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    August 22, 2005

    Zaheer makes BCCI selectors re-think?

    Barely ten days after being cast aside in the squad to tour Zimbabwe under Sourav Ganguly, Zaheer Khan clinched the 'Man of the Series' award in a tournament featuring the <sarcasm>cream of talent</sarcasm> from Asia and Africa. His 9 wickets were 50% more than his nearest rival and fellow cast-away, Shoaib Akhtar. For what it is worth, the farcical tournament ended aptly at one game to each side with the third match washed out.

    So will the wise selectors of the BCCI co-opt Zaheer back into the squad, given his recent form? Given the fact that these games had been given one-day international status, they cannot argue that the performances meant nothing, especially when this whole Afro-Asia bhai-bhai thingy seems to be a ploy by Dalmiya the BCCI to create a voting bloc.

    While the omissions of Laxman and Kumble were entirely expected, given the fact that they have struggled to establish themselves in the one-day side of late, Balaji's non-selection will have to be put in the column titled 'Selectorial whims and fancies' and probably just a standard gut reaction to the defeat in the one-day final. So far so good, except that Balaji played one game in the tournament, while Kumble played two games, with his performance in the final counting against him!

    At least the selectors were wise enough to retain the likes of Raina, Venugopal Rao and Jai P Yadav. Murali Kartik's inclusion is a good choice, because it is really about time we looked to someone other than Kumble, in one-dayers at least. He certainly bats and fields better than Kumble, and will probably bowl better than Kumble has in the recent past. Rudra Pratap Singh is yet another Indian left-arm seamer.

    Why/How on earth do we have so many of them? For 12 years after Rashid Patel, I can't remember any left-arm seamer playing for India. Then Nehra first appeared on the scene, followed shortly thereafter by Zaheer. Three years later, Irfan Pathan made his debut in that test match. Is there a case for considering that batsmen in Indian domestic cricket rarely face decent left-arm seam bowling and hence, these bowlers tend to get fast-tracked? Perhaps that is indeed the case, because we've not seen too many right-arm quicks appearing on the scene recently, except for Balaji. So when is Vikram Rajvir Singh going to play for India to add to India's 'fast' bowling resources?

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 3:20 PM |
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    1 sledge(s):

    Maybe SL was start of a season, and he is building the rhythm. Good for us, because we need him in test matches. I think he is better than Nehra and Pathan in tests. Second, he has always been more effective outside the subcontinent (actually this whole Indian team plays better ODI cricket outside the subcontinent, I feel) and this was his first game outside for a long time. Point being, maybe he was in good form all along. My worry is we don't seem to recognise this trend, and since the coming season is entirely at home, we might do a lot of damage to this team based on home results, which may not be right indicators for our tour performances.

    Maybe dropping him has made him do better, I've never remembered him doing so well in 3 consecutive matches ! Although the momentum of these games may be friendly, still its some kind of indicator. He even played sensibly with the bat, now thats amazing. Lets hope he does well in the test matches, and goes up from there.

    By Blogger worma (22-Aug-2005, 5:19:00 PM)  


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