play ? How old is old ? Is Sehwag at 29 old ? Is Dinesh Mongia at 30 young? If Mongia deserves a chance, doesn’t Kaif ? Was Sachin rested because they actually wanted to rest Saurav? Or the other way around? Why isn’t there a Vice Captain? Does anybody remember Suresh Raina? Should I send a SMS to Rajan Bala ?

Let me rest while you answer this lot of questions, then I’ll ask the next set.

Bottomline is : There were no easy answers to any questions and no matter what answers they had, we would still have questions.

Lets just take this as the hand thats been dealt and enjoy the game. Good Luck.

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12 thoughts on “The “Rest” is History…

  1. I beg to differ Sfx – this is not the hand that had been dealt to us. For the first time in the longest time, we had the opportunity to define what Indian cricket should be like – the shape, structure, ambition and constitution.

    This was a most wonderful opportunity to test new players – there was viewer fatigue, everyone wanted change, this was a low intensity series- we had everything going for us.

    What do we do – put together a team that is neither her nor there. Old, young, experienced,inexperienced – what is our team?

    Add to that a standby coach+manager, a standby fielding coach and a standby bowling coach .

    We had our chance – we squandered it.

  2. Hi Homer..

    Of course, its a poor hand. But the way I see it , the BCCI had dug such a deep hole – seniority, need for youth, fielding, endorsements, show cause notices, temporary coaches called other names, 45 ODIs ahead – that there was really no way out. No matter who they chose.

    You look at the two teams selected in isolation, and its clear to see that for the next series, it will be a completely different outfit. “Lets go with (a few) lab rats” seems to be the sorry mantra.

    “Hand been dealt” is more resignation than satisfaction….

  3. Has any body read any article about one individual’s contribution to Irfaan Pathan’s sorry state today.. No body is talking about it.. GG’s biggest contribution to Indian cricket.. Sehwag not making it to the test team is one of the most ridiculous pieces of non selection that come to mind.. given the fact that he is chosen for the ODI’s.. The sad part is that this is all happening under DV’s reign.. I know his hands might be tied etc theories.. but some one has to be brave and different.. DV had shown glimpses of his candour earlier..but BCCI has managed to tame him as well..
    Jai Pawar

    Any coincidence that there are 2 pawars (with small spelling differences) in the team

  4. Rahul – agree on Irfan Pathan. Has gone from being the flight that would take us to Utopia , to the guy who must be grounded no matter what. One heard so much about confidence issues at the start of the South Africa series… Sad story and high time somebody took ownership…

  5. Anon – Yes, googled away and just saw that he’s in post surgery (to left leg) rehab. Thanks for that. So basically the ODI team has to make way for three batsmen at the very least. Sachin & Dada once they are done resting and Raina once he’s .. err… done resting as well.

  6. Rahul,

    what about More’s culpability in the whole thing? And where is Pathan’s sense of responsibility? The guy is struggling, but wont go talk to his old coach nor will he go to the MRF Pace Academy for rehab.

    Everything that is wrong with Indian cricket does not originate from Chappell.

    He may have been a lot of things, but by blaming him for Pathan’s decline is absolving Pathan of any responsibility.

  7. Homer – If you haven’t read this already

    Greg for Aus academy?
    If this is true, then even Ireland has a chance of beating Australia sooner than later

    By: Sunil Gavaskar

    ——————————————————————————–

    Sunil Gavaskar
    One thing is for sure. Whoever wins the World Cup, there will be a huge turnover of coaches of the different teams.
    John Buchanan had announced in 2005 itself that the 2007 World Cup would be his last assignment as coach of Australia. Whether he is interested in coaching a national team again or is now keen to take it easy is not yet known, but there is no doubt that all he has to do is give a hint that he is interested in another assignment, and he would be flooded with offers. He is smart enough to know that replicating the results Australia got is not going to be easy with other teams.

    Varied options

    From the other three semi-finalists, Tom Moody, coach of Sri Lanka, may want to look at other opportunities, though to his credit he has refused to entertain or even consider other offers till the end of the World Cup. On the other hand, another Australian, Dav Whatmore, has spoken on record of his interest in coaching India, even as Bangladesh were playing the Super 8 matches, which the Bangladesh Cricket Board was not amused by and were to decide what action, if any, to take against him. In fact, when India was looking for a coach to replace John Wright in 2005, Whatmore had offered to break his contract with the Bangladesh Cricket Board and come over to India. That did not impress the BCCI, which quite rightly felt that if he could walk out of a contract with Bangladesh midway, what was to stop him doing that to India if say Australia offered him a contract?

