Australia in India 2010

Sreesanth, Unadkat in Board President's XI squad

Cricinfo staff

September 10, 2010

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An amused Sreesanth during a nets session, Gwalior, February 23, 2010
Sreesanth is on the comeback trail again © Associated Press
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Sreesanth has an opportunity to make another comeback to the Test team after being named in the Board President's XI squad to take on the touring Australians in the three-day opening game in Chandigarh. Three other fast bowlers, including the uncapped Jaidev Unadkat, were named in a 14-man squad that will be led by Test opener Gautam Gambhir.

Strangely, though, the squad features four players involved with the Champions League Twenty20 in South Africa - which ends on September 26, a day after the tour game starts. If all IPL sides make it to the semi-finals, to be held on September 24 and 25, the BP XI will be left with only 10 men.

The BP XI squad includes only six specialist batsmen, two of whom - Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan - have a realistic chance of being in South Africa when the tour game starts. R Ashwin and Abhimanyu Mithun are the two other players taking part in the Champions League. Rohit Sharma, who was part of the squad in the recently concluded tri-series in Sri Lanka and is now available without any Twenty20 commitments, hasn't been picked.

Picking a squad with only six specialist batsmen, even for a practice match, suggests the selection committee hasn't learned from its Nagpur fiasco last year. For the first Test against South Africa, they had picked a Test side with only six batsmen, and were forced to give wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha a debut after one of the specialist batsmen injured himself on the morning of the match.

The BP XI's bowling attack is strong, and shows the confidence that Unadkat and Umesh Yadav, another rookie who made his India debut during the Zimbabwe tri-series last year, have earned over the last year or so. Unadkat, yet to play a first-class game in India, has impressed the selectors with his performance in the Under-19 World Cup, the India A tour to England and the Emerging Players tournament in Australia.

Unadkat's call-up is the latest development in a career that has progressed quickly since it began earlier this year. After playing in the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand and securing an IPL contract with Kolkata Knight Riders, Unadkat had an outstanding first-class debut for India A, taking 13 wickets against West Indies A in Leicester. He took 12 wickets during the Emerging Players tournament in Australia. Unadkat and Yadav were sent to Sri Lanka to help out as quality net bowlers, and also so that the team management could have a look at the two of the up-coming quicks.

The team's captain, Gambhir, missed two of the three Tests and the ODI tri-series in Sri Lanka because of a knee problem. Gambhir played only five balls in the Galle Test, and was dismissed by Lasith Malinga in both innings. Sreesanth was also poised to make a national comeback during the Tests in Sri Lanka, but he sustained a knee injury while warming up for a nets session, which ruled him out of the tour. His last Test was in Chittagong in January.

The squad also includes two batsmen who are contenders for middle-order slots in the future - Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, also an impressive performer for India A in England.

Board President's XI: Gautam Gambhir (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Piyush Chawla, Abhimanyu Mithun, Sreesanth, Jaidev Unadkat, Umesh Yadav, Abhinav Mukund, Ravindra Jadeja.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by mrgupta on (September 17, 2010, 19:29 GMT)

@DINESHCC: You say "not against a particular player/ State and not in favour of any particular player / State" but its very clear that you are trying to do just that. Why do you feel no TN player was included in the All TIme XI? Not even by the readers? Was it biased? You can say judges were biased but how can all the reader be biased too? Don't try to create a controversy here based on regional divide. You can talk about players missing out not about a Tamilian or a Marathi or a Punjabi missing out. I am happy that Pujara, Mithun and Dhawan have been given a chance. Also I too wud like Vijay and Badri to be the part of the team as they have great potential but not because they are from certain state.

Posted by poolcricket on (September 16, 2010, 18:03 GMT)

Thank god, Pujara is picked in the side. A chance for him to prove himself against an international team. I hope the selectors give a chance to players who perform well in the practice game to be in the national squad. Don't treat this as just giving Australia a practice.

Posted by The_Professor on (September 16, 2010, 13:32 GMT)

Agree with Indiansup. Constructive criticism is necessary to keep the selectors on their toes and maintaining a balance which hopefully will result in the selection of best players for Team-India. State-bias opinion, however, only hinders progress. So let's keep it real - the MAJOR BLUNDER in this selection is R JADEJA. The Board President's XI selection is taken with a few to Test Matches - is Jadeja a Test Match standard bowler or batsman (even an all-rounder has to be able to make it into the team with one trade and back it up with the other)? R JADEJA is a 'bits and pieces' player - jack of all trades, master of none! He is not a potential Test Match player and I doubt he ever will be, given the talent of other candidates. It could be argued that Jadeja's selection is the only blunder. However, it is a VERY CLEAR BLUNDER and the SELECTORS DESERVE A ROYAL KICK UP THE BACKSIDE for this error!

