The immovable Yuvraj and the replaceable Venugopal!

The Indian cricket team selectors have proved the famous comments by Mohinder Amarnath right yet again – that they are nothing more than a bunch of jokers. They have announced the teams for the last two LOIs against Sri Lanka. The poor Venugopal Rao misses out and the man in painful form Yuvraj Singh gets another nod in favour. This shouldn’t have happened. When India were batting in the series, Venugopal hardly got any chance to prove what he is made up of. On most occasions, he came in to bat when only a few overs were remaining and the need of the hour was to go for the slogs rather than accumulating. One cannot blame him for his undoing on those occasions as everybody cannot be a Robin Singh or Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He got only two opportunities to make an impression; he was a failure in one and a success in the other. His breezy 38 at Pune was as important an innings as those by MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina. He showed his class in that innings and he even got compared with Gundappa Viswanath by the ex-Lankan player turned commentator Ranjit Fernando. Players of such class should be given more opportunities to prove their mettle.

It is also a bad selection policy that after every two or three matches, the squad is changed. It would exert a huge amount of pressure on the players; especially the new faces and it would play in their minds whenever they walk into the centre. If the selectors were honest in their deals, then they should have discharged Yuvraj Singh from the team to send out a strong message. He got more chances than what Venugopal got and was very ordinary in his approach and batting. But the treatment Sourav Ganguly got, though late, was not given to Yuvraj. Jai Prakash Yadav should also have been given some more time, since he was considered by the selectors as an all-rounder when the team was selected for the first two matches. But Yuvraj was very casual in his approach and from his body language, lacked seriousness. He should now feel a lot better as the Indians have already won the series. He might make big ones in the next games; but my point is those who are selected or cut should get equal scales for measurement. I can’t figure out what wrong had Venugopal done that Yuvraj hadn’t and what better had Yuvraj done that Ganguly and VVS Laxman hadn’t of late. The scale seems to be different.

It is nice to see Mohammad Kaif back in the side as he thoroughly deserved his place in the team since he was in brilliant form in the matches he played recently. It is also good to see another new face VRV Singh coming into the squad. But now the team consists of five fast bowlers in Ajit Agarkar, Irfan Pathan, Sreesanth, Rudra Pratap Singh and Vikram Singh; I wonder why! This means, more players and lesser opportunities for each of them. But Vikram Singh is also an effective batsman low down the order. One more; Gautam Gambhir should not lose his place when either of Sachin Tendulkar or Kaif comes back.

12 thoughts on “The immovable Yuvraj and the replaceable Venugopal!

  1. Dear Sreejith, I agree that Rao was treated badly in the series. But Yuvraj forms an important part of the indian one day cricket team, as he is can be a match winner with the bat and a very athletic fielder. With the SA tour at the doorstep, and keeping an eye on the next world cup, India need Yuvraj to regain his form, as he did recently. Of course I am not denying that the team has a soft corner towards Yuvraj. What the selectors should do now, is not to pick any more new faces, but to give enough chances to the existing set of players. I mean there are enough fast bowlers waiting for chances, like you said. But we need to find out other spinners, because Murali Karthik is struggling a bit. Hope the selectors do something about this.

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  2. At last Indian team has something at its disposal which it badly lacked for decades- the option to have options and the freedom to experiment. Now the playing 11 is picked from a competent 22, which itself is great to see. One thing which the coach, captain duo has claimed is that they are trying to fix the jig-saw puzzle for the next world-cup. I feel this is the best time to try out all the options, develop a competent team of 20 people who can be mixed and matched for any given condition. At this juncture, we can not pitch an all new team, benching Yuvraj (when Ganguly, Lax, Tendulkar and Kaif are not playing). And apart from playing at the sub-continent wickets, do we really need more than a single spinner in the side? Arent we happy with 4+ pacers and 1 quality spinner, if the pacers can make a difference? I believe all the things happened in this one day series was perfectly timed and the best possible course of events that could happen to team Indian. Lets look forward to an Australian series in Australia which we will sweep 4-1 or 6-1.

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  3. || Sreejith NarayananYes you are right. I am not at all against Yuvraj. If somebody needed to be chopped off from the current side, then it should have been Yuvraj and not Venugopal. I only said, why different yardsticks for two players who perform similarly, or even the one going out outplaying the one who stays. Yuvraj was terrific in the sixth LOI. But he had to perform then, hadn’t he? Otherwise he wouldn’t have been considered for the South African series. It is trouble seeing players like Yuvraj giving their best only when their position in the side is at stake. It has got to change. Remember, Venu earned his position in the side because of his sensible batting in the Challenger series. Nice to have your comments here.

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  4. || Sreejith NarayananAbout the spinners, yes Kartik is a bit wayward at times. But the future is bright I guess. We need a quality leg spinner in addition to a left arm spinner. Kartik has the experience and I am sure he would come back. About leggies, we have Piyush Chawla and Amit Mishra waiting in the wings, hopeful candidates for the next few world cups.

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  5. || GeoYah, we cannot experiment too much at this time. We experimented too much in the fifth game and paid the penalty! But there are experienced candidates for the batsmanship in Sreedharan Sriram, a prolific run getter in domestic cricket; then we have Hemang Badanis, of course Suresh Rainas, Shikhar Dhawans…. The future seems to be perfect.The selectors are having a very tough time as well. The away wickets are totally different than those at home as you pointed out. So we can go in with just the one spinner. But we can look at it in a different way as well. Like — pick the bowlers who are most likely to bring you wickets irrespective of their bowling styles. If we have three quality spinners, go with them other than experimenting too much. See, we had Bishan Bedi, Erapally Prasanna and Bhagwat Chandrasekhar bowling on foreign tracks and still coming out as the match winners for us. There was Venkat waiting in the reserves. All of them were bowling well in foreign conditions. If we have quality spinners like those people, there is nothing wrong in going with them irrespective of the conditions I would say. A combination of Harbhajan Singh, Murali Kartik, Anil Kumble, Ajit Agarkar and Irfan Pathan can be more lethal than a combination of Harbhajan Singh, Ajit Agarkar, Irfan Pathan, Ashish Nehra and RP Singh I would say. Nice to read your comments. Hope to see you more.

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  6. Hi, Venu plays Murali with lot of confidence and assurance, something that has not been seen since the times of Azhar and Sidhu. As for Kartik, I somehow get the feeling that he is not totally dependable, his talent notwithstanding.

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  7. Re: JayRight you are. Venu is a class batsman, against both spinners and fast bowlers. It would be interesting to see him playing Warne; of course, if and only if the selectors let him do that! Murali is good in patches. But he is not dependable despite his potential and talent. Thanks for your comments Jay.

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