September 3, 2012

Blood them young, but be careful

India Under-19s may have won the World Cup, but if the selectors wish to pick some of them for the national team, they must make sure MS Dhoni backs their picks
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If any of the India Under-19 stars get into the national team soon, they will owe some of it to the broadcasters of the World Cup. The Indian juniors put up a superb performance to win the tournament in Australia, where their seniors were humbled six months ago. But the attention the U-19s received this time was exceptional. As they progressed in the World Cup, the broadcasters increased their focus on the tournament. Why, even while India played their first Test of the home season, against New Zealand in Hyderabad, viewers were continuously informed there was a final being played in Townsville and were given updates of India's chase. That got the Indian media and fans involved as well.

In recent times, Indian selectors have shown a clear tendency for populist picks. With the change of guard in the national selection committee scheduled for the next meeting, that approach may change, but one still cannot rule out the possibility of a couple of players from the U-19 team getting fast-tracked into the national team.

People in power love to take decisions that make them popular, and, given the current mood, picking Unmukt Chand or Harmeet Singh or any other would certainly make the selectors very popular among a large part of the media and fan base.

I believe fast-tracking is a good thing. When I was Mumbai captain, I often indulged in it, but you must do it only in exceptional circumstances and with great care and thought, because there is a rare, young talent at stake.

Pakistan have had an incredible track record of picking players straight from the club level. A few players were even picked after being observed a couple of times in the nets and, guess what, some of them went on to become legends of the game.

How did Pakistan manage to pull a rabbit from the hat so often? First, because they did not have an elaborate first-class cricket structure, the system habitually got bypassed. The men in power did not have much respect for the assembly line. But the more critical reason for their success with fast-tracked players was the fact that their captain backed his picks.

Imran Khan was as excited about the raw talent as the fellow player or selector who had spotted and recommended it to him. Pakistan's top run-getter, Inzamam-ul-Haq, was picked largely on hearsay. Imran had only one good look at Inzi in a friendly match and he was hooked.

But what happened a few weeks later with Inzamam in Australia was interesting. Struggling to cope with the seaming, bouncy conditions in the 1992 World Cup, Inzamam ran up some low scores while batting at No. 3. But instead of thinking he had made a wrong punt, Imran dropped Inzamam down the order to No. 5 and batted at No. 3 himself. The runs started to flow from Inzamam's bat again and Pakistan went on to win that World Cup.

The pick was successful because the captain believed in the talent too. It was not one thrust on him by someone else. Imran also had a personal interest in Inzamam's success to show the world that he had picked a winning horse.

So if India's selectors decide to fast-track any U-19 player into the national team, they should go ahead and do it, but not before making sure that MS Dhoni is as enthusiastic about the talent as they are.

For fast-tracking to succeed in the long-term, the selector or the captain must be excellent judges of talent. I am still astonished at how so many outstanding and experienced players turn out to be very poor judges of talent. I remember Imran reacting to one failed attempt to fast-track an Indian player during Raj Singh Dungarpur's reign as chairman of selectors. "One needs to have a real good understanding of the game and talent to take such risks," Imran told me. "People like Dungarpur are just not qualified to make such decisions."

Dungarpur meant well for Indian cricket when he tried to replicate the Pakistan theory in the late '80s and early '90s, but it's obvious not everyone has the eye. I think among all the India captains I have seen, Sourav Ganguly perhaps had the best eye for talent.

So I'd tell the selectors: go ahead and pick any U-19 player from the World Cup squad that you think can make it to the Indian team - but make sure you have Dhoni on your side.

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar is a cricket commentator and presenter on TV. His Twitter feed is here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on September 5, 2012, 17:15 GMT

    @Percy_Fender. Your suggestion is interesting and worth considering. But one of them seems to be getting carried away with personalities and personal preferences. That doesn't board well fora rational talent scout. Others are fine. ( I should admit, Sourav, was the most rational (and unbiased) cricketer in identifying, promoting and continuously supporting talent from any part of the country)

  • on September 4, 2012, 22:10 GMT

    I liked Smit Patel's "Big shot coming" shouts from behind the stumps! While I agree on the three, missing Harmeet Singh and Sanjay Sharma is almost a crime. These two would have to succeed for all the talent they've today. Vijay Zol was another who impressed but imploded during games that mattered the most.

