India's selection for Tests and World T20

Selections pose more questions than answers

While fans anticipated some response to 0-8, the selectors gave it all a farcical turn with strange picks for reserves

Sidharth Monga

August 10, 2012

Comments: 128 | Text size: A | A

Piyush Chawla finished with 4 for 17, Kings XI Punjab v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2011, Dharamsala, May 17, 2011
Guess who's back: Despite an average of 40 in Ranji Trophy, Piyush Chawla finds himself back in Test and T20 squads © Associated Press
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The sight of Kris Srikkanth, the outgoing chairman of selectors, rattling off incoherent sentences and either not respecting or not taking questions around the logic of selections is all too common. On Friday afternoon, he said he was doing so for the last time as his term comes to an end, and for one last time he left a bizarre selection unexplained. Before the meeting, the fans were all interested in seeing how the selectors respond to the eight straight overseas Test defeats and whether they look to late 2013 and 2014 when India tour South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia, but the Indian selectors gave it all a farcical turn with strange picks for the reserves.

There were legitimate questions and anticipation in the fan's mind. Will the selectors deem Virender Sehwag good enough to open on the four away tours come late 2013 (his average on his last four tours to those countries is 24, 28, 10 and 26 respectively) and risk a new opener in those conditions should he fail? Or will they try him in the middle order now that there are going to be vacancies? Is VVS Laxman going to make it to 2014? If not, how long will he be picked? Laxman has had only one really miserable series and merits a place in the side, especially with Rahul Dravid just retired, but will the selectors give out any pointers to the future? Does Zaheer Khan look good to go on till those away tours?

And yet, the team sheets rolled out were such that you forgot all those big questions and started to try and get your head around other selections. And no, Yuvraj Singh's comeback is not the inexplicable one. On surface it might seem like an emotional move, considering he has not proved match fitness yet, but this is also a calculated risk. Before the World Twenty20, there are two T20s against New Zealand, and before that there is the Buchi Babu tournament. So if things don't go to plan, Yuvraj can be replaced for the big one, but if he is fit there is no need to restate the kind of matchwinner he can be on the big day.

It's the other picks that leave you flummoxed. What, for example, has Piyush Chawla done to earn both a Test and T20 recall? Is there any phantom tournament you have missed and only the selectors have watched? An average of 40 in the last Ranji Trophy, and an average of 26 and economy-rate of 7.35 in the last IPL, didn't exactly dare the selectors to not pick him. He wasn't even considered good enough for India A's last tour.

It's interesting to look at the two spinners who have been pushed out because of Chawla's return. It seems there is more than cricket to the sudden exclusion of Rahul Sharma from both the Test and T20 side. Last checked his bounce and accuracy had everybody impressed. Now he is nowhere to be seen. If this is disciplinary action for the alleged positive dope test at a party, the BCCI will be better off to say so.

And what of Pragyan Ojha then? He can take the ball away from the right-hand batsmen too, he has been more impressive in IPL, he has done well in home Tests, his stats after limited opportunities in limited-overs internationals are not bad (economy rates of 4.46 and 6.28 in ODIs and T20Is), but for some reason in the game of musical chairs being played among the Indian spinners, Ojha is often the man standing up when the music stops.

It is true that selection is not based on stats alone, but India have already burnt their fingers with a similar punt on Chawla in the last year's 50-over World Cup. A much more understandable yet surprising punt is Harbhajan Singh, who brings with him experience, proven combative qualities and decent containment role during the Twenty20 leagues. And while we are at it, if Rahul is indeed being disciplined and if you were told there were only two Test spinners left in India - Chawla and Harbhajan - who'd you rather go with? A similarly understandable gamble is L Balaji, who went for 5.4 an over in the IPL, but Praveen Kumar's absence continues to confound.

The last time Chawla was picked for India, Rohit Sharma was primed for a place in the World Cup squad and had to make way. Rohit doesn't lose out on his World Cup place this time, but he has been denied the Test bench he warmed with such frustration in Australia, coming desperately close to a debut. Granted he has failed in ODIs in Sri Lanka, but how does it earn him a T20 reward and cost him a Test place? Suresh Raina, on the other hand, has played his role in late middle order in ODIs commendably, but has he done enough since he was dropped from Tests last year to allay the concerns against Raina the Test batsman?

Ishant Sharma, who bucked the trend of picking IPL over internationals and underwent ankle surgery, has yet to prove his match fitness but is back in the Test squad. Unlike Yuvraj, Ishant will hardly get any opportunity to do so before the first Test begins on August 23. This is a selection coming from a committee that had vowed to make proven fitness a non-negotiable after the debacle in England last year.

And guess who is back as vice-captain of the T20 side? Gautam Gambhir, who lost that slot for unexplained reasons after Australia, has now somehow usurped Virat Kohli, who was the vice-captain until the recently concluded tour of Sri Lanka. The Test side continues to be without one.

Srikkanth, though, as the chairman and the public face of the selection committee, doesn't have the time to throw more light on these selections. "I'm in a rush," he says. The BCCI could just as well not announce the team, and let people find out on the day of the match.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by gokulanand123 on (August 14, 2012, 4:16 GMT)

The selectors are in a lot of confusion. you play rahane in 1 T20 and then oust him form the next T20 team.. but wait.. he has found a place in the test team? selectors are merely trying to fill gaps rather than trying to get the best players in. piyush chawla again?? we all know how he performed in WC 2011 and IPL this year.Raina is a ODI and T20 specialist pls dont put him in tests.. he is going to fail. we have given enough chances to rohit, please get him out. what happened to varun Aaron??? why not pick igbal abdulla or nadeem if u r looking for IPL performers.?? the funny thing is that when IPL was first introduced. the chairman of selector said that the IPL performances wont be taken into consideration for the Indian team's selection!!!

Posted by vishal_26 on (August 13, 2012, 13:32 GMT)

atuljain1969.. see when they performances is good in the ipl then bcci will think of letting them play limited overs games for India and if they performances is good enough to play test cricket then they will allow them to play.. basically they have to do well in all the games but Harbhajan didn't do anything of that.. now he will play limited over cricket for India for a important tournament so it could better if the selection community could pick someone else maybe an extra keeper

Posted by Areb on (August 13, 2012, 13:08 GMT)

Why the hell did they want to select that attitude ridden piyush chawla he is like venkatapathy raju was in his time a real bad luck for team India...anyway god save our team

Posted by sony_sr on (August 13, 2012, 11:24 GMT)

Thank God this selection panel is going out. No matter how much money bcci spend on improving cricket in India, if we have selectors like these, all those money will go waste. seriously we need to find some people with atleast basic commonsense. Selection of harbajan, piyush chawla in main team and exclusion of bist, awana from A team clearly shows either these guys does not have commonsense or they are doing this purposefully for whatever advantages they get.

Posted by Manish_Team_2 on (August 13, 2012, 11:17 GMT)

Piyush Chawla ??? Seriously ??? he shouldn't bowl 4 overs in T20 if India has to win ... Let alone Test matches

Posted by ravikb on (August 13, 2012, 11:06 GMT)

For the first time in the last 16 years, I'm not going to support Indian team. I will start supporting Indian team only if the Test team reads as follows: Gambhir, Rahane, Pujara, Kohli, Rohit, Dinesh Karthik, Irfan Pathan (assuming his swing and speed is back), Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Rahul Sharma, Ojha/Praveen Kumar (Depending on the conditions). I know this team will lose more matches initially and start winning consistently once they are given long run. Anyways, present team is not winning anything either. It's better to lose with a young crop of players than with old aging star players.

Posted by ListenToMe on (August 13, 2012, 10:56 GMT)

I think this selection is good for team India. There is no need to shout now. The selectors will come to know their mistake after the test series. India will lose the series at home! That will surely wake them up. I will call them fools then because they selected an ODI specialist Raina in the test team and a test specialist Rohit for other formats. They seem to give Rohit the test cap only if he can prove in other formats! They will spoil everyone's talent if they continue to select this way.

