Thursday, May 12, 2011

What will get you the Team India Cap?

Less than a month is left for India’s tour of the Caribbean. It’s going to be a lot of Cricket for the Indian team in months to come. Right after the IPL Indian team flies to West Indies for 1 T-20 I, 5 ODIs and 3 Test matches and from there the flight takes off to England for 4 Tests, 2 T-20Is and 5 ODIs. This is surely going to get hectic for the Men in Blue. But BCCI should be given credit for their correct and systematic planning for the tours. Where India after long IPL start WI tour with T-20 match followed by 5 ODI’s and then 3 Test matches and then England tour starts with Test Matches and then followed by T-20s and ODIs. So there is complete planning which would benefit Team India on their tours. The selection committee led by Kris Srikkanth is scheduled to meet on Friday along with captain MS and coach Fletcher to decide on the team that will play T-20 and ODIs in WI.
There are stories going around that many Indian players have asked for rest after a long World Cup and a longer IPL. Players like MS Dhoni, Zaheer Khan, Sachin Tendulkar and Virendar Sehwag are surely not getting into that plane to WI for initial part of the tour. Whereas Gautam Gambhir is looked upon to lead the side having World Cup winning members like Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Munaf Patel and Harbhajan Singh. So this actually gives chance to many young players to make a mark at International level. This would be the ideal chance for youngsters to get into the Team as it’s going to be difficult to break into the full strength Indian team after the WC win.
So this starts the biggest ever debate of whom should be selected and who should be dropped. Everyone as always have their own view on this. A lot of debate is happening and has happened on this topic. So let me fuel this debate a little further by giving my side of the debate. Rather than on who should be selected I would like to discuss what should be the criteria for selection in Team India.
Should only IPL be the criteria for the selection or only Ranji cricket should be the criteria.
I am of an opinion that the neither should be the sole criteria for Team India cap. IPL is part of Indian domestic circuit just like other tournaments like Ranji Super League, Ranji Trophy Plate, Deodhar Trophy, Duleep Trophy, Challenger Trophy, Irani Cup, Syed Musthaq Ali Trophy, BCCI Corporate Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy. The performance over the entire season should be made the bench mark for Team India cap rather than just the performance in one tournament. Our domestic tournament has good mix of four day matches, One Day matches and T-20 Matches, so it gives an ample opportunity for a player to prove his worth and helps him to prove his case for the prestigious Team India Cap. If IPL is considered a yardstick for Team India Cap  then consistency over the entire IPL should be considered rather than one, two or four good performances in IPL.
Someone like Rahul Sharma has been performing very well for his IPL side PWI but if you see his performance over the entire season it isn’t much inspiring. Players like Subramanium Badrinath, Manoj Tiwary and Ambati Rayadu who have performed well in the entire season and have performed well in all the domestic tournaments for their respective teams should be considered the front runners.
A player should be consistent over a period of time rather than just for one tournament. Even International Cricket works on consistency rather than one tournament success For E.g.: A team winning one tournament does not make them the number one team in international cricket, to be number one, a team needs to consistently play well like Team India won the World Cup 2011 does not make them the number one team because may be some other team has been more consistent than them and similarly like Team India is number one in tests it’s not  that they have been ranked number one after one series they have consistently won matches around the globe to deserve that place of number one team in tests. Even the individual rankings work the same way. Playing well in one tournament gives you points but overall performance along the year is of much more importance. I somehow feel BCCI should start with local rankings, ranking players according to their performance over the period that will help to have a better view of the performance of local talent. I haven’t used much statistics to put forth my point because it would have made it long, and longer the post it’s considered to be boring.
IPL has also proved one thing or rather has proved many people wrong. People feel , shorter the version of the game more exciting it is, but the number of one sided matches in IPL proves even the shortest version of the game can be boring. I have observed 2 reasons for the one sided matches in IPL, may be I will use my next post to give my views on why we are having so many one sided matches in IPL 2011.
Ricky Singh for DieHard Cricket Fans

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