  • MunafAhmed811 on September 4, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    Pakistan may have produced a lot of special talents based on hunches but it has produced lots and lots of duds & thats why they are medicore 1 day and brilliant other day (unpredictable a.k.a fluke performances based on which glasses one uses to see the performances). First class cricket will not be taken seriously by players unless it is taken seriously by selectors. Chand/Harmeet/Baba do deserve chances but fast tracking them to India team is not a good idea. Send them to play county cricket or league cricket in SA/Aus and them make them play one season of Ranji and IPL ( to get used to crowd/media pressure) as well. Then taking performances all accross these stages into consideration draft them into team or send them to NCA to polish of identified weaknesses in this period.. . We need more consistent types of players like Australians because tried and tested players achieve consitstent wins and invincible teams.We need such teams rather than unpredictable teams.

  • MunafAhmed811 on September 4, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    Imran khan picked up two players only who went on to be legends. Akram and Inzi. He also backed Wasti , Basit ali ( called him better than 10 dulkar), Sami , Kaneria and few others.Most of them failed miserably. Knowledgable gamblers luck works at times but also fails. So his formula was not always succesful. It was more of hit and miss kind of talent hunting like Afrdi's batting who scored a couple of fluke but quick 100s and became branded allrounder which he is not.Also in case of Pakistan they hardly had any first class domestic structure worthy of churning out players of class so he had to adopt this gamble kind of selection policy which worked as his luck was good at times. If Indian selectors make same mistake then all other players will treat Ranji as irreelant to selction chances. One thing to agree is captain should support selectors choice and give ample chances to selected person to fail or pass. Thats only part i agree.

  • satish619chandar on September 4, 2012, 10:10 GMT

    Well. There are two sorts of working styles. First, Pick based on talent and blood them by giving full support. Second, pick guys with good work ethics and give them the reward for their hard work. Ganguly is first type and Dhoni the second type. The guys in Yuvi, Bhajji, Zak were very unfit during end tenure of Dada but still, didn't opt for talent hunt in that period. Dada did back some players even when they failed but others just went out without any chance to fail also. But Dhoni gives platform for every player he comes across to judge them. I still can't digest that Akash Chopra was dropped for Yuvi to be tried as opener. And he never came back.

  • rosh280 on September 4, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    Sanjay majrekar has really made a positive remark. I really appreciate his points but there are plenty of young talents are there. They have to be nurtured and should be given positive remarks of their performance. Old players like sanjay, kapil,rahul dravid, srikant can give them training and positive tips. There are a lot of talents to watch for like ashok menaria, mandeep singh, jalaj saxena, ishant jaggi, ajinka rahane, pinal shah, naman ojha, yogesh nagar, abhinav mukund, murali vijay, pradeep sangwan, gurkeerat singh. still there are chances for unmukt chand for tendulkar spot, cheteswar pujara for rahul dravid.murali vijay and ajinka rahane should be a great opening pair. baba aparajit is really a good alrounder. he should get some tips from anil kumble and venkatapati raju and maninder singh. so like harmeet singh also. k p apanna is another good spinner to watch for. for fast bowling prashant parameswaran, sree shant, balaji, sandeep sharma,ravikant and kamal passi get chance

  • Percy_Fender on September 4, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    Having seen his father Vijay at the Brabourne Stadium in the 50s, and being a great admirer,I was very keen to see how his son Sanjay does.I followed his career from the the mid 80s and was very heartened when he was doing excellently in the domestic circuit. Sanjay was a typical Bombay product. Technically a purist's delight who also had the capacity for big scores.So I went to Kotla in the winter of 1987 when India was playing West Indies to see Sanjay's baptism by the usual West Indian fire.It was a mess.Winston Benjamin proved the villian of the piece when he knocked.Sanjay on the eye and he took no further part in the match.So it was not a very good visit for me to the Kotla.After that I saw him play against South Africa at Nehru Stadium New Delhi in a ODI.By then he had made a big name for himself on the 89 Pakistan tour.Impeccably dressed as always he played an innings in which he would just caress the ball.The square cut was noiseless.I wonder why he left early.He was very good

  • on September 4, 2012, 7:05 GMT

    I agree with most of your points but my issue is not about making a popular selection but making an unpopular omission in the larger interest of the team. Even if you make a bold decision about selecting someone like Unmukt Chand, what about biting the bullet and making an unpopular but undoubtedly good decision of dropping Sachin Tendulkar. It's not enough to just pick the right players but it is also about weeding out the deadbeat like Tendulkar, who is clearly well past his sell by date.