Posted by   on (August 13, 2012, 9:31 GMT)

We should do away with the selection board and start rating the players on domestic performance and international performance and would select them based on their ratings.

Thus the team would then select itself.

The system should also take into account the cohesiveness as a unit and how players should be axed on the performance of Indian team e.g in event of a total victory over opponent only a 15% change is permitted (if nobody is retiring). In a situation of washout 100% team should be open to change.

Posted by vishal_26 on (August 13, 2012, 9:28 GMT)

see Harbhajan was drop from the team because of poor performance in the England tour... i don't know why is bbci called him.. if a player is called up must be because of his good performance in some series or ipl.. talking about ipl i didn't see him even doing his playing role (blower) he didn't even blow 4 overs as blower should be doing.. also i think yuvraj wont be that fit like before to play like he would be doing very nice fielding like what he had done in world 2011.. also its time for the selection community to say to player like sachin and laxman that you guys are the best players India had and we can see it from the records and its time for you guys to retried.. one thing more is that if Australia cricket borad can drop Ricky Ponting for not being in form then why not bcci do that? we have a lot of youth players which are needed in the team..

Posted by   on (August 13, 2012, 9:21 GMT)

We in India should do away with the selectors and should come up with a proper policy for selection which takes performance and give points to that. e.g. a team would have 2wk, 6 batman, 6 bowlers; then the bowlers are ranked and on the their performances at domestic level and international level. Proper weights should be given to various situation, brownie point for few special positions. Thus the team would select itself based on their ranking. Other points could be: 1) Age can be penalized after a certain year in the favor of youth. 2) in case of ties special consideration for one who played more on international surfaces 3) provision extra points against the tougher opponents 4) more preferences for those who have played on varied circumstances. 5) Quota for spinners or all rounder

Posted by atuljain1969 on (August 13, 2012, 9:12 GMT)

Tests are no more relevant, and current as well future Indian Test sides shall be selected on the basis of IPL , one day performance only.

Performance in DILIP / RANJI is not going to matter any more. So budding players should target, IPL or One dayers if they want to play Test cricket.

Posted by mrgupta on (August 13, 2012, 5:54 GMT)

@sameer111111: If you can take sometime out and check the stats then Sachin was the second best batsmen on the last two tours. The only thing he lacked was scoring a century else he looked in fine touch. Only Dravid did better in England and only Kohli did better than him in Australia. On form alone we cannot leave out our second best batsman. Sehwag, Gambhir and Laxman did much worse on both these tours.

Posted by   on (August 12, 2012, 21:07 GMT)

sachin tendulkar's average in the past few tests is actually not too shabby.

Posted by   on (August 12, 2012, 18:30 GMT)

Sachin's Test performance in lase 3 overseas tours is 11 matches 22 2 886 146 avg 44.30 1750 SR 50.62 2 100s 4 50s ................which is neither exceptional nor bad

Posted by vpk23 on (August 12, 2012, 16:41 GMT)

A Typical Wimsical Chariman of a Selector....Typicall of Srikkant the Opening Batsman of Yonder!!!...Just because he was not the test batsman he cut himself out, DOES IT MEAN he can go on selecting players who MIRRORS him in terms of TEMPERMENT & VERSITALITY... LIKE IN THE GAME OF CRICKET IT IS THE NO3 OR 4 WHO STABLIZES AN INNINGS...GET A SIMILAR NO:3 / 4 PLAYER TO TAKE OVER THE REINS OF THE SELECTION PANEL MY FRIENDS...WON'T REGRET IT..LET'S SELECT A SELECTORIAL FUTURE!!

Posted by Nampally on (August 12, 2012, 15:15 GMT)

@srikanths: The Srikanth, Squad Selector?. If you are, your annoyance with Mr. Monga & the Fans is understandable. However, there are lots of questionable selections in the Squad & notable omissions too. Firstly, many Fans commenting here have played lot of cricket at high level themselves, albeit they write under Pseudonyms. So please do not discard all the comments as rubbish or mock at them as "Experts"! Secondly, One needs common sense to pick a squad based on some pre-established Standard criteria. Thorough understanding of modern day cricket is needed to be a good Selector. After 8-0 drubbing overseas, it has taught us all many lessons:1. Reliance on batting alone is wrong. India needs to be equally good in bowling & fielding with a physically fit XI 2. Dhoni's captaincy in Tests was irrational & poor - needs replacement 3. India's weakest link - Bowling - needs lot of work.The Selectors have failed to address these in Squad Selection. Hence the Fans justified Criticism - OK?

Posted by S.Jagernath on (August 12, 2012, 14:58 GMT)

The main point is Cheteshwar Pujara returning,he needs to be played for a while this time to allow him to settle.Pujara has the ability to be the world's best test batsmen,he certainly has the technique.Rohit Sharma being left out,Suresha Raina's return,Piyush Chawla returning along with Ishant Sharma is disgraceful.Ashok Dinda & Manoj Tiwary are other players missing.

Posted by Nampally on (August 12, 2012, 13:38 GMT)

@Facebook User: Sir, it is not just Mr. Monga criticising the Team Selection but lot of Fans, as can be seen from over 100 inputs to this column. The squad is irrational & is not based on current Form, Performance in First Class matches or proven fitness of some players. Ishant is returning from surgery & has not played for over 3 months. He has bypassed several fit & in form fast bowlers incl. Irfan Pathan.Laxman has not played for few months either & his physical condition is questionable even at his best. What have the Selectors learnt from 8-0 white wash overseas - mainly based on the above factors? Secondly you say that players like Pujara & Rahane have been tried but failed. When has Pujara last played for India? Against Aussies over 2 years back in a Test match & he scored 72 batting @#3. Why has he been forgotten for SL even after he led India A vs. WI with best batting averages? Rahane & Tiwary always spend their time on bench.One just needs to apply common sense approach.

Posted by buntyj on (August 12, 2012, 10:47 GMT)

bhajjis selection is baffling- while ashwin hasnt looked top notch hes done well in ipl n on par with bhajjis recent performances for india, indeed on his first tour down under and with his limitations n defensive captaincy he still returned (admittedly marginal each) better average, strike rate, wkts per test and economy than bhajji (who presumably had mental domination of oz following 2000-01 home series) in 4 tours; and is sachin expected to carry on till 2014- what were his averages in his last 3 overseas tours? the selectors are giving seniors preference and not looking to the future. they hope that home advantage will give india a chance this winter to say alls well with indian cricket and hope to pass the buck on rebuilding indian cricket to a future committee. but what if either eng or oz spoil the party this winter?

Posted by SoverBerry2 on (August 12, 2012, 9:51 GMT)

Completely agree with Mr. Thyagarajan. BCCI needs to search for selectors before looking for talented players...Look at the state of the pace attack in the test team... They are again playing with three genuine pacers... Khan, Yadav, and Ishant. Z. Khan is not 100% fit, so as Ishant. So, inexperienced U. Yadav will lead the attack after the 1st day of the 1st test?

Posted by sameer111111 on (August 12, 2012, 9:06 GMT)

I know Sachin cannot retire due to his commercial commitments. What excuse does the selectors have for retaining him after last few overseas tour(not to mention his "100"th 100)?

Posted by   on (August 12, 2012, 7:21 GMT)

No allrounders at all. Dissapointing. Moreover, why pick Piyush Chawla ahead of Ojha, when both turn the ball the same way and the latter is more successful than the former? Also, why didn't D.Karthik or W.Saha get a look in? Pathetic stuff from SK & co. In the near future, the BCCI needs to search for smart selectors before looking for talented players.

Posted by   on (August 12, 2012, 6:17 GMT)

i m baffled at the selection of piyush chawla.what has he done in domestic or international cricket so far to merit a comeback...if the selectors wanted a leg spinner they should have selected rahul sharma or amit mishra.

