Today in Delhi, BCCI selectors headed by Sandip Patil picked a young team for India’s tour of Zimbabwe which lacks a vision. In recent times, over confidence and complacency surrounds Indian cricket. The result was evident in the Bangladesh tour, where India was humiliated by the host 2-1 for the first time in the history. If the same happens in Zimbabwe, then don’t be surprised.
The team is very young, selected based on the IPL performance. This Indian team will play without specialist wicketkeeper for the first time since the 2003 world cup. Not only that, the team will play without a single left-handed batsman for the first time this century.
What does BCCI actually want from this series? Do they want to give opportunity to the young guns or just focused on dumping the few discarded players and young players in front of comparatively weak Zimbabwe team? From the beginning, BCCI is just disinterested about this series. Only because of the intent Zimbabwe Cricket Union, the series has been finalised at the twelfth hour.
Eight changes in the team! Selector’s decision is not only strange but also enough to cause wrinkle on your oval. Sandip Patil and co. rested key seniors players such as MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin. It is justifiable. But, Picking up discarded players who are not in good shape in domestic cricket will not be fruitful for India.
Broadcaster’s issue may also play the role behind team selection. BCCI is not looking for a lion’s pie from this pastel Zimbabwe tour. Fans at back home are not hungry for this tour.
Zimbabwe played some competitive cricket in the World Cup and recently in Pakistan. If Hamilton Masakadza lead Zimbabwe hunt down India at their home ground, then don’t be surprised. Except Captain Ajinka Rahane and Murli Vijay, no other Indian cricketers have recent experience of playing international cricket. Experienced bowlers are not in good shape. Young Karn Sharma and Kedar Yadav played one match each in India’s last home series against Sri Lanka in November. Robin Uthappa is not in form, but considering his experience of playing international matches and with no specialist wicketkeeper in the team, selectors chose him as a wicketkeeper batsman.
But, Manoj Tiwary last played for India almost one year ago in June, 2014 against Bangladesh. The selection of Harbhajan Singh is also very strange, when the selectors chose young players for the tour; Parvez Rasool’s performance in Ranji trophy has been overlooked.
Selection of Sandeep Sharma is based on his thirteen wicket haul in the IPL for Kings XI Punjab. Alongside Sandeep, leg break bowler Karn Sharma has been awarded for his 10 wicket haul in the IPL for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Bowling department is a mix of experience and raw talent. This series will provide opportunity for Sandep Sharma, Dhawal Kulkarni, Axar Patel and Karan Sharma to show their talent. On the other hand this series will be crucial for Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma in order to regain the form before the Sri Lanka series. For Harbhajan Singh it is an opportunity to make comeback in the team since he played his last ODI in June, 2011 in West Indies.