Like a Bollywood formlua-movie that can never disappoint, the new selection committee deferred hard/bad decisions for a while yet and delivered a “formula-selection” instead. Perhaps this selection committee did not like arguments either, for, according to Niranjan Shah, former-Secretary of BCCI, talking to “players about their retirement plans which may lead to arguments!”
The selection is along predictable lines with the likely XI (in batting order) as follows:
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk)
Anil Kumble (capt)
Bench-warmers: Munaf Patel, RP Singh, S Badrinath, Amit Mishra
Perhaps a really strong performance from Badrinath in the Irani Trophy might have edged out Ganguly. However, in the absence of that, the selectors may have gone down the “formula” route!
What is worrying to read is that the selectors went down the reinstate-Ganguly route because they feared that Ganguly might retire if not picked! According to reports, Ganguly had reportedly considered quitting cricket after being overlooked for the Irani Cup match between RoI and Delhi. So?
While it is nice to see S. Badrinath enter the fray, he may hang around like Yuvraj Singh and Mohammed Kaif did and whither away. So the only change from the team that fared badly in Sri Lanka is that Rohit Sharma and Pragyan Ojha make way for Badrinath and Amit Mishra, while Dinesh Karthik and Parthiv Patel make way for M. S. Dhoni.
There is nothing imaginative about this selection. It is disappointing that a bold and dashing cricketer like Kris Srikkanth did not use this opportunity to strike a bold and courageous path forward. Selectors get paid to set future directions, develop a strategy and then implement them. This selector has aparently thought that his task is to assemble together a bunch of people to play the next game. And if that is the metric, my nine year-old nephew would have done a similar job — and could also do with the 25 lakhs in his back pocket!
Meanwhile, Australia’s already depleted spin-stocks took a turn for the worse when Bryce McGain was ruled out of the first (and maybe even the second) Test with a back strain. This will mean a Test debut for Jason Krejza. I can’t see Jason Krejza doing much damage and Australia may make a Gavin Robertson out of another spinner after all!