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What Sandeep Patil's tenure did for Indian cricket

September 13, 2016 09:45 IST
  • During Sandeep Patil's four-year tenure as the chief selector, India continued to be dominant at home in Tests (barring a rare loss to England in 2012) but struggled to win an away series outside Asia, except for West Indies, as it suffered series losses in England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
  • In One-Day Internationals, India triumphed in the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013, while making it to the semi-finals of the 50-overs World Cup in 2015, while finishing runners up to Sri Lanka in the World T20 in 2014 and making it to the semi-finals earlier this year.

Sandeep Patil

IMAGE: Outgoing chairman of the selectors Sandeep Patil at a press conference. Photograph: BCCI

In his playing days, Sandeep Patil was an entertainer, with his swashbuckling style of batting. His time as India's chief selector was no different.

When he took over in 2012 the Indian team was going through a transition. Several senior players hung up their boots and many others were shown the door to accommodate younger players.

Patil's appointment in September 2012, replacing Krishnamachari Srikkanth, came as a surprise.

He had not been mentioned as a likely candidate prior to the BCCI's Annual General Meeting, which finalised the selection panel, in Mumbai.

While former India all-rounder Roger Binny's name was doing the rounds as the next chairman, it was Patil -- then the National Cricket Academy's director -- who got the nod, then BCCI president Narayaswami Srinivasan hand-picking him.

A dashing batsman in his prime, Patil played 29 Tests and 45 ODIs, scoring 1,588 and 1,005 runs in the respective formats. Post-retirement, he was the India 'A' coach before taking over at the helm of the senior team.

He later served as coach of the Kenyan national team.

He ended up rubbing the BCCI the wrong way when he took over as one of the coaches in the now defunct Indian Cricket League. He severed ties with the rebel league in 2009 and returned to the BCCI fold.

Patil, who took over as chief selector after New Zealand's two-Test tour of India in 2012, ends his tenure just before New Zealand's three-match Test series in India four years later.

Under Patil, India maintained its dominance at home (barring a rare loss to England in 2012) but struggled to win an away series outside Asia, except for West Indies, as it suffered series losses in England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

As many as 21 Test players -- including Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, K L Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammad Shami -- came in during the Patil era.

During his four-year reign he also brought in 21 players in the ODI format and 23 in the T20s.

Rediff.com's Harish Korian looks at how Sandeep Patil's tenure spanned out for Indian cricket. Statistics: Rajneesh Gupta.

The first selection meeting to select the Indian team under Patil's chairmanship was for the four-match series against England. The hosts were shocked 1-2, in November-December 2012.

That was followed by a ODI defeat against Pakistan in a home series which the hosts lost 1-2.

The Indian team got back to its winning ways against England, clinching a five-match ODI series 3-2.

India also got its Test showing back on track, whitewashing Australia 4-0 at home in February-March 2013, the Aussies unable to cope with turning tracks.

World champions India showed their prowess in the 50-overs format when they won the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy in England.

IMAGE: Virat Kohli shakes a leg as Team India celebrates winning the ICC Champions Trophy final against England in Birmingham, June 23, 2013. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

India followed it up with a tri-series win in the West Indies, edging past Sri Lanka in the final by one wicket, with two balls to spare, in a low-scoring encounter.

India sent a depleted team to Zimbabwe, under Virat Kohli's captaincy. As expected, the team registered a 5-0 ODI series whitewash.

Australia came back for a lengthy seven-match ODI series, which India won 3-2 after two matches were washed out.

The two-Test series against the West Indies will always be remembered as Sachin Tendulkar's farewell series.

The West Indies were no match for the Indians who finished off both Tests within three days. India also won the ODI series, 2-1.

South Africa halted India's winning run in ODIs, as it took the series 2-0 after the last match at the Centurion was washed out.

The two-Test series that followed was a keenly fought affair with the first match ending in a thrilling draw before South Africa romped home by 10 wickets in the next match to give their champion all-rounder Jacques Kallis a perfect send-off.

India toured New Zealand next and were thrashed 4-0 in the ODI series, the third game finishing in a tie.

In the Tests, New Zealand claimed a thrilling 40-run victory in the first match despite not enforcing the follow-on before Brendon McCullum's triple century denied them a victory in the next match.