Posted by srikanths on (August 12, 2012, 5:10 GMT)

One does agree with some of the points but , I would ask Siddharth Monga to give his selection and invite comments from readers .

Easiest to criticise. No wonder the world has more experts and critics that doers.

For every Tendulkar or a Dravid, there are millions of Siddharth Mongas and experts.

Let us see how his selection matches with the experts amongst fans or may be all the fans thinks they are experts.

Posted by   on (August 12, 2012, 5:03 GMT)

While I am also all for explanation on selections, let us be clear about selections. Any selection can be criticised. When someone gets picked on form and at the cost of someone of great class but not great recent performances gets dropped, there could be criticism that people are picked on recent form and classy players are not given a long enough rope. If Form players are dropped, these journalists come back with a criticism that " what more one one has to do?

Sidharth Monga has to understand that selection announcement are as much for the players as they are for the media and the fans. Announcement is not just for the media alone .These journalists have a larger than life view and image of themselves. They think no end of themselves.Delusion of being experts.

8-0 does not mean you can change drastically. You can only pick from what is available. Kohli, Raina, Rohit,Rahane,Pujara have all been tried. Except Kohli , it is not as of they have set the ganges on fire

Posted by sharidas on (August 12, 2012, 4:14 GMT)

I think, we are drying up on fresh talent ! Leave aside Twenty/20. Who are the young prospects for the test side ?

Posted by   on (August 11, 2012, 21:41 GMT)

Unnecessarily too much emphasis is being laid on winning outside Asia by fan as well as critics…………………..Eng hasn't even drawn a series in Asia recently and were clean swept by PK yet they still hold no to no 1 spot so the same way India can earn no 1 spot despite performing poorly outside Asia but for that they need to win more matches in Asia and that is possible by keeping fast scorers like Sehwag and Raina in team; positive declarations and enforcing follow on's ……….Dhoni I think is too negative a captain in Tests so he needs be replaced.....So why so much fuss about winning abroad when we can achieve same no 1 spot alternate way too!

Posted by   on (August 11, 2012, 21:05 GMT)

guys guys cool down a bit y r some back off vvs becoz he flopped in last 2 series.....wat abt the wins he gave us ......he is still the match winner in tests for us while chasing ....we need him.....!!! coming to sehwag he is opener and will be a opener he is the best.......no one can take his place......so its waste talking abt dropping him....!!!rohit should have been in the test squad he is the future legend.....!!! welcome back yuvraj missed u alot......!!! RAMLI@ wait for some years then ull knw wat rohits made off.....then u can talk abt him.....!!!

Posted by   on (August 11, 2012, 19:54 GMT)

Rohit should have been selected in place of Laxman..........still possible after giving farewell to Laxman in 1st test..........Raina plays for wins and in Indian conditions we need to score fast to give enough time to bowlers to get opposition out............Piush shouldn't have been there ........................other than that V good selection from Srikant remember this was the person whose selection won In WC..unfortunately fans have short memory..........Ind can even get No 1 test spot by winning only in Asia.

Posted by Nampally on (August 11, 2012, 17:59 GMT)

India needs New Selectors with knowledge of the game as it is played today. Srikant & Co. are neither committed nor know much about the team selection. The same applies to the Skipper of the Indian Team & the guys who select the Final XI.There have to be some ground rules for the selection such as 1. Physical Fitness 2. Current form & performance record & 3. Composition of the XI & the Squad. Let us start with the Squad - It needs 4 Fast Bowlers + 2 Spinners + 2 WK + 7 Batsmen. Amongst the batsmen at least one needs to be an all rounder & one all rounder in bowlers - good examples are Irfan Pathan & Yuvraj - bowling & batting all rounder. This squad gives the Captain a choice to select the suitable all rounder to go with 5 batsmen + WK + 4 bowlers. Test squad to play NZ has : Zero All rounders + 4 Fast bowlers + 3 spinners + 1 WK + 7 batsmen - a spinner added instead of WK. Squad selection fails to meet all above 3 criteria - Fitness, Form, Performance & composition. Poor One Mr. SK!

Posted by vpk23 on (August 11, 2012, 17:12 GMT)

Srikkant.....make you exit move fast. Abusb is an understatement!

Posted by aujender on (August 11, 2012, 16:17 GMT)

Why all the guys are after Sehwag only? Many batsman have performed worse than Sehwag? One should understand that it was a team failure and not an individual failure. Other than Dravidian which one has scored runs in England or austeralia?

Posted by   on (August 11, 2012, 14:11 GMT)

Excellent article , must be mailed to all the news channels who have access to the BCCI's Selection Committee.

Posted by Rumy1 on (August 11, 2012, 12:53 GMT)

Jaffer is the best Test batsman who is not in Test XI. With Dravid gone Sehwag should come lower down and Jaffer should be opening the innings with Gambhir. Mukund, Rahane and Vijay are not in the same class as Jaffer. Jaffer's temperament, skill, range of shots, attitude and discipline are way ahead than these lesser mortals named here. Kaif is another talent who is stilll waiting for his chances. In the middle order with Dravid gone, Laxman soon to follow and Sachin just a few seasons away from retirement Kaif definitely deserves a look in for Tests - ahead of the likes of Raina. He is a proven middle order bat who has done well in whatever little chances that he has got. Pujara is a good selection. He deserves to be there. Aswhin is a good Ranji level offie who is good for a four over match. That is why he got exposed and stands sorted out by international batsmen. Now that Srikkant is out it is a matterof time Mohinder Amarnath moves him out. Bhajji must be in. India needs him.

Posted by   on (August 11, 2012, 12:26 GMT)

If Raina gets a spot in the test XI ahead of Rahane or Pujara i will be mightily dissapointed, while raina is a good short form player i cant see him averaging more then about 35 in test matches which is not good enough

Posted by ramli on (August 11, 2012, 8:46 GMT)

Chawla's selection is puzzling (probably India needed a chubby face) ... Bhajji's selection is incomprehensible (may we needed some on-field antics) ... Rohit's selection is habitual (may be we need a guiness record for long rope of non-performance) ... Saha's axing is vexing (may be Dhoni feels insecure) ... only Balaji's selection is meaningful ... rewarded for the perseverance shown by him in T20 format ...

Posted by maddinson on (August 11, 2012, 8:22 GMT)

One thing I never understand that why they pick 15-16 players for home test? Rahane is not going to get any opportunity in test series in playing XI against NZ and because he is picked in 15 member squad for home series, he isn't selected for NZ A tour. Rahane toured Australia without getting any chance in test matches and subsequently not picked for ODIs because some one was looking for his 100th ton, putting ahead his individual milestones in front of team.

Posted by Mali-T658 on (August 11, 2012, 7:37 GMT)

# Since the Test series is at home, it would be an advantage having Sehwag as an opener despite his recklessness and lack of stable form. Given the flat tracks, he might even rack up couple of big tons against the ordinary NZ bowling.

# Kohli should be moved up the batting order and let him bat at Dravid's regular slot. Laxman has done more than enough for the team and it's a matter of couple of series before he hangs up his boots. After all, he was a flop only in the Australian tour and certainly deserves a series or two more. And when Laxman retires, Pujara shall fill up his slot.

# Bowlers win Test matches, period. Given India's miserable bowling unit, nothing short of five bowlers can make a win happen. Zaheer spearheads the bowling unit as always supported by Umesh and Irfan. The spin department has Ashwin and Ojha who must be the best at present given Bhajji's poor run.

# W.Jaffer has been decent from whatever opportunities he has got. Should Sehwag flop, Jaffer shall fill in

Posted by   on (August 11, 2012, 7:35 GMT)

@Gaurav Vats: Siddharth Monga is pointing at Raina's selection for the test squad, not the ODIs or T20s.

