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
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