If “Kiwi molesting” was an Olympic sport, we could have easily gone past Latvia or Slovenia in the medals table in 2008 summer Olympics, which by any scale would have been the greatest moment of pride and success for India in global sport. We wouldn’t have had to rely on a certain ISI tennis prodigy or a misspelled version of her name, to win a medal for India.
|Parthiv doing a Jhonty.|
The recently concluded India-NZ series sends an array of mixed signals to the elite, intelligent and esteemed panel of wise men, who will pick the team for the World cup. They will eventually settle down with the usual suspects for the final 15, is anybody’s guess. They, however, shouldn’t tread the beaten track and there are lot many signals emanating from the just concluded series suggesting why.
It is ironical that the wise men would eventually pick a captain, with a negligible success rate, over someone like Gambir with a stupendous success rate of 100%, winning all the 5 matches that he has captained, to lead the World Cup team. How so naïve and foolish to dismiss the idea of having the most successful captain in Indian cricket history to lead the World cup team without any contention?
|Where there is success, there is envy. |
Amul, getting it all wrong on Parthiv.
And there’s another reason why the wise men should not stick to the same captain or even to have him in the team simply because of the fact that he can guard the wickets. With an average of 109 in the just concluded series, the ever-young and prodigal Parthiv Patel, carrying a huge load of experience by being already a part of one World Cup, can rightly be considered to replace the existing “out of form” wicket keeper. And there is a lot more elegance in the “Helicopter shot” of Parthiv than that of the current captain. The fact that it is his sole scoring option is a different issue altogether. Getting to the crux of the idea, as to why Parthiv should be in the final 11, it is because of his uncanny ability as an opener to score quick runs in the initial overs. Trusting an old guy, who has hardly played any one day cricket for the past one year, to open the innings would be the pinnacle of stupidity. Fans of “You know who”, move aside please!
|Ravindra Sobers Jadeja and his accomplice.|
Yusuf pathan’s knock of 123* in the 4th Odi, could well turn out to be the most crucial factor as to why India is probably not going to lift the World cup. And here is why. Yusuf could endanger the critical “all purpose” 7th player slot by denying the slot to the “all purpose” Ravindra Sobers Jadeja. I must earnestly confess that I am short of adjectives to describe him. Having been patiently grooming him for quite some years now and to abandon him suddenly would be a serious folly, for which we will have to regret in 2019 or 2023 World Cup; a serious blow to the fundamentals of our “grooming” theory and an assault on our cricketing culture. That said, Ravindra Sobers Jadeja is no ordinary “all purpose” player. He eventually finds his way into any squad.
I have always admired MRF for making the right investment choices in cricket. Be it investing on the “conqueror” or the “wizard” or the other old guy with a dubious fan base. The one currently wielding the MRF willow is facing an existential threat because of the lack of opportunity to showcase his skills in the absence of any IPL season before the World Cup. Perhaps, flying Gayathri Reddy and some skimpily clad cheerleaders to the forthcoming South Africa series, could just deceive him into playing the innings that can fetch him a spot in the World cup final 11.
The ball is now on the Wise men’s court. They need to do a “A Raja”. Selecting players by “Auction”, based on popular perception, would be an act of sheer folly. Falling for that conventional bait would cost us the World cup that has evaded us so long. Time is now for “crony selectionism” and dubious choice making.
“Wise men! Do you read me?”