Posted by Itzmevv on (August 11, 2012, 7:30 GMT)

Am Totally surprised with the selection of bhaji, chawla,balaji for the t20squad. . .cumon. . .what have these guys done to gain their spot. .tz a biased selection. .what about rahul.awana,shami , ? ? T20 team doesnt have a firepower in its bowling lineup. .umesh was d bst indian bowlr in ipl. .wherz he? ? Atleast gve sme reasn 4 these BLUNDERS . . .

Posted by cricket_zealot on (August 11, 2012, 7:28 GMT)

All of this has become such a farce esp the selection committee esp Kris Srikkanth. I am so glad his term has come to an end. I just hope that he is replaced by someone who instead of blabbering incoherently really uses his head to choose the correct players.

Posted by   on (August 11, 2012, 7:28 GMT)

@caught_knott_bowled_old what the author is asking is that are they going to be able to sustain their role till late 2013 when India will begin a series away tours (4). If not there is no need to keep them up. You surely don't want to throw in a untested batsman in an overseas condition, especially looking at the results of India's recently culminated tour of WI. Laxman is nowhere going to make it till 2013/14, and same could be said about Tendulkar. If tough decision are not taken India would be more under prepared then the last time we toured overseas. Sehwag can be kept in as he is only 33 and if he plays in middle order. But If Sehwag is going to play in middle order, where is India's next opener coming from. Vijay and Mukund have failed and Rahane isn't a regular opener in Ranjis.

Posted by   on (August 11, 2012, 6:44 GMT)

well ,batting at no 6-7 wht else you are expecting frm raina specially whn just 20 or 15 overs left..he has done enought mr Sidharth Monga

Posted by jay_vkjay on (August 11, 2012, 6:41 GMT)

I agree that Raina is a good player in ODI's but not in tests. I think he got huge political influence. Chawla again back!!!!!! He thought that he is a good useful lower order batsman as well. Nobody else thinks so! They should have dropped VVS as well to give the youngsters a cusion of playing in home conditions, that too against a weak side. Bhajji is back without proving much. So I think probably the selectors have given him one year break. Chawla luckiest man in the planet....Go and continue your fluke performances.......

Posted by nivas366669 on (August 11, 2012, 6:38 GMT)

2 bad choices in tests Raina(still cant handle short ball & got runs in odis in lower order) and Ishant (dont have much needed match practice....Rohit In T20 though his form dont support in ODIS,his T20 stats are good to include ....what have Harbajan done in the mean time to get back into team...Yuvraj though fit dont have match practice to be in world cup,,certainly Rayudu deserves a chance in T20...selectors cant ignore him for long time

Posted by   on (August 11, 2012, 6:34 GMT)

Seems like everybody has his own selection team...great guys, i mean seriously...how can you guarantee your selected player will do great and the BCCI team is joke...high and lows will always be there...player should get chance according to most recent performances and balance of the team...not just what u feel will be earth shattering...funny...just support ur team...thats it!

Posted by   on (August 11, 2012, 6:23 GMT)

It continues to baffle me as to why Sri selected such teams. To take things one at a time. Its suprises me as to why Raina and Chawla are selected for the test series. Is it just for filling the reserve slots or are they in scheme of things. I mean if you genuinely wanted to fill in spaces you have other spinners Akshay, Abdulla and for batsman you have Robin Bist, Kaif. Now the T20. Why on earth are we still pesisting with Rohit Sharma and again chawla. I mean you have Rayadu for middle order and you can genuinely add Umesh Yadav in place for Chawla. No the India A tour. Why is Praveen Kumar not there. Wasnt he the lead pacer till a yr back? What happened to Awana Mithun Aaron,? Werent they Indian pace hope. And why is Robin Bist not on that tour. Infact Rohit Sharma would have benifited from this tour if he is in for WC 2015. I would have also gambled with Robin Utthapa or probably other youngsters. In all some bold decisions adn some horrible ones. Atlast Sri goes wth his own style

Posted by   on (August 11, 2012, 5:56 GMT)

Does anyone care about AT Rayudu...?? Did the committee of selectors see his batting form in the recently concluded IPL??

Posted by bang_on_target on (August 11, 2012, 5:55 GMT)

why on earth some people think that rahane is a very talented and promising player??he is a very mediocre and average bataman who gets out after scoring 20 and 30 odd runs..after rohit sharma's prolonged flop show it seems the mumbai ckt association will put all its political weight behind mediocre players like rahane..ishant sharma is back thanks to the lobby of mighty DDCA...ashok dinda and irfan pathan r not lucky like him.. piyush chawla and vinay kumar r the two biggest non-perfoming wonders of indian ckt..recently the super mediocre abhinav mukund was selected as the captain of India A team that would tour NZ...indian ckt's future does not look very bright with these overrated domestic performers like rahane,rohit,mukund,vinay kumar,chawla,badrinath,shikhar dhawan enjoying the royal patronage of BCCI mandarins..where is real quality in indian domestic ckt?i m very disappointed not find any such quality young player...

Posted by JKAgarwal on (August 11, 2012, 4:53 GMT)

Indian cricket is full of controversies, mainly due to political and vested interests from the power brokers. BCCI is not interested in Indian winning but in collecting the moolah it generates. It is pure commercialization with no Nationalistic feelings.

Granted, VVS will be handfull for Kiwis on Indian pitches. But what will happen on fast paced pitches in Aus, Eng, SA & NZ next year? Why are we not grooming batsmen for that eventuality. Veeru should slowly take place of VVS and a new batsman should be groomed for opening the innings.

Posted by   on (August 11, 2012, 4:42 GMT)

What a poor selection, this is the best opportunity for new players to get into Test Squad,instead they are persisted with VVS Laxman, MSDhoni, Suresh Raina,the former one is on verge of retirment and latter ones are flukes in outside subcontinent,and i am surprised to see Piyush Chawla in the team...and Ajinkya Rahane is a reserved Opener,he should have been in the final team at first place along with Rahane...we never improves, this is the beginning to end our supremancy in Test Cricket,either we have to pick two test teams one for subcontinent matches and another for outside subcontinent....i don't understand what MSD is doing in the test team,Oh...he can score some eyeclosed shots and some runs so that he can go to foreign tours....long live BCCI & KRIS SRIKANTH....

Posted by   on (August 11, 2012, 4:40 GMT)

Piyus Chawla and Harbhajan's nclusion, Sehwag role as an opener, Zaheer Khan's fitness, Praveen Kumar absence from limited overs matches and never made selectors think of their roles.

Posted by Riderstorm on (August 11, 2012, 4:30 GMT)

There seems to be no method or plan to this madness of selection in indian cricket. I'm not pointing just at the Indian team's selection, which at least is baffling along with the confusing selections for A teams and other important events. After 0-8 test losses, any cricket team would look inward and find solutions or atleast try a fresh outlook with the team just to change the direction. Instead, our beloved selectors act if nothing actually happened.Sigh.!!!

Posted by Riderstorm on (August 11, 2012, 4:22 GMT)

@roversgate let me bring to your notice about Rohit sharma. It isn't about the stats or the format that's hindering his success. It's his attitude. It seems like he doesn't have the drive to make use of the talent he's gifted with. As he has played a number of ODI and T20 innings that could attest to his capabilities but not in Tests. Do not compare the first class and List A tournaments of domestic cricket to the intl cricket. There is a huge void between both of them to compare.

Posted by   on (August 11, 2012, 3:56 GMT)

Where has Robin Uthappa vanished....He got to play exactly one T20 match and the other was washed out in RSA....!!