  • SanjeevHN on September 3, 2012, 17:19 GMT

    I do agree with Sanjay. These three looked whole lot better. Morea bout Smit Patel. He is playing those hook and oull shots and thats makes him even more special. We have to start looking for another wicketkeeper batsman as Dinesh Kartik and Wriddhiman Saha are not doing that well at test arena.

    And also on Spinners and I mean wrist spinners, not too many these days. Develop some wrist spinners and give them backing.

    Genuine fast bowlers, Opening batsman not converted and wrist spinners are needed for the test

  • Percy_Fender on September 3, 2012, 15:59 GMT

    Sanjay Manjrekar, Anil Kumble,Rahul Dravid , Saurav Ganguly and Ravi Shastri could make an excellent team for talent scouting. All of them have played at the highest level and more importantly have done exceptionally well. They should concentrate on East,North,West, South and Central Zones respectively. I am sure the BCCI can pay them more than what they earn as media representatives etc.

  • on September 5, 2012, 17:15 GMT

    @Percy_Fender. Your suggestion is interesting and worth considering. But one of them seems to be getting carried away with personalities and personal preferences. That doesn't board well fora rational talent scout. Others are fine. ( I should admit, Sourav, was the most rational (and unbiased) cricketer in identifying, promoting and continuously supporting talent from any part of the country)

  • on September 4, 2012, 22:10 GMT

    I liked Smit Patel's "Big shot coming" shouts from behind the stumps! While I agree on the three, missing Harmeet Singh and Sanjay Sharma is almost a crime. These two would have to succeed for all the talent they've today. Vijay Zol was another who impressed but imploded during games that mattered the most.

  • MunafAhmed811 on September 4, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    Pakistan may have produced a lot of special talents based on hunches but it has produced lots and lots of duds & thats why they are medicore 1 day and brilliant other day (unpredictable a.k.a fluke performances based on which glasses one uses to see the performances). First class cricket will not be taken seriously by players unless it is taken seriously by selectors. Chand/Harmeet/Baba do deserve chances but fast tracking them to India team is not a good idea. Send them to play county cricket or league cricket in SA/Aus and them make them play one season of Ranji and IPL ( to get used to crowd/media pressure) as well. Then taking performances all accross these stages into consideration draft them into team or send them to NCA to polish of identified weaknesses in this period.. . We need more consistent types of players like Australians because tried and tested players achieve consitstent wins and invincible teams.We need such teams rather than unpredictable teams.

  • MunafAhmed811 on September 4, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    Imran khan picked up two players only who went on to be legends. Akram and Inzi. He also backed Wasti , Basit ali ( called him better than 10 dulkar), Sami , Kaneria and few others.Most of them failed miserably. Knowledgable gamblers luck works at times but also fails. So his formula was not always succesful. It was more of hit and miss kind of talent hunting like Afrdi's batting who scored a couple of fluke but quick 100s and became branded allrounder which he is not.Also in case of Pakistan they hardly had any first class domestic structure worthy of churning out players of class so he had to adopt this gamble kind of selection policy which worked as his luck was good at times. If Indian selectors make same mistake then all other players will treat Ranji as irreelant to selction chances. One thing to agree is captain should support selectors choice and give ample chances to selected person to fail or pass. Thats only part i agree.

  • satish619chandar on September 4, 2012, 10:10 GMT

    Well. There are two sorts of working styles. First, Pick based on talent and blood them by giving full support. Second, pick guys with good work ethics and give them the reward for their hard work. Ganguly is first type and Dhoni the second type. The guys in Yuvi, Bhajji, Zak were very unfit during end tenure of Dada but still, didn't opt for talent hunt in that period. Dada did back some players even when they failed but others just went out without any chance to fail also. But Dhoni gives platform for every player he comes across to judge them. I still can't digest that Akash Chopra was dropped for Yuvi to be tried as opener. And he never came back.

