Mr Srikkanth, shut up and crack the whip!
Did the selectors not have the guts to admit that Virender Sehwag was dropped because of a poor showing in Australia?, asks Harish Kotian.
Have the Indian selectors lost it completely? That's the question that springs to mind as you watch Krishnamachari Srikkanth, the chairman of the national selection panel, lash out at a journalist who was merely doing his job.
'Boss, you shut up now! Okay? You don't talk like that now, alright?' yelled Srikkanth outside the BCCI headquarters, when the scribe enquired whether Virender Sehwag was dropped or rested for the Asia Cup.
But you cannot blame either the journalist or Srikkanth; it was the BCCI that was at fault. The world's richest cricket board, despite having a world-class office, conference room, huge staff and media officer, was just not interested in a proper media interaction.
Instead, they chose to make Srikkanth appear from out of the blue, outside the main building, and start talking. Suddenly, the waiting media personnel jumped into the action, and, as expected, there was a lot of pushing, shoving and shouting – read chaos!
Image: Krish Srikkanth
Was Sehwag 'rested' or dropped
One wonders why the chief selector lost his patience, and where did Sehwag's injury suddenly crop up from, when two days ago he looked completely fit to bat and bowl in a One-Day International.
Did the selectors not have the guts to admit that the dashing opener was dropped because of a poor showing in Australia? Certainly, no one would have complained.
The Delhi opener has scored just 65 runs in five matches in the tri-series. Besides, it is believed that he and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni don't see eye to eye of late.
There are other questions, too. If Sehwag, Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav are carrying injuries, then why persist with them in the tri-series? If India does make it to the finals, will the injured trio play in the best-of-three finals against Australia?
There was also no clarification forthcoming from Srikkanth, or the BCCI, on the nature of injuries they are carrying, or how they picked them.
Image: Virender Sehwag
Kohli's promotion is a bit baffling
Zaheer played in the last match, against Sri Lanka, and there were no signs of an injury when he bowled. The same goes for Umesh and Sehwag. Then, from where did this mysterious injury suddenly cropped up from?
The appointment of Virat Kohli as vice-captain, ahead of Gautam Gambhir, also lacks logic. Gambhir is one of India's most consistent batsmen in the limited-overs' format, and also led the team whenever Dhoni and Sehwag were rested.
To suddenly promote Kohli ahead of him as the skipper's deputy, more so when the left-hander is doing well, is a bit baffling.
'We have to start looking forward towards the future. Probably, the selection committee and the Board feels that Virat is good captaincy material for the future; that is why it was decided that he should be made vice-captain,' Srikkanth said, justifying the decision.
Image: Virat Kohli
Dinda, Yusuf deserved their place after good showing
Everyone expected Sachin Tendulkar to get a rest, but it seems the selectors, and the senior batsman himself, thought otherwise. Tendulkar, chasing his 100th international century for nearly a year now, must be keen to get the monkey off his back and what better opportunity than the flat pitches in Dhaka?
Ashok Dinda deserves to be recalled after a good showing in the Ranji Trophy, where he took 37 wickets in six games.
Yusuf Pathan also staked his claim with a good showing in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy after scoring 172 runs in four matches, at an average of 57.33.
Image: Ashok Dinda
Selectors need to make tough decisions
Now is the time to start building a team for the 2015 World Cup, and the selectors need to be brave while taking calls on the seniors. Not everyone will be happy with the choices they make, but, then, they are not there to make people happy, but choose the best players for India, irrespective of age or experience.
After the debacle in the 2007 World Cup, quite a few heads rolled and the team building process started. Result: the World Cup triumph four years later. If India have to repeat that success in three years' time, the dumping process must start now.
For the moment, though, Srikkanth needs to shut up and start taking bold decisions!
Image: Krish Srikkanth