The Indian team for the series against West Indies has been announced, and it must be said that there have been some rather shocking selections and omissions, most of which defy cricketing logic. The most bizarre decision of all is the inclusion of chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav. Agreed, the youngster bowler exceedingly well for Kolkata Knight Riders in the just-concluded Champions League T20, and impressed one and all. But, is a striking performance in a tournament like CLT20, which many don’t even rate as proper cricket, good enough for a player to be selected in the Indian team?
With all due credit to the promising bowler, here are some facts that need to be set straight. Yadav is yet to play a single domestic one-day match, and even in T20s, he has featured in only eight games. On what basis the selectors decided to go ahead and pick Yadav thus remains a mystery. A similar risk was taken with Parthiv Patel a decade back, and we all know what has happened to him since. It has to be remembered that even the legendary Sachin Tendulkar scored hundreds in domestic cricket before being picked to play for India at the raw age of 16.
Yadav’s out of the blue selection will send the wrong signal to players in domestic cricket, and those who have performed day in and day out without being rewarded are bound to feel disheartened. It is a travesty that domestic giants like Amol Muzumdar and Surendra Bhave never made it to the Indian side in spite of years on toil on the Indian scene, and here we have a youngster who has been chosen in the Indian side without hardly having broken a sweat. Tournaments like the CLT20 were started with the aim to give the country’s youngsters further exposure, but how can they be given importance above domestic cricket? Baffling.
Yadav’s inclusion apart, a few other choices are also bound to raise eyebrows. The selectors have decided to rest the number one spinner in the country at present, Ravichandran Ashwin. Now, Ashwin has played the entire CLT20 recently, and featured in the IPL earlier this year as well. But, in England, he was benched for more than half of the Test series, as India decided to go in with Ravindra Jadeja ahead of him. Surely, he wouldn’t be as tired as some of the others in the squad. By turning out for franchises and skipping national duty, what kind of message is being sent out to youngsters in the country?
Among the notable omissions are three players who were in the one-day squad to England. Young talent Sanju Samson has been dropped with even being given a chance. This is really cruel on the youngster. He was picked based on his amazing talent. He will get chances in the future for sure, but the snub with disappoint him. Dhawal Kulkarni and Karn Sharma too didn’t get enough chances to display their talents, and have been axed as well. Years have passed by, but the mystery in the Indian selection policy continues to amaze.
--By A Cricket Analyst