  • rosh280 on September 4, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    Sanjay majrekar has really made a positive remark. I really appreciate his points but there are plenty of young talents are there. They have to be nurtured and should be given positive remarks of their performance. Old players like sanjay, kapil,rahul dravid, srikant can give them training and positive tips. There are a lot of talents to watch for like ashok menaria, mandeep singh, jalaj saxena, ishant jaggi, ajinka rahane, pinal shah, naman ojha, yogesh nagar, abhinav mukund, murali vijay, pradeep sangwan, gurkeerat singh. still there are chances for unmukt chand for tendulkar spot, cheteswar pujara for rahul dravid.murali vijay and ajinka rahane should be a great opening pair. baba aparajit is really a good alrounder. he should get some tips from anil kumble and venkatapati raju and maninder singh. so like harmeet singh also. k p apanna is another good spinner to watch for. for fast bowling prashant parameswaran, sree shant, balaji, sandeep sharma,ravikant and kamal passi get chance

  • Percy_Fender on September 4, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    Having seen his father Vijay at the Brabourne Stadium in the 50s, and being a great admirer,I was very keen to see how his son Sanjay does.I followed his career from the the mid 80s and was very heartened when he was doing excellently in the domestic circuit. Sanjay was a typical Bombay product. Technically a purist's delight who also had the capacity for big scores.So I went to Kotla in the winter of 1987 when India was playing West Indies to see Sanjay's baptism by the usual West Indian fire.It was a mess.Winston Benjamin proved the villian of the piece when he knocked.Sanjay on the eye and he took no further part in the match.So it was not a very good visit for me to the Kotla.After that I saw him play against South Africa at Nehru Stadium New Delhi in a ODI.By then he had made a big name for himself on the 89 Pakistan tour.Impeccably dressed as always he played an innings in which he would just caress the ball.The square cut was noiseless.I wonder why he left early.He was very good

  • on September 4, 2012, 7:05 GMT

    I agree with most of your points but my issue is not about making a popular selection but making an unpopular omission in the larger interest of the team. Even if you make a bold decision about selecting someone like Unmukt Chand, what about biting the bullet and making an unpopular but undoubtedly good decision of dropping Sachin Tendulkar. It's not enough to just pick the right players but it is also about weeding out the deadbeat like Tendulkar, who is clearly well past his sell by date.

  • SanjeevHN on September 3, 2012, 17:19 GMT

    I do agree with Sanjay. These three looked whole lot better. Morea bout Smit Patel. He is playing those hook and oull shots and thats makes him even more special. We have to start looking for another wicketkeeper batsman as Dinesh Kartik and Wriddhiman Saha are not doing that well at test arena.

    And also on Spinners and I mean wrist spinners, not too many these days. Develop some wrist spinners and give them backing.

    Genuine fast bowlers, Opening batsman not converted and wrist spinners are needed for the test

  • Percy_Fender on September 3, 2012, 15:59 GMT

    Sanjay Manjrekar, Anil Kumble,Rahul Dravid , Saurav Ganguly and Ravi Shastri could make an excellent team for talent scouting. All of them have played at the highest level and more importantly have done exceptionally well. They should concentrate on East,North,West, South and Central Zones respectively. I am sure the BCCI can pay them more than what they earn as media representatives etc.

  • ElBeeDubya on September 3, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    There are a few problems with this suggestion. A. You cannot be too impressed by a player by only seeing how he plays against (average?) U19 bowling attacks. A player must perform against senior bowlers, at least at the nets if not in A tours. (A few anecdotes about Imran's success do not give us a formula for success.) B. Dhoni does not get a chance to see the youngsters because he (and other established Indian players) do not play any local cricket and, as far as I could tell from the Indian setup, the selectors do not consult the captain when choosing the team. How can Dhoni then truly judge a player's quality? (IPL could be considered a local tournament but IPL is not the best platform to judge a player's ability so IPL success itself does not mean much. See Rahul Sharma, Raina and Sir Jadeja, for example, if you disagree.) I can think of one solution to this situation: bring the fringe/up and coming players to regularly practice with the senior team.

  • on September 3, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    Agree with you Sanjay: The Imran Khan principle of bending the iron while its hot - as India did with Sachin - is hardly a challengeable one in sports; for, since the lifespan of an athlete is limited, doesn't it make sense to groom them as soon as their talent is obvious?

  • Riderstorm on September 3, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    Honestly, you still back Dhoni in making such daring decisions. I don't. His inability to look beyond his backed circle of players even when they are ineffective (cases of R.Sharma in ODIs and Raina in Tests) baffles me. I would love to see the experimental Dhoni when he was first made captain way back in 2007. Such decision making would surely rejuvenate Indian cricket without a doubt.

