India announced its 15 man squad for the T20 World Cup to be held in West Indies from 20th April onwards. When the Srikkant led team of selectors sat to choose the team they gave class, statistics and stardom an upper hand over form and fitness.
Yuvraj returns in the team after a wrist injury and we all know that he is being selected due to his class, although he has put on some weight and is looking hesitant while playing his shots in the on-going IPL. The whole of India will be praying for his return to his form as he is the main weapon of our arsenal and if he clicks then we will be on the driving seat. Vinay Kumar got a call for the country for his wonderful performance in the Ranjhi trophy this season and taking the much prized wicket of the master in the IPL. Piyush Chawla gets a recall after two years, but for what reason, only selectors can tell. Rohit Sharma was the surprise entry ahead of Kohli.
The Kris Srikkant led selection committee has chosen a well-tested and tried team for India in this slang bang version of the game but the question which all the cricket fans are asking is if we are going to see the same fate as last time, as in, will we be thrashed this time as well? “History repeats itself” and if we look at our performance in the last T20 WC you will know that what I am trying to justify by this saying.
How can one justify the inclusion of a team which has half a dozen players who are either coming out from an injury or nursing it. MS Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir, Nehra, Yuvraj Singh, Sehwag are suffering from injuries and had to sit for few matches in the IPL. So how can they be selected on the ground of being India’s best players? Last year we picked Sehwag and Zaheer in spite of the fact that they were not fit. Sehwag could not play a single match and was forced to return back home; Zaheer, on the other hand, was not in full flow and as a result the champion team was not able to clear the league stages.
Last time it was clearly evident that our players were not fresh and wanted some rest as they were exhausted due to playing IPL in the recent past and this time, the story is going to be the same. The selectors should have taken a lesson from the team of 2007 when pundits wrote off this team but the team full on confidence and aspirations managed to win the coveted cup.
What our selectors lacked was innovation and the risk taking factor. Once again, relied heavily on the shoulders of seniors who can fit into any format of the game, but why should they at a time when they are not fit to stand in the gruelling heat of the Carribeans? Why not give them some rest for the upcoming ODIS and test series? Why should we exhaust them in T20 WC when the ODI’s WC is coming? Why not give a chance to youngsters like Saurabh Tewari, Uthappa, Ojha, Pandey and Bisla? If T20 is slam bang cricket then why pick lethargic legs. In a game where quicker, faster and muscular is the anthem then why pick players who are running on ventilators?
The Squad: MS Dhoni (capt & wk), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla, Vinay Kumar, Rohit Sharma.
The writer is the Sports Editor and Political Consultant of Youth Ki Awaaz.