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    May 26, 2006

    The Ajit Agarkar debate

    The non-selection of Ajit Agarkar for the test squad explained here (emphasis mine)
    Sources at the meeting say that selectors went beyond the figures when deciding on Agarkar’s fate. ‘‘He might have taken wickets but hasn’t really run through a side. It’s not like stumps were flying or anything. He is a much-improved one-day bowler and that’s it,’’ he said.
    As many here would know, I personally don't think the Agarkar gamble is worth taking in tests, despite acknowledging (before many others) that he's been our *best* bowler for atleast past 5 ODIs. The reason, as the 'source' here says, is that I also feel he's just become a better ODI bowler, but still does not invoke the feeling of being a great striker in test matches, mainly due to the new restrictive style he's taken up. Sure it may (and will) work against compulsive strikers like Gayle, but not sure if he's our best bet for running through this strong (especially at home) WI batting lineup, and especially after first session/day of a match. There's a similar example given in the same article
    There is certainly some justification in the selectors’ thinking when one considers the recent Sri Lanka series at home. After being the highest wicket-taker in the ODI series — he claimed 12 wickets in six games — Agarkar had just three wickets from the subsequent three Tests.
    That makes one doubt the test utility of Agarkar, especially in non-friendly conditions. I would surely have been disappointed had this series been played in e.g. England or South Africa (where we do go later this year, and if he retains his form, I would like to see him play the test series)

    That said, he still has two matches to knock the proverbial selectorial doors down with his performance. 5-6 more wkts, at a similar economy rate, may still see his name being tick-marked for staying back, is what I feel.
    Thus spake worma @ 1:12 PM |
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    2 sledge(s):

    I dont prefer classifying as just players into category of cricket viz One-Day/Test.
    The proof is once dumped as just a test player, Rahul Dravid is now perhaps the best Indian batsmen in any form of the game in terms of scores and consistency of scores.The ICC trophies he won last year is a proof of this fact.
    I thought performance was the criteria to get into a team.

    By Blogger The Light-House. (27-May-2006, 4:12:00 PM)  

    tarun: I disagree. Some folks are much more suited to certain forms of the game. I'd never get Wasim Jaffer to play in a one-dayer. I'd never have picked Ajay Jadeja or Robin Singh to play in a test. The good ones do well in both forms. Agarkar has done nothing in his test career (aside from Adelaide and Lord's) to suggest he is worth investing in as far as test cricket is concerned. Dravid didn't become a good one-day player overnight. He re-invented his batting, approach to the game as well volunteering to play as a keeper.

    By Blogger Jagadish (29-May-2006, 2:02:00 PM)  

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