  • raindelay on September 3, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    now india does not in a bother of spotting a talent in terms of batting,The fast bowling only we need to improve,certainly from U19 world cup 2012 SANDEEP SHARMA could be selected for indian team in all formats,and also players like praveen kumar should be in test team,praveen can swing the ball both ways and capable of bowling long spells.praveen bowled well in england test matches too

  • Nampally on September 3, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    Talent should be spotted & encouraged where possible. At least 2 of the U-19 batsmen are worth a serious thought for the National team. U.Chand is the best of the lot followed by Aparajith. India needs a solid young opener who has the right batting technique. U.Chand has it all & is aggressive like Sehwag. Consider either or both Gambhir & Sehwag for lower order say #5 & #6. Gambhir is a very poor opener with his strong tendency to flash & poke at the balls outside the off stump which will bring his downfall 100% of the time overseas. Aparajith has good batting technique, fine slip fielder & good off spinner - good potential all rounder. While Chand is ready, Aparajith may find difficult to replace anyone now. If India opens with Chand & say Rahane, they can follow up with Pujara, Kohli, Sehwag/Gambhir, Dhoni, Ashwin to follow. Ojha + 3 seamers should complete the XI. India needs new openers & there is a spot for youngsters there.I am sure Dhoni will welcome Chand with open arms!.

  • rahulcricket007 on September 3, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    @emacipator 007 . very good point indeed bro . you said the right thing . if dhoni really have care about talent then he would have not picked suresh raina in test team ahead of some other proven test players like badrinath , rahane , rohit

  • KarmatBaig on September 3, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    Pakistan has always identified talent at a younger age as compared to other countries and brought them to represent the country such as Nasimul Ghani, Mushtaq Mohammad, Waseem Bari, Majid Khan, Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Saleem Malik, Ijaz Ahmed, Ataur Rahman, Saqlain Mushtaq, Shahid Afridi, Imran Nazir, Abdul Razak, Danish Kaneria, Shoaib Mailk, Sarfraz Ahmed, Salaman Butt, Umer Gul, Mohammad Amir and Umer Akamal all below 20 when they first played for Pakistan and all of whom had a very successful Test and One Day career.

    Imran during his captaincy blooded Aaqib Javed, Mushtaq Ahmed, Inzamam, Waqar Yunus and Moin Khan all below 19 years of age. Not to forget Tauseef Ahmed and Waseem Akram both of whom have never played any first class criket but were brought straight from the nets to represent Pakistan.

  • AjayB on September 3, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    @thalalara : No - this article is not to eulogize Imran. Standard essay writing technique, give an example to support your arguments - hence Imran and nothing wrong with it. Amongst others that Imran picked and pulled out - Wasim Akram, Tauseef Ahmed that I can think of immediately. Not sure why everyone focuses on a line or two, but get the gist of the article. People mocking Saurav, look at people like Harbhajan, Sehwag - who had complete backing from their captain. I beleive it was Sourav who made Sehwag open the innings.

  • Dashgar on September 3, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    First class cricket will not be taken seriously by players unless it is taken seriously by selectors. If Ranji form and Test form are the only things taken into account for Test selection then the Ranji trophy will become a much higher standard.

  • on September 3, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    Time Tendulkar was dropped and youngsters given a chance. Face it, he is old and his feet are not moving even in our flat tracks.

  • Naresh28 on September 3, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    Only CHAND qualifies as an opener from U19 and this should depend on the A-team tour to NZ. India needs to make drastic changes to remove unsuited players in the test team. Although we win at home and lose overseas, there needs to be overseas pitches equation when chosing. SANJAYS's ARTICLE recently about preserving Sachin and Zaks was a aim at the selectors rather than trying to protect these players. Well thats what I believe.

  • sagsaw on September 3, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    Vijay Zol is the test batsman of the future for sure and add to it that he is left handed ... Similarly Sanddep Sharma test bowler of the future ...

    Unmukt Chand and Baba Aparajit for the T20 and One Day format only ...

    Suresh Raina is now good enough for T20 and One Day ... He is a sitting duck for quality pace bowling in India or abroad ...

    Its fair Badrinath gets his opportunity and Vijay Zol is his replacement ...

    Harmeet must first be brought into the test team to allow him to more time to settle and more opportunities to improve in the same match one spell after another ... instead of the T20 and One dayers ...

    Gambhirs spot to go to Ajinkya Rahane ...

  • on September 3, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    L R Shukla picked too early and destroyed he can a good all rounder for INDIA

  • thalalara on September 3, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    Is this article is to eulogize Imran Khan? One swallow does not make a summer... Inzi is just one example where Imran always takes pride of. We don't know how many of them would have backfired on his talent hunting?

