When India went into the Champions Trophy, we all knew they wouldn't be the same side as they were for the 18 months, as there was no Zaheer Khan or Virender Sehwag, and injury to Yuvraj Singh worsened the matter.
But absence of these big players, gave youngsters a golden opportunity to put their hands up and shine on the international platform like these absent biggies did a few years back (Yuvraj and Zaheer made international debut during 2000 Champions Trophy in Nairobi), but they failed to grab the attention. Only Virat Kohli managed to make an impression and that too in the last match when the Champions Trophy campaign was all over for India.
It is obvious that when these players come back into the side, India can again boast of being a tougher and a more competitive team.
But the question is, do we really have the bench-strength to make the Indian team consistently a top side? Are we really grooming talents for the international arena?
Yusuf Pathan has shown his prowess and potential in the IPL but has failed to carry it to the international level. Suresh Raina has come off good and looks promising for the future. Virat and Rohit Sharma are the other two batsmen who have everything needed for becoming successful at the international level but the duo lacks consistency.
Some time back India had a sweet dilemma of picking two or three pacers from the bunch that had RP Singh, Sreesanth, Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel, Ishant Sharma with Zaheer Khan leading the back.
But absence of Zaheer and Ishant's loss of form has suddenly made Indian pace attack look depleted. Munaf's injury woes and Sreesanth's temperament have not helped their cause. RP Singh has consistently failed to justify the faith that skipper MS Dhoni has shown in him. Talented lads like Dhawal Kulkarni and Abhishek Nayar are still untested at the international level.
So where does that leave Team India? Why there is no second line of bowlers and batsmen, who can step in at the time of crisis like India faced during the Champions Trophy and perform better than makeshift arrangements? Like many cricket fans, even I hope that the selectors and the team management pay heed to this.