Posted by dilscoop on (August 11, 2012, 3:53 GMT)

Rohit has been the luckiest person - keeps getting chances after chances - cant remember anyone this lucky in the history of indian cricket - tiwary showed in couple of chances in SL that, others, if given half of Rohit's chances can perform twice better than him. He may have the lazy elegance but he is too "lazy" - will be surprised if he ever succeeds in international cricket. For WC T20 selectors have gone for experience & IPL performance (gambir for VC & balaji's inclusion). Rahul sharma out for disciplinary reasons - had to include a leggie (hirwani selector) - so chawla the only experienced option. Raina or for that matter Yuvi will never succeed in TEST cricket given their techniques - raina's selection a backward step. raina may succeed vs NZ in India - will he stand up to steyn & morkel in SA - the answer is NO. Laxman should have honorably retired like dravid after his flop show in england & aus. selectors had no option but to include him. Not too impressed with dinda in SL.

Posted by Bhaskar_UK on (August 11, 2012, 3:37 GMT)

How come Piyush Chawla is in the squad???? Dubious about selction committee. So Ravindra Jadeja showed more capable than Piyush Chawla..... Can anyone please clarify this????

Again same about Rohit Sharma????

Posted by caught_knott_bowled_old on (August 11, 2012, 3:00 GMT)

It seems the author is questioning the selection of Sehwag, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Raina and Balaji. Is he suggesting that Laxman, Sehwag and Zaheer should be dropped!!

Posted by jango_moh on (August 11, 2012, 2:37 GMT)

surprised that saha was not selected for Tests.... dhoni is completely unreliable as a batsman overseas..... dhoni is a great odi player and captain.... he should move away from tests himself... that's the only way....

Posted by amarnath79 on (August 11, 2012, 1:31 GMT)

Bhajji is still better than Ashwin. He needs another chance. Ashwin might be better than him in 2 years, but presently Bhajji is better and more experienced. Ashwin's failure in Australia was a big part of India's embarrasment down under.

Posted by   on (August 11, 2012, 0:51 GMT)

best selection pujara, he deserves a chance in the indian team, it should be a swap with him and kohli, kohli has earned the no.3 postion in the odi squad. Worst selection: this has been for a long time an unexplainable not even modified to change his postion, Sehwag. He WAS a great opening batsman, now he has lost his touch and speed, like he had before, everyone gets old we understand, but that does not mean ruin the indian team, he needs to be dropped from all formats of the game besides t20, this wont be as bad since he needs to just play 4 overs and hopefully make 25-30 runs. Leaving out irfan pathan is not a good decison, although keeping dinda in is not bad either, because i think he will prove to be a great bowler on fast track pithches of austrilla, umesh yadav, i would love to see him do well, just like i would with rohit sharma, but both need to earn there postions back, yadav had a great start and now is just a machine of a bowler who gives runs away without taking wickets.

Posted by SanjivAwesome on (August 11, 2012, 0:43 GMT)

Srikant was a volatile, maverick batsman in his days. Prone to throwing away his wicket when he looked settled. Yes he was an attacking batter, but that style was due to a lack of self-awareness and self-responsibility. The very qualities he has taken to his role as selector. He leaves behind a history of severe under-performance during his reign where India lost eight straight tests overseas.

Posted by indiaworldchamps2011 on (August 11, 2012, 0:13 GMT)

i wish raina comes good if given a chance in the playing 11... he has got immense talent and temperament which is evident from the way he bats while chasing a score or while batting with the tail ...i hope he improves his game against the short ball.. u dont necessarily have to hook or pull i guess if u can leave or duck confidently and watching the ball closely that can be a good weapon against it

Posted by roversgate on (August 10, 2012, 23:29 GMT)

@ champ1388: I agree with Rumy, his comment makes a lot of sense. Rohit Sharma right now doesn't deserve anything but to go back to domestic cricket and come back with a stronger reason to want to be in an international side. Until he has at least 2 good tournaments - they shouldn't bring him back - he is young and will deal with the time issue. But when they do bring him back - he is better suited for tests! He hasn't done particularly well in List A tournaments and so his ODI selection was always a bigger gamble than tests. On the other hand he has done amazing (averages 60) in First Class and needs to be tries for one of India's home games in Tests. Rahane's case in tests is even more clear.

Posted by viswanav on (August 10, 2012, 22:15 GMT)

I salute the author for his guts in coming out with such an article...Couldn't agree with him more...Wonder if Harsha/Sunny/Ravi will ever come out like this against the BCCI and its selections...I was one of those who thought paying the selectors would make them accountable for their decisions...I have been proved wrong big-time!

Posted by HWLongfellow on (August 10, 2012, 20:55 GMT)

Was listening to the explanation given by Mr Mongia, was surprised we still select our team on emotions and not the performance. Our selectors have a tough job, but emotions cannot be a reason to be selected in the squad.

Posted by nayeem2012 on (August 10, 2012, 20:15 GMT)

waseem jaffer deserves a chance in test team, he has great skills, in the wake of dravid retirment waseem could have been tested.

Posted by akashchandran on (August 10, 2012, 20:01 GMT)

The selection of Pujara in the Test Team is the only good selection. The rest except in the case of sure selections like Gambhir, Sehwag, Laxman, Kohli, Zaheer, Ashwin and Umesh are all based on ODI performances on placid tracks. Or else why Raina who was given many opportunities and dropped on performance now be back? If it is to be only in the reserves, then an uncapped player like Tiwary could have been a better choice. Maybe the selectors are too concerned about the 20/20 overs tournament next month that they want to increase the confidence of Raina by making him a Test match reserve and inject fighting spirit into Rohit by dropping him from the Test squad. It is time that a seperate selection committee for Test matches is put in place.

Posted by gauravk on (August 10, 2012, 19:56 GMT)

There has never been any long term plan in BCCI for any issue be it coach selection, sponsorship, team selection. The only focus is on minting money. Development of cricket seems to have taken a back seat. Indian team is doing good because it has some very gifted players but BCCI has done very little to nurture potential talent or give them ample opportunities. Selectors seem to have completely lost their cricketing sense.

Posted by jango_moh on (August 10, 2012, 19:47 GMT)

Ojha is in the TEST team, from what I seee. did the author lose the plot?? i personally feel Raina's case was always overblown, if you watch his matches in ENG, he actually got out to swann and to pitched up deliveries than the Short ball as it is claimed to be(no doubt he did struggle against short ball)... people just get typecast too soon.... i hope raina proves his detractors wrong!!!

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 18:54 GMT)

Not only the Indian squad;look at the India A squad-players like Robin Bist,Awanna are left out without having enough chance to prove themselves;but the biggest surprise is how Wriddhiman is left out.During the Adeliade test he was said to be the ideal keeper in the longer version of the game;and now suddenly he is not picked even for India A squad

Posted by Jose on (August 10, 2012, 18:43 GMT)

Could someone explain me what made Ashwin to be selected for Tests? His variations are no more a threat to a school boy also.

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 18:38 GMT)

where is Yousuf PATHAN he should be in the world cup T20- Scod, What amazing Selection ,May be it is Selected by some one Force ,look Bhajji ,Chwla recent performance it is very low and disappoint it Again 100% R/g Selection

Posted by Ajit87 on (August 10, 2012, 18:38 GMT)

Indian pitches never suitable for big spinners of ball(Warne,Murli) but they are suitable for bowlers who are less spin with more bounce(Kumble).In context Rahul Sherma should have a go for test as he is tall and like Kumble he can produce more bounce then any other bowler in current time.

Posted by Jose on (August 10, 2012, 18:35 GMT)

Siddharth, You posed lot of questions about selection of players and linked to their performance in recent times. I am surprised to see the omission of Dhoni's pathetic performance in tests. I agree that Viru has failed as an opener in recent times, especially in away tours (i wouldn't consider his performance in England as he was forced to go without even fully fit). However, BCCI failed to recognize his replacement. Rahane is inexperienced in Tests and has not been given enough chances in shorter format of the game to prove his skills and temperament in all conditions. I still feel he requires lot of exposure to handle pressure.