  • Emancipator007 on September 3, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    If Dhoni seriously or genuinely had an eye for talent, he would not pick Test failure Raina repeatedly despite having Rahane/Badri in reserves. In India's batsmen rich Test cricket history, Raina's av after 18 Tests is among the worst.MSD would also not persist so much with Ishant who has not even picked up 100 wickets in 45 Tests! He has also undermined genuine Test-class bowler Sreesanth's confidence (who has been primarily decisive in winning 2 Tests for India in India's worst Tests playground- S. Africa) by talking about his antics publicly. Rohit was in prime form during India's tour to OZ, but MSD just would not slot him during the Tests.Now he has lost form and all confidence in a format in which he does not revel in.

  • remnant on September 3, 2012, 9:19 GMT

    @Emancipator, Azhar wasn't a bad captain, given his win loss record both in Odis and Tests, for the team of the pre Big 3 era, which is why he stood captain for 9 years and was even reinstated after the 1st sachin stint that was not so rewarding. Don't forget that India started to break the Pakistan jinx only under him, and until then it was always a one way street. His victories against pak in three world cups besides Sharjah and the Dhaka cup. I recall that in the early 90s it was only azhar and sachin who were there with a lot of the seniors dropped for forming the cricket association. The fact is the Indian teams until as late as the mid 2000s were poor travelers. shastri could have a captain but those days there wasn't a concept of seperate odi and Test teams, so perhaps his odi record may have impacted his chances.

  • AbhijeetC on September 3, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    lol Sourav Ganguly..has the best eye for talent....you are kidding me......he is supporting dinda.....From what angle Dinda looks like a fast bowler...whatever he does and whatever he will do at domestic level he is not going to crack at international level big time......picking young players is like trial and error method...you win some you loose some......for example.....zaheer khan...win.....ratinder sodhi...loss.....yuvraj.....win.....kaif...loss.....see.....

    and to be honest, I still think the failure of agarkar was a failure of Ganguly, that he did not utilize him properly.....

  • buntyj on September 3, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    aparajith's bowling hasnt been successful away from india in u19 and also in india in his few ranji games; his scores against faster bowling attacks have also been less impressive than his scores otherwise; as batting allrounders go who can keep it fairly tight away and win at home we already have ashwin; i am surprised harmeet singh wasnt in the list as he is clearly the best young spinner in india today -tho not a bedi and i would prefer all above 3 and harmeet have at least 1 full season of ranji/duleep and that harmeet stays away from ipl for at least 3 years and if chand can play a season of club cricket in norther england next summer.

  • RohithMedisetty on September 3, 2012, 7:05 GMT

    @ johnnyrook , I completely agree with you. These raw talents succeed once in a blue moon. As bhogle once said talent will only get you a place in the team but you have to work hard from there on to succeed.

  • kharidra on September 3, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    Under 19 world cup was indeed made noticeable through the active participation of the media. The winning teams usually have a player or 2 to scale into higher grades of cricket. This u19 team is no exception provided the capable players are dealt with in appropriate manner. The methodology that needs to be adopted should be in the form a process document that needs to be followed to ensure the opportunities that present themselves are uniformly dealt. Just as we have processes institutionalized in the functioning of several verticals we need to have similar processes in the nurturing of u19 talent. The processes enable automation and objectivity and bringing in such automation creates a visible and justifiable approach to nurturing talent which will have the approval of the all the stake holders.

  • Emancipator007 on September 3, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    Dungarpur should have been hauled up for making undeserving Azhar the captain which he was for an astonishing 9 years! When a ready, world-class leader in Shastri (with proven captaincy skills right thru age -levels cricket) was already VC and also a heavyweight performer during that period. Shastri was quite pathetic as an ODI opener but his Test records as an overseas bat was the best during that era and he deserved to play more Tests after the age of 30 when he played his last Test!

  • Rajavel-cricket on September 3, 2012, 6:34 GMT

    At last i found a good article from sanjay.. Especially we can try mukund and baba aparjith in senior team in the cost of sehwag and one bowler agaist weaker oppenents like NZ west indies even Against srilanka.. Aparjith showed lot of character and more notable he has finished his all 10 overs quota with less economy rate and aslo some crucial wickets.

