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.