India’s tour of Australia got to the worst start possible, with the controversy between the trio of BCCI, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, but on the field, things turned ugly with their losses, which prompted the public to question the ‘sixth-bowling’ option in the 50-over format.
If you think India had the best possible XI in the entire world after England, you would not be too far off from the others but the fact is that despite having an ocean of talent pool, India has succumbed to their own ideologies and ego-logy. With Hardik Pandya, who hasn’t bowled in nearly a year, India went with just five specialist bowlers in the Australia series - which of course did not work well for them, just like how they once upon a time selected their No.4 in haste before the World Cup.
You ask why are we going back to the same again, well every Indian problem, at least in the 50 over format, takes us back to the glory - sorry oops - days when three-dimensional spectacles were selling on an all-time high in the market, so much that when we tried to get a few for our own Twitter traction we failed, as the product went out of stock so quickly, just like how India went 2-0 down in the ODI series against Australia. When we started our SC originals series, we were so incredibly praiseful of the BCCI but from thereon - oh boy haven’t we hit a rock end.
The same rock-end, which India hit when they didn’t trust their players - something which has become a tune for the Indian fans. For BCCI it seems to be pleasant and for the others not so much. So after all the struggle of finding a sixth-bowling option which they can trust, of course, there was a meeting amongst the top draws of the BCCI officials, who in unison suggested yesteryear star - sorry still playing for Punjab - Yuvraj Singh. Now if you are as surprised as me, don’t worry - it is not us but the BCCI who has a tendency to go back to their former lovers, just like how South Africa keep going with AB de Villiers!
In the last five years, all-rounders - specifically ones that are a handful - have a good record in domestic cricket have been hard to come by but the ones that have indeed made the cut have not been trusted much. We all have trust issues but not as much as the BCCI does - especially with the plethora of talent pool available at their disposal. Imagine being home to 1.2 billion people and still needing help from overseas experts to find the best team. This love-hate relationship started off with Axar Patel and then travelled across the board to three more players - Shivam Dube, Krunal Pandya and notably Vijay Shankar.
But whenever it does get there, travel back in time. They always go to one place - the CSK dugout - to find one certain Ravindra Jadeja, who they trust the most. In the 50-over format, however, there is no bigger name in the country than Yuvraj Singh, which is also one of the biggest reasons that the southpaw has planned a return to the Punjab domestic team. If you ever wondered how he would get permission after playing in the Global T20 league, it is this way - India wants him to be fit before the 2021 World Cup in India and that’s the goal!
Two of the biggest names that dramatically found themselves out of the reckoning were Vijay Shankar and Axar Patel. In his last series, which of course also happened to be the World Cup, the seaming all-rounder averaged 29 with the bat and 11 with the ball, which also happened to be the best amongst the Indian bowlers. Remember in the Pakistan game how he was needed to bail the country out of trouble? He isn’t even in the plans right now and the guy they groomed as the next heir - Shivam Dube - isn’t even trusted with an iota.
BCCI’s trust issues are so much that it was very evident in their handling of Rohit Sharma. Now a lame man will go out and believe that the right-hander was unfit for the series but he went on and played in the IPL when Saha didn’t. That’s BCCI’s trust issues in 2020 - they even trusted Sourav Ganguly to pull off an IPL in the Middle East but couldn’t trust their Ambani-boy Sharma to make it to the Australian squad.
Where did Yuvraj come out of the blue, we asked the BCCI staff during one of the informal chats, which completely was off the record but it was so big an information that you just need to hear this piece of dozed-crap of the blue bull. He said that the board tried contacting Kapil Dev in a bid to get him ready for the home World Cup for One Last Dance but since he didn’t meet the requirements for the endorsee, the board had to stick to their plan B. And by B he meant Yuvraj Singh, one of their largest marketable athletes.
If you think that was just that, BCCI also wanted Netflix India to produce a series on their own, ‘Men in Blue’, but quite couldn’t get the contact needed. It was also 1 (b) of Yuvraj’s comeback clause, which stated that he would have to bring the streaming giants on board - just like how Kohli and Ganguly had roped in MPL and Dream 11 on board. When SportsCafe tried to contact BCCI directly, they refused to answer but we got hold of Yuvraj’s manager - who was a kind man indeed.
He was too kind to answer us, mentioning the possibility of India’s very own rendition of ‘One Last Dance’ with Yuvraj and the 50-over World Cup, which if you didn’t know is a big thing in India. So in all, it was a three-birds-in-one-stone move from the BCCI to not just rope in Yuvraj Singh to appease their appetite for bowlers but also get the crowd in their favour after the Rohit-fall-out while still getting Netflix on board for the series. There we said it first, we broke the news - BCCI indeed plans to bring back Yuvraj Singh as their sixth-bowling option in what seems to be a well-strategized move.