  • Emancipator007 on September 3, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    It's taken a lot for Manj to acknowledge what he says about Gang the talent spotter. Detractors should now realize that a 'selfish' individual would not bother about others' performances or India's victories.And Gang when he had his best hand-eye coordination b/w1992-96 (in his early 20s) was never picked again after his debut of only 1 ODI or he would have ended up with 15,000 ODI and 10,000 Test runs.Even now he cannily noticed that Chand was hitting 6s from the crease (like what young Tend used to do which shows rare talent).Gang backing Bhajji's inclusion against OZ &Eng in India is also cos of his shrewdness in realizing Bhajji's anger and desire to succeed again. Back Kumble & Ganguly as talent spotters/BBCI administrators and India's stocks will soar again as they FERVENTLY love India to win. Dravid,SRT,VVS would never have that kind of drive or visionary zeal so immersed were they in their own games -they are just great field soldiers.

  • on September 3, 2012, 6:21 GMT

    Brilliant article. Generally,I'm not a fan of SM's views but this one is a stand out for me. I know a lot of fans who love stats and see the amount of runs a guy scores in domestic,the number of wkts he's taking and decide the team according to that. If Cricket was all stats,then we should have Stats guy as selectors and pick an automatic 11 based on Stats guru! Dat's not how cricket is played. Dere's something called raw talent which has to be identified and like SM mentioned you need the right guys to do it. Imran Khan did it for Pakistan and I know Dhoni knows all dat as well. I still feel that these U19 guys need to play 1 proper season of Ranji[Atleast] before they even think of coming into the Indian side but still the guy who comes the closest in terms of selection is U.Chand. If Dhoni feels that this guy has all the talent and is ready right now,then there's no problem in trying him. Look at V.Kohli. He's 23 and he bats as if he's played cricket for yrs. Dat's raw talent!

  • JohnnyRook on September 3, 2012, 4:33 GMT

    I think fasttracking a youngster directly into international cricket is not a good way to blood him. It doesn't help him much nor does it help the team. For every Virat Kohli, you are bound to have plenty of Rohit Sharmas and Ishant Sharmas. Pakistan may have produced a lot of special talents based on hunches but it has produced lots and lots of duds and one test wonders too. Talent has to convert into consistent performance at first class and A levels before anybody gets into the international squad. Australia in 2000s was such a dominating force because it consisted of hard tough men not talented boys...

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on September 3, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    If Harmeet Singh is among the three to watch, then sanjay manjrekar didnt watch the same tourney as i did

  • on September 3, 2012, 3:51 GMT

    I might just be agreeing with you Mr.Manjrekar but I want to say it just a little differently.

    There are only 2 kinds of talents from the U19 level.

    1. The kind that are ready to soak in the limelight of the highest level and can use their experiences in the u-19 level to understand what it takes to win at the biggest stage. Talent wise & mental readiness wise they must be ready to get picked picked for India. Keep in mind, only a small % would qualify to make this transition.

    2. Have showed a lot of promise/performances at the under 19 level but are not ready to perform for India YET. Picking them now would come at a huge downside for their careers and by effect India would potentially lose a long-timer. Case in point - Reetinder Sodhi.

    For people who we don't know enough about - it is best to allow them to play Ranji level before making a judgement on them. Don't wait till they are 33, yes, but 19 is young, let's not make a mistake now and kill careers.

  • on September 3, 2012, 3:40 GMT

    Nicely written, could be argued that Kohli is an example, as they stuck with him on the Aus tour and he came right, rather than dropping him for Rohit Sharma. NZ are also going through this with Kane Williamson; he has shown his abilities but the runs aren't flowing just yet, so hopefully they wil give him time and he will be able to repay their faith. I also hope for the same chances for James Taylor of England.

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  • on September 3, 2012, 3:40 GMT

    Nicely written, could be argued that Kohli is an example, as they stuck with him on the Aus tour and he came right, rather than dropping him for Rohit Sharma. NZ are also going through this with Kane Williamson; he has shown his abilities but the runs aren't flowing just yet, so hopefully they wil give him time and he will be able to repay their faith. I also hope for the same chances for James Taylor of England.

  • on September 3, 2012, 3:51 GMT

    I might just be agreeing with you Mr.Manjrekar but I want to say it just a little differently.

    There are only 2 kinds of talents from the U19 level.

    1. The kind that are ready to soak in the limelight of the highest level and can use their experiences in the u-19 level to understand what it takes to win at the biggest stage. Talent wise & mental readiness wise they must be ready to get picked picked for India. Keep in mind, only a small % would qualify to make this transition.

    2. Have showed a lot of promise/performances at the under 19 level but are not ready to perform for India YET. Picking them now would come at a huge downside for their careers and by effect India would potentially lose a long-timer. Case in point - Reetinder Sodhi.