India had a disappointing outing in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh in February-March 2014 as it lost to both Sri Lanka and Pakistan and failed to qualify for the final.

In the World T20 India missed a golden opportunity to add to its world titles, were beaten by six wickets by Sri Lanka in the final in Dhaka.

India sent a second-string team, under Suresh Raina, to Bangladesh for a three-match ODI series which it won 2-0.

India toured England in July 2014 for a five-match Test series, which they lost 1-3 despite winning the second match at Lords by 95 runs. The hosts made a stunning comeback to win the last three Tests.

IMAGE: Sandeep Patil, right, with BCCI Secretary Ajay Shirke after his last meeting as chief selector to pick the Indian team for the forthcoming Test series against New Zealand. Photograph: Arun Patil

India were not to be denied success in the limited overs format as it took the ODI series 3-1.

There was much drama during the West Indies tour of India in October 2014 when the visitors pulled out of the tour after the fourth match in Dharamsala.

The West Indies were scheduled to play five ODIs, one T20I and three Tests before the players pulled out of the remaining part of its India tour in the wake of an acrimonious pay dispute with the Windies Board, prompting a livid BCCI to rope in Sri Lanka for a five-match ODI series.

The Sri Lankans were no match for the Indians and were whitewashed 5-0 in the ODI series.

But India's away Test record showed no improvement at all. India were beaten 0-2 in Australia later in the year. That series was Mahendra Singh Dhoni's last Test series as he retired from the longer format after the third Test and handed over the reins to Virat Kohli for the fourth and final game.

India played a tri-series in Australia, also involving England, ahead of the 2015 50-overs World Cup. It failed to make it to the final, failing to win a single match in the group stages.

But in the World Cup that followed, India lived up to its billing, winning all six group matches before knocking out Bangladesh in the quarter-final. However, India were no match for the Australians in the semis, going down by 95 runs.

After drawing a rain-hit one-off Test in Fatullah, India suffered lost the ODI series against Bangladesh 1-2.

India made another trip to Zimbabwe and the Ajinkya Rahane-captained team eased to a 3-0 ODI series win, while drawing the T20 series 1-1.

India registered its first away series win in four years and its first in Sri Lanka in 22 years when it clinched the three-Test rubber 2-1, staging a great comeback after losing the first match by 63 runs.

IMAGE: Captain Virat Kohli, right, celebrates with team mates after India's victory over Sri Lanka in the third Test in Colombo. Photograph: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

South Africa left the Indians stunned, outclassed the hosts in both the ODI and T20I series, winning it 3-2 and 2-0 respectively.

In November 2015, the selection panel saw two changes being made. Roger Binny stepped down as a selector because of conflict of interest issues, making way for former India wicket-keeper MSK Prasad, while Gagan Khoda replaced Rajinder Singh Hans from the Central Zone.

The new panel got off to a good start as a desperate India turned things its way in the Tests as South Africa stumbled against the spinners to go down 3-0 in the four match series.

India suffered another defeat in the ODIs when they were thrashed 4-1 by hosts Australia in January.

The Asia Cup was switched to the 20-overs format keeping in mind the upcoming World T20. India stormed home to win the Asia Cup, beating hosts Bangladesh in the final but failed to clinch the World T20 title at home. India went down to eventual winners West Indies in the semi-final in Mumbai.

India undertook another trip to Zimbabwe, this time the second-string team was led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni. India swept the ODI series 3-0 before clinching the T20I series 2-1.

India continued its good run in the West Indies with another series win in the Caribbean. India won the four-match series 2-0 for its first-ever 2-0 series win in the West Indies. Kohli became the first Indian captain to win two Tests in the West Indies.

The two teams then played a T20I series in the United States which the West Indies won 1-0 after the second match was not completed because of rain.

The BCCI has invited applications for the post of selectors, clearly stating only someone who has played international cricket or more than 50 first class matches would be considered for the post.

With the Lodha panel recommendations set to take effect in the next couple of months and several changes about to shake up the BCCI, it would be interesting who makes the cut for one of the most important jobs in Indian cricket.

Harish Kotian / Rediff.com
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