Posted by   on (September 15, 2010, 8:59 GMT)

Hi guys, Can someone please ask the selectors whether are out of their minds or not? This selection in just rubbish. Kohli,Pujara are ok., But Wriddhiman Saha who cant even play like another better specialist batsman Rohit Sharma. He can nerver be better than Rohit. Even Rohit is not my favourite player, he is way better than Saha. Selector Srikkanth, man your time is up Rohit's time is now!!

Posted by Indiansup on (September 14, 2010, 7:37 GMT)

Hey Guys, it is really shameful as an Indian to read the so called state fighting here. We complain bitterly about Racism in Australia and other european countries but what do you call this inter state racism?? India is a big country and it is not possible to select 11 perfect players all the time. Thank God, it is Srikkanth who is the selector. If you allow one of you guys to do the job, maybe all the players would be from only one state or even one community. Shame on you all, so called Indian Team supporters. When the team wins, no noise...even if it looses one match then everyone is ready with their expert comments...

Posted by raj_che on (September 14, 2010, 7:16 GMT)

All u guys who r houting names of Irfan, Uthappa. Are you guys out of your mind !!!! What good has irfan done to get a call up in test team? damn it he is a useless bowler in the longer format. How do u expect him to take wickets in tests with his pace and the pitches that we have in india???

Coming to Uthappa, for heaven sake he has never been a test material in his career. How do u guys even think of including his name in a three day match. He just performed in the just concluded IPL, u guys should really not be knowing the difference between test and one day cricket for sure. thats why u r rooting for Irfan and uthappa. Nice to see Pujara in the team at last, and really bad not to see Badrinath. Poor guy has scored tons and tons of runs in domestic circuit. To be fair he should have been there ahead of yuvraj and Raina. Not that raina is not performing well, but Badri has been performing consistently and even performed well in his debut match.

Posted by DINESHCC on (September 14, 2010, 6:37 GMT)

bkraks21. You don't bet. I am from Chennai only. But I am not against a particular player/ State and not in favour of any particular player / State. I also not agree with the selection policy of present selection committee. Certainly Ambati Rayudu, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, C.Pujara, S.Tiwary should be given enough chances. You also see one fact and also you see the records, whether D.Karthik, M.Vijay, Badrinath, L.Balaji have played continuously five matches in any of the series / tournament. All through the series, they have been used as reserve players only. In none of the series they have not played continously more than 4 matches. Everybody is voicing their concern only about T N players. Nobody talks about the continous failure of Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Bhajji and Virat Kohli. In today's context Praveen Kumar is best test bowler. But he is ignored in every test series. Another good news for you. In the All time Indian XI & readers XI no TN players are figured.

Posted by DINESHCC on (September 14, 2010, 6:15 GMT)

I agree with ihatesachin. In every regime, selectors show some favouritism to their players. During the regime of Jagmohan Dalmiya, the Tamil Nadu players of S.Sharath, Venkatramana and Robin Singh have been ignored. In Karnataka Carlton Saldana, David Johnson, Raghuram Bhat have been ignored. In Kerala Ananda Padmanabhan, Tinu Yohanan ignored. Similarly Amol Mozumdar from Mumbai has been sidelined for many a years.

Posted by buntyj on (September 13, 2010, 15:41 GMT)

tn have had some good talent, it happens that at time theres more talent in a state rather than others- delhi too- kohli, sehwag, gambhir, sharma; pandey flopped on recent away tours; uthappa could be considered as reserve keeper

Posted by Alter.G on (September 13, 2010, 15:10 GMT)

ANYONE NOTICE that while there are only six batsmen in the squad, 3 of them are openers and two are No.3 batsmen! WEIRD. I guess the XI will be: Gambhir, Dhawan, Rahane, Pujara, Kohli, Mukund, Saha, Ashwin, Mithun, Sreesanth, Yadav. 12th man: Chawla (if unofficial game, he'll bowl too). Unadkat is too fresh to play realistically and should be there just for the experience. Jadeja I don't even need to talk about!

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