    For people who we don't know enough about - it is best to allow them to play Ranji level before making a judgement on them. Don't wait till they are 33, yes, but 19 is young, let's not make a mistake now and kill careers.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on September 3, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    If Harmeet Singh is among the three to watch, then sanjay manjrekar didnt watch the same tourney as i did

  • JohnnyRook on September 3, 2012, 4:33 GMT

    I think fasttracking a youngster directly into international cricket is not a good way to blood him. It doesn't help him much nor does it help the team. For every Virat Kohli, you are bound to have plenty of Rohit Sharmas and Ishant Sharmas. Pakistan may have produced a lot of special talents based on hunches but it has produced lots and lots of duds and one test wonders too. Talent has to convert into consistent performance at first class and A levels before anybody gets into the international squad. Australia in 2000s was such a dominating force because it consisted of hard tough men not talented boys...

  • on September 3, 2012, 6:21 GMT

    Brilliant article. Generally,I'm not a fan of SM's views but this one is a stand out for me. I know a lot of fans who love stats and see the amount of runs a guy scores in domestic,the number of wkts he's taking and decide the team according to that. If Cricket was all stats,then we should have Stats guy as selectors and pick an automatic 11 based on Stats guru! Dat's not how cricket is played. Dere's something called raw talent which has to be identified and like SM mentioned you need the right guys to do it. Imran Khan did it for Pakistan and I know Dhoni knows all dat as well. I still feel that these U19 guys need to play 1 proper season of Ranji[Atleast] before they even think of coming into the Indian side but still the guy who comes the closest in terms of selection is U.Chand. If Dhoni feels that this guy has all the talent and is ready right now,then there's no problem in trying him. Look at V.Kohli. He's 23 and he bats as if he's played cricket for yrs. Dat's raw talent!

  • Emancipator007 on September 3, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    It's taken a lot for Manj to acknowledge what he says about Gang the talent spotter. Detractors should now realize that a 'selfish' individual would not bother about others' performances or India's victories.And Gang when he had his best hand-eye coordination b/w1992-96 (in his early 20s) was never picked again after his debut of only 1 ODI or he would have ended up with 15,000 ODI and 10,000 Test runs.Even now he cannily noticed that Chand was hitting 6s from the crease (like what young Tend used to do which shows rare talent).Gang backing Bhajji's inclusion against OZ &Eng in India is also cos of his shrewdness in realizing Bhajji's anger and desire to succeed again. Back Kumble & Ganguly as talent spotters/BBCI administrators and India's stocks will soar again as they FERVENTLY love India to win. Dravid,SRT,VVS would never have that kind of drive or visionary zeal so immersed were they in their own games -they are just great field soldiers.

  • Rajavel-cricket on September 3, 2012, 6:34 GMT

    At last i found a good article from sanjay.. Especially we can try mukund and baba aparjith in senior team in the cost of sehwag and one bowler agaist weaker oppenents like NZ west indies even Against srilanka.. Aparjith showed lot of character and more notable he has finished his all 10 overs quota with less economy rate and aslo some crucial wickets.

  • Emancipator007 on September 3, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    Dungarpur should have been hauled up for making undeserving Azhar the captain which he was for an astonishing 9 years! When a ready, world-class leader in Shastri (with proven captaincy skills right thru age -levels cricket) was already VC and also a heavyweight performer during that period. Shastri was quite pathetic as an ODI opener but his Test records as an overseas bat was the best during that era and he deserved to play more Tests after the age of 30 when he played his last Test!

  • kharidra on September 3, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    Under 19 world cup was indeed made noticeable through the active participation of the media. The winning teams usually have a player or 2 to scale into higher grades of cricket. This u19 team is no exception provided the capable players are dealt with in appropriate manner. The methodology that needs to be adopted should be in the form a process document that needs to be followed to ensure the opportunities that present themselves are uniformly dealt. Just as we have processes institutionalized in the functioning of several verticals we need to have similar processes in the nurturing of u19 talent. The processes enable automation and objectivity and bringing in such automation creates a visible and justifiable approach to nurturing talent which will have the approval of the all the stake holders.

  • RohithMedisetty on September 3, 2012, 7:05 GMT

    @ johnnyrook , I completely agree with you. These raw talents succeed once in a blue moon. As bhogle once said talent will only get you a place in the team but you have to work hard from there on to succeed.