As we were discussing the teams for the Twenty20 Worldcup and the first test between India and England, the selectors announced the squad for the India A tour to Kenya and Zimbabwe. Here is the team -
- Mohd. Kaif (Captain) – Middle order Batsman
- Parthiv Patel (Vice-captain) – WK, but picked as batsman
- Robin Uthappa – Opening batsman
- C Pujara – Middle order batsman
- S Badrinath – Middle order batsman
- Rohit Sharma – Middle order batsman
- Rajesh Pawar – Left Arm Spin
- Mahesh Rawat – Wicket Keeper
- Piyush Chawla – Leg Break Bowler
- Arjun Yadav – Middle order batsman
- Pragyan Ojha – Left Arm Spin
- Irfan Pathan – Left Arm Medium Pace/Left hand batsman
- Yo Mahesh – Right Arm Medium Pace
- Pankaj Singh – Right Arm Medium Pace
- Niraj Patel – Middle Order batsman
So, whats wrong with this team? Plenty.
- Opening batsmen – India currently has a lack of opening batsmen and it is time to try out genuine openers. It was pointed out by this article too (Thanks, Chandan). Apart from Uthappa, there is no one. Why wasn’t M Vijay picked? He is an opener and barring Uthappa and Tiwary has scored more runs than anyone else in the Ranjis. He is also only 23 years old. Sure Parthiv now opens the batting for Gujarat, but c’mon…Apparently, Chopra wasn’t picked because of his age (29 years!), while Rajesh Pawar (28 years) finds a place in the team. IMHO, trying out Chopra before the Aussie tour should have ranked high on the selectors agenda.
- Fast bowlers – Yo Mahesh and Irfan Pathan are good choices, but why weren’t Munaf and Ishant picked? Or VRV Singh?? Pankaj Singh is definitely a surprise selection.
- Left arm spinners – Do we really need two? Why not pick one offspinner instead? Yusuf Pathan has been picked up for the Twenty20 shortlist. Surely, he could have been given a try. Or R. Aswhin, the off spinner who took 31 scalps in 4 matches and was named bowler of the year in domestic cricket, could have been given a go.
- Arjun Yadav - Will someone please explain to me why he was picked? Apart from being Shivlal Yadav’s son and being able to threaten people with a stump, please give me one good reason.
- Suresh Raina – Why wasn’t he picked? In an interview to Hindustan Times a day before the team was announced, Raina says he is now fully fit, but he wasn’t picked. Apparently, Manoj Tiwary is also not fully fit to be included in the team.
- Joginder Sharma – He had a good domestic season and India is looking out for all rounders. Why wasn’t he picked? I think this is a shocking omission.
- Sehwag – I think India needs Sehwag. It’s a pity he is not in the Seniors team and doesn’t find a place in the A team either. They could have named him captain and Kaif vice captain. Bajji must be glad he is playing for Surrey, chalking up much needed match practice and experience, while Sehwag must be hoping to score some runs in the local Buchi Babu tournament.
Ok, now that I’ve let my steam out, I do agree that there can only be 15 people in the team and selection is not an easy task. But the team(s) that Mohan picked earlier had a good combination of people trying to get back into the team and people in the fringes of national selection. On the other hand, this team contains people like Arjun Yadav….