When India's squad for any big tour is announced, there is an edgy feeling , more so, since Virat Kohli has taken over India's captaincy across formats, as there are invariably lot of intriguing calls that leave the fans chirping. Yesterday, India announced it's jumbo squad for Australia tour.
'SKY' is the limit for not picking Surya and persisting with Iyer-Pandey
It's about and beyond time when Suryakumar Yadav calls up national selectors and ask them for the long list of 32299 requirements that he needs to fulfil before getting picked for India. SKY has scored a heap of runs in domestic cricket - Best strike-rate (189.28) in 2019/20 Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy among top 10 run-getters, 500-plus 2018 IPL, 400-plus 2019 IPL and a strike-rate of 148.95 this IPL, his omission is outrageous, not only because of the runs, because he is arguably the most versatile and inventive stroke-maker in T20 cricket for India. What's common in India's T20I top five- Rahul, Dhawan/Rohit, Kohli, Shreyas, Pandey - all are accumulators and top-order anchors.
We are in the 13th edition of the best T20 league in the world and India have still won just one T20 World Cup, no wonder why - they are hell-bent averse to innovative thinking and can't think beyond their run-of-the-mill approach. Iyer (129.5/130.38) and Pandey's (127.62/125.00) strike-rate in T20Is and IPL 2020 are crying out loud for India to do something before another WC goes by sans silverware.
Rishabh Pant's management - Disaster made in India
From being touted as a gun white-ball player to becoming India's first-choice Test gloveman to playing as a specialist batsman in World Cup to taking over the full-fledged wicket-keeping mantle to not even getting chances in dead rubbers against New Zealand to finally getting dropped from India's white-ball squad, even Pant would need some time to comprehend Indian cricket and its mysterious ways. If Rahul was going to be the first choice wicket-keeper, what was the whole point of priming Pant all the while? India tried to make Pant an accumulator, at least by the looks of it or the 'rap on the knuckles' comment by Shastri. Not that he needed to be spoon-fed, but nurtured, for sure.
What makes it even more appalling is that the young batsman had just found his feet in limited-overs cricket, last year, making 69-ball-71 and 16-ball-39 against West Indies but he hardly played after that. Imagine the clutter going in his mind after all this, and it shows in the way he has batted in IPL this season. He belongs to the rarest of rare breed of power hitters in India but to no avail.
Why Ranji trophy, when IPL guarantees Test selections
It was not the first time when a Test player's selection in India was influenced by IPL - case in point - KL Rahul. But even if it happens for the 5748th time, it would not go under the radar. We have one of the greatest First-class tournaments in the world - Ranji Trophy and despite that, if IPL serves as major criteria for selection, then it is just outright sad, especially for those hard-working cricketers, who dream to represent India one day in Test cricket after putting in their sweat, blood, tears and excelling in front of empty stadiums.
KL Rahul's dodgy technique has been laid bare in Test cricket. He is a class player, at his best these days, but he has already got a prolonged run, which made more deserving candidates like Mayank Agarwal sit on the sidelines. In the last 15 Tests, he has made only one century and a fifty. Without any credible red-ball performances of late, someone more deserving should have been picked.
The great Varun Chakravarthy's punt; Siraj's well-deserved call-up
Well, props to Sunil Joshi and co for this unlikely and non-mainstream selection of Varun Chakravarthy. These are the 'bolt out of the blue' sort of punt that is rightly needed for turning around India's fortunes in T20Is. The only bowler to take a five-fer this IPL, an economy of 7.18, 13 wickets in 11 games and out bowling Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav, Varun's mystery has befuddled the batsmen. It's the unflappable temperament and a great head on his shoulders, that enables the architect-turned-cricketer, to disguise his bag full of 'bamboozling tricks' in pressure-cooker situations. Not only he is a wicket-taking option but also accurate and can control things from one end.
Mohammed Siraj's Test selection is also praise-worthy because this is his best format. Australia is tailor-made for a pacy Siraj, who loves hitting the deck hard. He has done well over the years be it in Ranji trophy or India A, so it's great to see him reap fruits for all the exceptional work he has put in.