What the five wise men of Indian cricket have done for the Asia Cup does not look as futuristic as our chairman of selectors K Srikkanth believes.
Just by picking the likes of Ashok Dinda and making Virat Kohli the vice-captain of the side, does not make them as brave as the Australian selectors. Don't be ruthless but at least be brave enough to say that a player has been dropped. Yes, here we are talking about Virender Sehwag.
First we need to understand why we use the term 'rested'. A player, who had had a long and gruelling season that was physically testing, deserves to be rested. Therefore, if it was MS Dhoni, who has been playing continuously for long, it would have made sense. 'Resting' Sehwag doesn't. He deserved to be dropped.
And the reason came from Sehwag himself, just that he was talking about Ricky Ponting. "If you don't perform for six-seven games, get ready for the sack. So I am not surprised if Ponting has been dropped," he had said. Going by his words, he should have been 'dropped'.
Also, as Sehwag said that he had told the BCCI that he needed rest because of the 'back spasms', he should not have taken offence when Dhoni said he was a slow fielder. After all an unfit player cannot be a quick fielder. So either ways, it puts him in bad light.
When Srikkanth was addressing the media after the team's announcement, he was not his usual self. He lost his cool when prodded about Sehwag.
Everyone knows there is more than what meets the eye. We have a habit of sweeping things under the carpet and pretend clean. Let's accept we are not.
Just by saying that Sehwag was dropped because of his poor show with the bat in Australia would have benefitted everyone, including Sehwag and Indian cricket. The Delhi dasher is a treat to watch when on song, but his 'devil-may-care' attitude does not work when his mind is cluttered and scoreboard is blank. He needs to get his thought process right as the Indian fans are running out of patience. If he needs 'rest' for that, grant him.
Also Ravindra Jadeja's performance and form do not justify his selection. It's definitely not futuristic. The selectors need to send out a strong message to players that a berth in team is on the basis of merit.
As a fan I don't want to draw conclusions from the facts that players like Raina and Jadeja are close to Dhoni; they all play for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, a team owned by the BCCI President N Srinivasan; and our chief selector Srikkanth is the brand ambassador of the team. It leaves me with a bitter taste. I would rather prefer to believe that no backdoor manipulations exist and this world is full of angels with wings. But...
Talking about Kohli's escalation as the vice-captain, I think is a good move. The writer has backed the idea of grooming Kohli for the future in her previous articles as well. Many feel that the decision is unfair to Gautam Gambhir. My question is, do you see a 33-year old Gambhir leading the side during the next World Cup, if Dhoni is around? He is an exceptional opener, but is he as good a leader? He does not have credentials to back his candidature.
Kohli, though needs to work on his temper, has shown immense maturity in the last two years. One cannot forget the way he led his team to the title win in the U-19 World Cup in 2008, the year when his seniors were playing in a controversial Australian tour. Four years later, Kohli has grown from an under-19 greenhorn to the backbone of Team India. It's his best time to learn the nuances of captaincy.
And how can I conclude without talking about Sachin Tendulkar. All that I wish for the great man is that he scores his most-awaited hundred and gets the distracting monkey off his back. Though he's been in good nick, we just can't wait to see him bat freely and score big. And perhaps after that he can have a serious talk about his one-day future with the selectors. Because after the selection what the fans feel is that it cannot be the other way round i.e. the selectors having a serious talk with Tendulkar about his one-day future as it requires guts and you dear selectors have proved otherwise.