    Under the hammer

    The other coaches coming under the hammer after their team’s performances are England’s Duncan Fletcher and West Indies’ Bennett King.
    Fletcher has been the longest-serving coach, having been in office since 2000, and he has had some success in the job with victories over Pakistan and Sri Lanka overseas, apart from the fantastic Ashes win in 2005.
    Thereafter, somehow it’s been downhill, and that in a way was to be expected because the English team peaked in 2005 and played superb cricket to beat the Australians. It was never going to be easy to play to that level again, and though there has been the odd win like in the tri-series finals in Australia just before the World Cup, in general, the standard has slipped from English cricket. Almost every former England captain and player wants a change not only for the coach, but also the captain and the Chairman of the Selection Committee, for the results of the English team over the last couple of years.
    The coach of the West Indies team, King has blamed the West Indies’ cricket structure for the failure of the team to make it to the semi-finals.
    He has been at the job for four years, bringing along his Australian cronies as support staff, and apart from the Champions Trophy win in 2004, West Indies cricket has done nothing of note during that time.
    If King thought that the structure of West Indies cricket was not conducive to producing a good team, did he bring it to the notice of the authorities all these years or has the realisation struck him just now, as the Windies limped off the World Cup radar?
    South Africa and New Zealand are the only other Test teams with local coaches and both Mickey Arthur and John Bracewell have done exceedingly well with their teams, so there may be no changes there.

    New search

    Pakistan will be looking for a new coach after the unfortunate passing away of Bob Woolmer and Greg Chappell left India before India left him.
    When Chappell took over as coach of the Indian team, Indian cricket was poised to take the big step forward. There was optimism all round and a palpable confidence that Indian cricket would be ready to challenge Australia for the title of the best team in the world. Instead, at the end of his tenure, Indian cricket is down in the dumps with a first-round exit in the World Cup, and is fractured and divided as seldom before. Some of the most promising talent, as recognised by the ICC Cricket voting panel, has lost its way and nobody of any note has come though in this period.
    The batting, which should have flourished under the guidance of someone recognised as one of the game’s best batsmen, has looked tentative and unsure and has lost the spark that made India’s cricket team such a must-see for cricket lovers.

    Strange move

    Despite all this, and him saying in a press interview that the BCCI is run like Zimbabwe, the BCCI is reportedly offering him a place as a Consultant to the National Cricket Academy. It’s never easy sacking somebody, however incapable and inefficient he/she may be, but to give another job and that too one which deals with the future of Indian cricket after the mess the present of Indian cricket has been landed into, makes one wonder if we will ever get out of the inferiority complex syndrome.
    In the meanwhile, comes the news, and this could be another calculated leak, that Chappell is going to head the Australian Cricket Academy. If true, then it could be the best thing that has happened for world cricket. Now even Ireland has a chance of beating Australia sooner than later

  8. Rahul,

    Bit rich of Gavaskar to blame Chappell, given that he left his post as NCA Chairman citing media commitments.

    And if we are apportioning blame, just how much is Gavaskar culpable in India losing to Australia for the first time in 35 years on home soil?

    Our problem is – we look at every possible excuse to blame for our misfortunes instead of looking at the issue, learning from it and doing things better the next time.

    eg – we have long lamented that there is no finishing school for budding talent. Well, the NCA is there but it functions for 3 months in a year. Facilities are world class, facilities are going to seed.

    When we ourselves are responsible for our lack of progress, why blame anyone else? Or is it that blaming someone else for our problems is the easy way out?

    Same with team selection – granted we do not have any exceptional talent ; but what are we doing to groom the talent that we have to become world beaters? Why is the expectation that the next kid who wields the willow is going to be the next Tendulkar?

  9. Let us, for the sake of argument, agree with everything Gavaskar has to say. So now the question is – What is Gavaskar doing about it? He was on the Working Committee following the WC debacle. Did he volunteer to coach the Indian team? Does he have anything constructive to say about the current team selection and what can be done to better Indian cricket? Has he used his stature as a cricketer to even better facilities in Mumbai?

    What are his recommendations to arrest the slide that he writes so pointed about, other than blaming Chappell?

  10. Why are you looking at SG’s (non) contribution to Indian cricket?.. Tell me any other media person – Ian Chappell/ Tony Greig/ all of them frankly.. what have they done.. but you will accept Ian’s armchair criticism .. England has a brillaint talent honing system, I thought.. look at the results

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