One thing is clear that BCCI don't have any plans for the development of Cricket and nurture talent. Their only plan is to make more MONEY

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 18:32 GMT)

Steve Waugh though being an Australian is not a good player of short deliveries, yet he is a great test batsman. What you need in test cricket is the temperament and definitely Raina has that temperament. He might be having some technical issues so does Rohit but Raina will definitely improve if he had given chances. Also he is a fit and committed cricketer. But what surprises me is the inclusion of Chawla and Ishant Sharma and the exclusion of Ojha and Praveen Kumar not being considered.

Posted by srisri on (August 10, 2012, 18:23 GMT)

Since focus is on Yuvi's return, selectors added lotta junk to Team India. Nice Job.

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 18:11 GMT)

overall its not a bad test team selection , its good to see pujara & rahane in the team, but again what raina is doing here, similar is the story with piyush its fair to have him in test but in t20 no way man ! rahul sharma is the specialist for shorter version, selectors have shown some faith on ishant, dont know how good there decision will be in future !

Posted by sk12 on (August 10, 2012, 18:07 GMT)

yeah Piyush selection is a strange one.. But cannot fault the selection otherwise, it is along expected lines only.. In fact the selection has been pretty decent overall last 2-3 years.. wonder why the terms 'partial', 'nepotism' come up against him.. He did give badri , Vijay few chances but that was based on strong domestic performaces. Those 2 were dropped once they failed in intl scene. Blaming him for persisting wth Jadeja due to his CSK links is not right, since jadeja was persisted with before he joined CSK this year. Any good selector should get inouts from the captain, which is what Chika did.. Irfan, Uthappa did not do much in domestic games to warrant a test comeback. In ODI, T20 I dont think we wld play more than 1 spinner so Bhajji, Piyush wont get a chance anyway. In test Ashwin, Ojha will form a goos combo.

Posted by champ1388 on (August 10, 2012, 17:55 GMT)

"I still feel Rohit and Rahane are more suited to Tests than Virat Kohl"i ...Rumy1...Are u out of your mind. do u know what u are talking here? And looks like you have have studied a lot of psychology thats why you know that There is some mental problem with Rohit..Such comments like yours make me laugh..and so does your cricketing sense and logic. ridiculous

Posted by ooper_cut on (August 10, 2012, 17:40 GMT)

The fact that srikanth said "I am in a hurry" and did not speak to the media itself shows that his hand has been forced in many of these selections. Are we sliding back to the earlier era where a cricketer had to have godfathers more than skills ? Remember Rohan Gavaskar ? He was given a full 3 month Australian tour because his daddy wanted to see him on TV (Channel 9, not DD).

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 17:17 GMT)

A Good article.. Especially sinve its open in criticising Kris Shrikanth. One of my favourite players from the past has been making decision even more rash thean the stroke as he used to play. Being so Unanswerable and Stubborn can be thought about only in India(probably subcontinent).. Irfan should have been addded to the test team as we desperately need to hone his skills and confidence as there are no other fast bowling allrounders in sight... Thannks Srikanth , but this innings was a REAL FAILURE.........

Posted by maddinson on (August 10, 2012, 16:59 GMT)

I promise had Dravid not retired, these selectors would've played the same playing XI (additional spinner instead of pace bowler) against NZ that lost 8-0. Saw the India A team to tour NZ, no word for Srikkanth. How on earth can some one paid this guy for selection, he is destroying Indian cricket with Selfish cricketers like Sachin.

Posted by Rumy1 on (August 10, 2012, 16:43 GMT)

Pujara forced his way into Test team. He surely deserves and will serve the team for long. Rahane also deserves a place in Tests. No kudos to selection committee for these two. These two forced their way into the team. I still feel Rohit and Rahane are more suited to Tests than Virat Kohli and I guess jury will is still out on this and it's too early. Somebody needs to talk to Rohit to sort out issues going on his mind. Looks like it is more the mind thing than skills. He will be a great Test batsman if he is helped out by BCCI. Maybe Sunny Gavaskar or Azhar or Kapil need to speak to him at length. And we could have a match winner at our hands. We need to nurture talent like him. May be it is time to recall Kaif into the Test mix as this might be Laxman's last stint. And you just can't have youngsters to shoulder the Test batting line up. Kaif always stood up to his little chances that he got in Tests.May be Jaffer gets a recall as well to open the innings and let Sehwag bat lower down

Posted by InsideHedge on (August 10, 2012, 16:37 GMT)

Oh no, Ishant Sharma continues in the Tests. Has anyone seen his figures since the tour to England in 2011? He's averaging close to 70 with a Strike Rate close to 1 wicket per 100 balls. Yet this man will again "spearhead" our bowling attack. It's also time to say goodbye to the unfit Zaheer. For all his talents, Zaheer has let us down all too often on away Test tours, esp. to Australia, he can never finish a full Test series. We need to move on now, replacements need time to settle down but our selections are made purely on political grounds. Chawla's selection is an embarrassment.

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 16:34 GMT)

I think that Mohammad kaif should have been given a chance in tests as we desperately need a solid batsman..he could have been a good bet for 3-4 years to come

Posted by Kapil_Choudhary on (August 10, 2012, 16:32 GMT)

The mind boggling selection is Piyush Chawla - everything else has some logic - whether right or wrong. Rohit was picked for T20s but not for Tests as Rahane and Pujara were deemed more suitable for tests leaving no place for Rohit but Rohit was deemed more suitable for T20s than those 2 - Rahane hasn't played in matches but hasn't impressed Dhoni in practice. Further, opening is a far more specialist position in Tests but in T20s - a Kohli or even a Rohit may step up in case of Gambhir/Sehwag injury. About the future, the selectors clearly have left those worries for the next selection committee and have just picked the best 15 for right now. About the VC - may be selectors want to create some competition between Gambhir and Kohli for possible future captaincy before settling on one of them. Praveen's career seems to have stalled on subcontinent pitches at least for now - he'll probably be considered for overseas tours. And Rahul was disciplined - whether public knowledge or not

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (August 10, 2012, 16:29 GMT)

@xylo on (August 10 2012, 16:01 PM GMT)...Very well said! 100% correct.

Posted by Rumy1 on (August 10, 2012, 16:28 GMT)

Chalo this was last selection to be made by Srikkanth. Some blatant Test selections like Ashwin, Raina continue to baffle. What have Ashwin or Raina done to deserve a place in Tests except continuous below average performances in whatever chances they have got but kya kariye - thanks to Srikkanth and Dhoni. Ashwin at best could be good for four overs. But Tests?? siimply ridiculous.Ashwin is already a sorted out bowler by top international Test batsmen and stands exposed for his limited skills. Bhajji deserves a comeback in both Tests and ODI. For SURE. You can't keep him out any more. Chawla deserves a place...he definitely could be a matchwinner on domestic tracks. Chawla and Ojha are any day better selections for Tests for their skills, variety, talent, and potential. We thought Raina would be kept for just T20 and ODIs but he surely has great admirers in selection committee. Even a Rohit Sharma is better than Raina even if Test matches with Kiwis are to played on domestic pitches.

Posted by aravabalaji on (August 10, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

The man who suffered the most at the hands of selectors is Subramaniam Badrinath. The whole set-up is so cruel to him. That Raina & Piyush Chawla are making test comeback only goes to prove that selection process is nothing but sham. Could not imagine the mental ordeal that Badri is going through. Disgusting.

Posted by cricjaffa on (August 10, 2012, 16:20 GMT)

Good article Siddharth, the selection has been hap hazard and very questionable. This looks shoddy. Chawla's & Bhajji's inclusion are surprising. Rahul sharma, Ojha & L Balaji have been given a rough hand. Rohit deserved the axe, enough of the" he is talented" brag. Laxman although can be given a chance. Ishant has disappointed the fans more often. I must say that the selections of Chwla & Bhajji are baffling. Bhajji has lost his venom, should have ignored him for some more time....

