This article was submitted by CWO.
What is it about the Indian cricket that compels its fans to frantically call upon the heads of the players? It all starts with the team the selectors put on the field. The selectors are above all when it comes to Indian Cricket, their focus on a goal or the lack of that focus is what drives Indian cricket. The fans will do what the can to try and push the selectors for some answers, but they will receive none. Indian cricket is headed in a direction, right or wrong, we don’t know for sure. What we do know is at this time we have a team that was selected with some controversy, we have an ODI series on our hands and our focus must be on that. We will look into the selectors after we discuss some of their selections.
The Indian team started its ODI series with a warm up match against the Sri Lankan XI and the story of the day was Yuvraj Singh’s 172 at the strike rate of 142.14. It may be a bit premature, but what does this mean for the upcoming ODIs? Will Yuvraj Singh be the catalyst for the Indian middle order in the series? The Test series was a loss due to the Indian middle order. The seniors failed to perform at numerous occasions; and the only victory we got was hugely credited to Virender Sehwag’s double century. The Indian middle order in the final at Asia cup also failed to perform with the exception of M.S. Dhoni’s 49. So one begs to question, do these selections mean anything for the future?
The truth is that these do mean something. The first meaning is the strong statement made by Yuvraj Singh, He is here to play and prove his worth to the selectors. He was not selected for the Test series and that must have hurt him and the selectors must have seen how he has played poorly against the world class spinners of Sri Lanka and that had set enough doubt in the selector’s minds to pull Yuvraj Singh from the Test series. They now give him a chance in the ODIs and now he must show everyone that he has not lost his touch and can continue to produce match winning performances for India.
The problem for India has been the youth, but it has also has its rewards. For now the focus is on the ODI series and it is imperative that the young Indian middle order practice against Pragyan Ojha and Harbhajan Singh as much as possible in the nets. It may not be the same class of spinning as Ajantha Mendis or Mutthaiah Muralitharan, but it will be more than practicing against a bowling machine. The selectors have put much faith in these young middle order players. One of the questions that have bothered Indian fans for a while now is the fact that India has always been a powerhouse of spin bowling as has the rest of the subcontinent; so how is it possible that the selectors can not find the right batsmen and train them to be near perfect playing spin bowling? There may not be a clear cut answer to that question, but that is just one of the questions that have never been answered.
There are however, many questions that will be answered in the next few weeks. How good is M.S. Dhoni as a captain? How well will the bowling attack perform? Along with the questions of how well the current selection panel is performing. Since the switch to the younger teams India stand at two series win out of the possible six. This does not bode well for the selectors, and BCCI shall hold them responsible if India falters to Sri Lanka in yet another series. Although this may just be a stepping stone and there may be a very logical reason for the current selections, the selectors need to come out and speak to the media and the fans of Indian Cricket more clearly.
While the focus will be how India must win this series; the selectors must prepare India for the 2011 Cricket World Cup, and not just put another team on the field for the next game. They have to train kids to grow up and be men. They have to be holding their selectors more responsible and improve the infrastructure of cricket in India. They have a decent domestic season, but they need to realize talent early and hone their skills. Bring them up to give India a chance at winning the next Cricket World Cup.
As bad as the current situation is right now, the youth is our future, and we must call upon the youth to lead us to a championship. The selectors may be under scrutiny if we lose yet another series, if they are not already; but they must stay focused to bring India the pride and honour its fans rightfully deserve.