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Have the selectors forgotten the next World Cup is only 21 months away?

Last updated on: May 7, 2013 09:57 IST

Have the selectors forgotten the next World Cup is only 21 months away?

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Faisal Shariff

While selecting the team for the Champions Trophy, says Faisal Shariff, the 2015 World Cup should have been on the selectors' minds.

You may criticise rishnamachari Srikkanth's team of selectors for many things, but those guys must be lauded for one thing.

Srikkanth's panel ensured they looked at every ODI series and tournament played between January 2008 and January 2011 to pick the best team for the 2011 World Cup.

Several players were tried out. Some succeeded, others were marked out for the future, some fell by the wayside. This may have happened by default, but it worked out in the end.

That's how you look at every ODI series or tournament that comes your way en route to the next World Cup. For far too long we in India have tended to be short-term in our approach.

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Image: The Indian team celebrate a wicket
Photographs: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

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Unfortunately, patience runs very thin in India

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Unlike Test cricket, where you can bring in an experienced domestic performer or a battle-scarred veteran for one series, ODI cricket is about scouting talent and throwing players into the deep end from time to time.

You may encounter frustration on the way, but that does not mean the World Cup goal needs to be consigned to the flames.

The approach should be to view every ODI tournament as one that no one will remember in two months' time.

It is important to invest in some players and learn more about them.

Winning is everything, but sometimes in the process of reaching the goal you need to make a few sacrifices.

Unfortunately, patience runs very thin in India. We want instant fixes.

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Image: Virat Kohli, Umesh Yadav and Irfan Pathan
Photographs: Getty Images
Tags: ODI , India

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Unlucky Rahane

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Look at the squad for the Champions Trophy in June. There is a lot of talk about the absence of Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir, and rightly so.

After all, these guys helped India win the World Cup in 2011. The mistake we make though is in looking at it as a key moment in their careers.

Both Gauti and Yuvi are in their early 30s and very much in the reckoning for the 2015 World Cup.

If something doesn't seem logical, then it must be political.

Ajinkya Rahane missing out on a berth to Murali Vijay who is struggling to make it to the Chennai Super Kings' playing eleven this IPL season is an instance of that Indian cricketing selection adage.

Why is Shami Ahmed out of the equation?

With the dearth of fast bowlers in India's ranks, every potential pacer should be looked at as a prospective World Cupper.

Who knows, come February 2015, an injury to a key batsman or bowler could render India inexperienced and we would have to scout for fresh talent then. Better invest in a player now.

As Mahendra Singh Dhoni said in the lead-up to the 2011 World Cup, get players to play 50, 100 games before the 2015 World Cup.

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Image: Ajinkya Rahane, who has a good IPL season
Photographs: Clive Rose/Getty Images

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India's planning for the 2015 World Cup should have started the moment Dhoni hit that six

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Exactly a year ago, Dhoni was criticised for not playing Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gambhir in the playing eleven during the tri-series in Australia.

Dhoni's thinking was to get the younger players a feel of Australia's conditions since we will be back in that country for the World Cup in 2015.

A year on, who has had the last laugh? Dhoni!

Tendulkar has moved on from ODI cricket, Sehwag is not in the frame and Gambhir is one of the probables for the West Indies tri-series.

Being patient is key to doing well in ODI cricket. That is something we need to learn from our captain.

If we win the Champions Trophy with this team then it is a moment to celebrate. But that does not in any way mean we have a finished product for 2015.

Ideally, India's planning for the 2015 World Cup should have started the moment Dhoni hit that six two years ago. But, as they say, better late than never.


Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni hits the winning six in the 2011 World Cup
Photographs: Getty Images

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