Posted by AmitNair on (August 10, 2012, 16:18 GMT)

Thanks for writing this Sidharth! It really echoes the sentiments and views of so many cricket followers! Its an injustice to viewers and the players sweating it out to get a place in the Indian team. These decisions do not look like they were made in the interest of Indian cricket. I think the selectors need to behave more responsibly.

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 16:15 GMT)

Srikant has been the most arrogant and most idiotic of all the selectors in the history of Indian Cricket. He has treated Indian team selection as if BCCI is his personal property. Mr flop of test cricket M S Dhoni cannot continue as a captain. This guy does not have a clue whatsoever when it comes to test cricket. A guy under whom u went from being No1 to No 5 cannnot continue as a captain. Gautam Gambhir is a automatic choice for the captaincy. The author is spot on with issues of VIRU. Viru cant survive opening any more. But no one in the selection committee seems to even understand this simple fact which is apparent to even a 8 yr old kid

Posted by Homer2007 on (August 10, 2012, 16:15 GMT)

"This is a selection coming from a committee that had vowed not to make proven fitness a non-negotiable after after the debacle in England last year. " And your problem with the Ishant Sharma pick is?

Posted by arunrg on (August 10, 2012, 16:13 GMT)

Selectors have made a very prudent decision towards the end of their tenure keeping in light their own professional careers. By persisting with influential players such as Yuvraj, Harbhajan, Sehwag and Laxman, the selectors have ensured that they remain in the players good books. Lets face it, team selection has always been politically driven.

Posted by Nampally on (August 10, 2012, 16:11 GMT)

Sidharth, You have not mentioned anything about absence of an All rounder in the Test Squad. Why was Irfan Pathan dropped again? Is Ishant even fit to play let alone replace Irfan, after his fine perfoirmance in SL Tour? As you say Rahul has been dropped as a punishment for the doping scandal. Anyway Rahul would be happy to play for Team India A instead of warming the bench as he has been dong for the past 20 games with one chance in XI. Chawla will be replacing Rahul on the bench. VVS Laxman is another surprise - because of unknown physical fitness & lack of match practice. He basicallt deprived one youngster. On the whole the Test team is very weak in bowling. Only aging ZAK & Ashwin are of test standard. Yadev is wayward, Ishant has unproven fitness. Srikanth is as irresponsible in selection as he was as the opener. Unplanned squad & Xi selection are costing India dearly. Hopefully India will have guys like Kumble, Gavaskar, Dravid in the Next Selection Committee to have some logic

Posted by yuvananda on (August 10, 2012, 16:10 GMT)

As an Indian its highly dis heartening to see the selection process. Its similar to the messed up politics practiced here in India. Selection of Rahane, Pujara seems perfect, but Piyush and Bhajji dont knw why. I dont want to comment on Rohit, he'll retire after 10 years with the tag of 'most talented batsmen', but no records to speak off.

Posted by deb64 on (August 10, 2012, 16:09 GMT)

very good article.This is supposed to be a paid selection committee.Are n't they accountable for their performance as the rest of us are ?They have just forgotten the 8 overseas straight defeats.Piyush chawla's selection defies logic.Chawla a better test spinner than Ojha?u must be joking.If IPL bowling form is important,Iqbal Abdullah is a better t20 spinner,and Parvinder Awana was impressive.Raina's for tests is also surprising,has he suddenly rectified technique which was so exposed outside india.Plainly confused selectors,lines of tests/oneday/t20 is blurred for them,rewarding oneday performance with test berth(Raina),punishing in test for oneday failure(Rohit),why no grooming of fresh new fast men,when every one knows that's our achiles heel overseas.How do they expect Ishant sharma to just walk into the test sqad without playing any matches?

Posted by xylo on (August 10, 2012, 16:01 GMT)

Mr. Monga, if you were listing out all the bizzarre selections, should you not be adding Mr. Sachin Tendulkar to it. His situation is very similar to VVS Laxman, and is a free passenger in the ODI side as well. Why place personal opinions in front of professional ones?

Posted by Unmesh_cric on (August 10, 2012, 15:59 GMT)

Sid Monga makes some valid points here. This selection committee has made very bizarre selections. And in order to hide from their absurd selections, BCCI has made a new rule where selectors are not obliged to explain their selections. I like Raina..he is a good one-day player. But everybody knows that he is not a long term Test match prospect. In overseas conditions, he is always going to fail. Selection of Chawla in Test squad is baffling too. Rohit Sharma has been tried in ODIs and T20s, but never in Tests. Looking at the way he plays in Ranji, he may still be a good Test prospect. If selectors are not going to explain the logic behind their selections, why even bother declaring the squad. Just keep it to themselves and the BCCI. We will know on the day of the match.

Posted by champ1388 on (August 10, 2012, 15:49 GMT)

This article doesnt make much sense, the author wants Virender Sehwag ( one of the best openers ever) to play in the middle order. utter rubbish. Sehwag has acheived everything in test cricket as an opener and still averages above 50. The author just pretends to be pragmatic. A bad analysis overall and illogical rational given

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (August 10, 2012, 15:38 GMT)

ABSOLUTELY AGREED WTH SID MONGA ON THIS ARTICLE . MOST SELECTIONS WERE SHOCKING .

Posted by akpy on (August 10, 2012, 15:33 GMT)

hmm..everything is wrong with the selection it seems and sidharth monga knows more than ex-india cricketers...no selection committee can ever get it 100% right as they are always judged by hindsight..so, atleast let us wait to see the results before we thrash them...no issues in highlighting one or two selections but this article is useless from 1st line to the last line, because it is built on the premise that S.Monga knows more than anyone else..sorry, not true..

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 15:29 GMT)

' This is a selection coming from a committee that had vowed not to make proven fitness a non-negotiable after the debacle in England last year.' Mr. Monga doesn't see what's wrong with this statement?

Posted by DeepakSarathy on (August 10, 2012, 15:18 GMT)

Chawla in any Indian team is a sign of bad things to come. I don't know how many times we have to be burned at the hands of this guy until some sense prevails. T20 and test squad. Wow!! Balaji is a good pick for the Lankan conditions. Kudos. Also unfair that Rohit got dropped. Let him get away from the limited overs scheme of things, he's one of our next batch of test middle order greats.

Posted by thenkabail on (August 10, 2012, 15:17 GMT)

Good Riddance to Srikanth: Srikanth is arrogant man with little substance. People like him in selection committee can ruin the whole team. Where was the need to continue with Laxman?. Why is Rohit dropped (inspite of his recent failures, he has far more talent than Raina and deserves a long run)?. Why Chawla now?. Even why Sachin?. It is time to give opportunities for younger breed and build a great team. Was Balaji selected because he is from Tamil Nadu. I have some hope that mahinder Amarnath will make a difference to this selection committee. But he has proved nothing so far. India needs selections based on merit and promise. Most likely Laxman will fail again. Sachin will bat with his memory and score some runs. India needs to select players who will serve it for a long time with commitment, dedication. Talent, technique, temperment are important. Some like Rohit may lack temperment. But they need a long run to see where they stand. I hope the next selection committee is better.

Posted by MunafAhmed811 on (August 10, 2012, 15:03 GMT)

Rayudu I fel was better than Rohit atleast this year. Agreed Rohit has talent but Rayudu has been doing well too. Guess paying for joining ICL and Shivlal Yadav asking his old buddy Srikant to do him favor and drop Rayudu simple becos Rayudu does not get on well with Yadavs son. Yusuf is needed in T20 no matter what. He may not be specalist spiner but then fact is he gives away less or equal runs as bhajii (gosh i hate this guy) but Yusuf can take a game away from any team on his day purely on his batting . I am from Mumbai and still I feel Rohit should be out of team for time bieng atleast and Bhajji forever. Balaji Is calculated gamble on SL pitches and hopeful this gamble works.I also feel instead of Piyush some new spinner should have been tried to atlease have surprise factor for other teams. Yuvi is a gamble too but I feel he can regain his form in one innings so wont complain about his selection.

Posted by luks on (August 10, 2012, 15:02 GMT)

What does he mean, he's in a rush? He's not doing anyone a favor by taking questions. Its part of his job!

Posted by shamaero on (August 10, 2012, 14:59 GMT)

no matter wat u say selectors never listen! dhoni has destroyed india's test position!no one respects us a test playing nations!

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 14:50 GMT)

Indian team has been like a local Indian train. Anyone gets a ride, even can get on the top and get off unprecedentedly at any station.

Posted by jay_vkjay on (August 10, 2012, 14:49 GMT)

Srikanth and co. surprised everyone with the selection of Piyush in the successful WC campaign in 2011. The fact that India won the tournament,that people didn't noticed Chawla's dismal performance. He is the bowler who is been hit for maximum number of sixes in IPL history. After being hit for 5 sixes in an over he may have dismissed the man in the 6th ball. But is that enough for a T20 bowler? Even the KKR spinner Iqbal Abdulla looks far better than Chawla. If the selectors wanta a genuine leg spinner, then they could have gone with Rahul Sharma. Thumps down to the outgoing Selection committee.

Posted by Raki99 on (August 10, 2012, 14:48 GMT)

Question? When does this selection committee tenure ends? Apart from a fluke world cup win Shrikant has shown no leadership in his role. Chawla in a test Team what a blunder lets see how many wickets does he take.

Posted by OOZZ on (August 10, 2012, 14:38 GMT)

We in India do not plan for success. We just do some stuff for the sake of doing, and then sit back and hope things somehow go well. Just look at our marriage ceremonies...

Posted by bluebillion on (August 10, 2012, 14:37 GMT)

Why cant we do what England does and pick a squad of 12 for the first test against NZ? What's the point of having 15 for a home test? Honestly, everyone knows what the team is going to be. The 12-man squad could have been - Sehwag, Gambhir, Pujara, Sachin, Laxman, Kohli, Dhoni, Ashwin, Ojha, Zaheer, Ishant, Yadav.

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 14:36 GMT)

I agree with this article! Sehwag is no longer the player he once was. If any thing they should try him out in the middle order in place of VVS. Unfortunately Indians are not ruthless enough with their selections. In Aus/Eng/SA VVS would have been dropped along time ago. Selectors need to be bold when playing at home, to prepare for tougher conditions. Team should be as follows: Gambhir, Rahane, Pujara, Tendulkar, Sehwag, Kohil, Dhoni, Ashwin, Khan, Ohja/Dinda, Yadav. Ishant needs match practice! Raina has no place in a test team, while Rohit's test place should not be determined by his form in ODIS. And for godsake the selection of Piyush is baffling.

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 14:35 GMT)

I suppose all issues surrounding surprise inclusions have been appropriately captured in the article. But what about surprise exclusions? What did Irfan Pathan do wrong in the recently concluded series in SL to merit an exclusion? Pack of jokers, isn't it?! Is Jimmy Amarnath still in that pack???

Posted by TheGame666able on (August 10, 2012, 14:34 GMT)

I have to disagree with the author here.I feel like he is criticizing the selection just for the sake of it,without any valid reason.The selectors have picked a team more or less as to what everyone expected.Rahane,Pujara and good to see Raina back.Maybe Irfan instead of Ishant Sharma but other than that they have picked the best 15 in the country.

Posted by cricTorque on (August 10, 2012, 14:34 GMT)

There are three kind of people in this world. One who becomes careful after having watched someone else fall down on a stone. Second, who after falling once gets careful the next time. The third and the worse kind is one who keeps falling at the same stone. Srikanth and company have proved themselves beyond doubt of the third kind. They have no interest in the well-being or the getting the best performance out of the possiblities. What they do, can be done better even by someone from Norway who doesn't even know that cricket is not just a type of insect.

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 14:32 GMT)

The latter half of the authors view I agree but for the for the first half I feel looking for 2014 is simply absurd ....bcoz whatever played now is to be concerned seriously rather looking future which will be entirely different period during which there can be new star like our current star Virat Kohli etc..........

Posted by MysticMan on (August 10, 2012, 14:28 GMT)

This team selection is frustrating, to say the least. Dhoni is a good ODI and T20 captain; he is not Test material and nor does he have the technical nous to deal with incisive bowling at the Test level. Fielding standards have improved tremendously and even in Tests it can be seen nowadays. Why we hang on to proven sluggish movers is beyond me!

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 14:27 GMT)

Bizzare selections.. Its Srikant knows about only a pool of players and keep picking from them over and over again.. Where is Rayudu? Why raina? Rohit deserved that spot.. why not iqbal abdulla? where is aaron or umesh in T20s? we need atleast one express bowler as an enforcer.. Ishant in Tests? I think Srikant and his team has successfully undone all the good work done by vengsarkar and his team.. That committee groomed new players .. took bold decisions.. The selection blunders of srikant have been basically covered by the success indian team had.. now that loses are piling up, they have become pretty obvious to everyone...

Posted by krishheturi on (August 10, 2012, 14:25 GMT)

ha ha ha ha its a big joke that gambhir selected as vice captain of team for upcoming t20's on what basis selection committee took this decision if seeing his leadership qualities in ipl then why don't you make him skipper and rest dhoni atleast for this series

Posted by Humdingers on (August 10, 2012, 14:16 GMT)

Very well written. The BCCI is much like a cheap d-grade tv soap opera. Not that I have much selection in the men, but the captain & coach need to also have a say in policy.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (August 10, 2012, 14:15 GMT)

To put it in simple words: " Indian cricket is a business for BCCI with it's selectors and business tycoons".BCCI and selectors have so much excelled in that business that they don't need training how to bluff people. After 8-0 humiliation, where was report?? And if there was any report at all submitted, where are changes in team?? Gambhir is removed a vice-captain only to cleverly stop agitation at home. What a clever thing you are BCCI. Even after 8-0 , there is no disciplined effort from BCCI nor players like Sachin and Laxman have explained to public what is the mistake and what are their plans. It is understood now that all the INDIANS are jokers for BCCI and players under BCCI are not playing for India but for BCCI. Hat's off BCCI. Hats off Sachin and VVS. I feel ashamed and humiliated not you ppl. You gave us Indians this after we love you so much . Never expected.

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 14:14 GMT)

BEWARE INDIAN FAST BOWLERS::: Zaheer , Irfan,Dinda,Bhalaji -- today only pooja will be started by Sreeshants mother to get some of u injured.. better dont play or practice anymore till worldcup... else one or few of u may not play in the world cup comming under.....

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 14:12 GMT)

Fantastic points raised. I am baffled by the selection of Raina in the test squad who was dismissed 1st ball in the final ODI to suprise surpise a bouncer by Malinga!. After that dismissal I thought surely Raina wouldn't be picked for tests but again anything is possible with BCCi selection committee. Rohit was an automatic choice for NZ test series regardless of how he performed on the SL tour. The poor guy deserved to play in Aus as well but was carrying drinks and was the second best batsmen on West Indies tour by India A after Pujara and now he gets dropped! Come on BCCI, don't continue to pick players randomly just because there are too many to choose from!

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 14:12 GMT)

yet again they proved they r a bunch of jokers....thank god we don't have to bore the brunt of chika anymore......he is partial at his best

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 14:11 GMT)

Couldn't agree more. Bizarre selection. What have Chawla & Bhajji done to earn a recall? What wrong has Ojha done? Raina spoke about him wanting to bat higher up the order to battle his way to tests, and he's just been granted that without proving? As much as i like Raina, he himself be surprised at this recall. Rohit, played pathetically in SL ODIs, but shouldn't he given atleast one chance in tests considering he was benched all through Oz tour coming in from rich form? Glad that Yuvi is back though. And glad that overhyped Jadeja is out.

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