Home > Features >

Lessons to learn from blooding in-form & hungry youngsters in place of jaded & non-performing seniors

Lessons to learn from blooding in-form & hungry youngsters in place of jaded & non-performing seniors

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (left) and Shami Ahmed bowled their hearts out in a quest to defend India’s modest total of 167 in the final ODI against Pakistan © PTI & Kolkata Knight Riders

By Karthik Parimal

The last one year has seen quite a few Indian stalwarts bid adieu to international cricket. With young blood walking in and different permutations and combinations tried out, fluctuations in result were not entirely unexpected. But what was a hard pill to swallow was that the team became vulnerable in its own backyard.

Finding suitable replacements in both departments of the game was never going to be straightforward. Nevertheless, talent was unearthed and roped in. However, persisting with jaded and non-performing senior players seems to have taken its toll on India, and the side’s graph over the last few months provides ample evidence of that fact.

Fresh from defeat to Pakistan, a shakeup of the squad was expected for the One-Day International (ODI) series against England. With the openers repeatedly fumbling and the middle-order not living up to expectations, quite a few players were hanging on to their spots by a thin thread. Yet, Virender Sehwag was the lone under-performer to be discarded. With 248 runs in the last 11 innings, at an average of sub 23, the axe was going to fall sooner than later. The presence of able contenders for his position, waiting on the fringes for a considerable amount of time now, was always going to be a factor as well.

Selectors should take a cue from their own approach

A few weeks ago, Zaheer Khan was shown the door by the selectors after a string of poor performances. Umesh Yadav was expected to lead the charge in his absence, but like Varun Aaron, Yadav too was sidelined by a lower-back injury. The lack of seaming options forced the head honchos to look at hungry and performing youngsters in the domestic circuit. In came Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Shami Ahmed. And the duo bowled India to a remarkable victory in a high-voltage clash against Pakistan in the final ODI at Delhi.

Both Bhuvaneshwar and Shami were playing their first international series for Team India, yet, they bowled their hearts out in a quest to defend India’s modest total of 167. They kept their nerves in an ambience that could easily have sent shudders down the spine of many an established player, and were instrumental in delivering a ten-run victory. Another important fact to be considered is that the series was already lost prior to the third ODI, and the duo could have easily been forgiven for non-performance, especially when the rest of the experienced line-up had faltered in a big way. However, right from the outset, it appeared as though they were hungry to grab the only opportunity they’d been presented with.

Shami’s outstanding run in the ongoing Ranji Trophy deserved a call up to the national side. With 28 wickets in five games at an average of 21.35, he showed what he was capable of. The selectors made the right call in roping in him, and now it’s imperative that they give him a long run at the top.

The Krishnamachari Srikkanth-led selection committee had turned to Harbhajan Singh a few months ago when the Indian bowling department had hit a roadblock. The move was surprising, especially since the off-spinner had done little to prove during his time out that he was worthy of a recall. In the end, it turned out to be futile. It’s a good sign that the current group of selectors have decided to look forward than to call upon a non-performing senior, and it could augur well if they continue to operate that way.

Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Rohit Sharma were treading on eggshells. While one got the axe, the two have few more ODIs to make amends. But, it’s important that the selectors throw their weight behind in-form and hungry youngsters and blood them in place of jaded seniors scripting below-par performances. Young entrants, filled with zeal to perform, like Shami and Bhuvaneshwar, could provide India with a ray of hope. Agreed, it’d be too naïve to hail them as messiahs just yet, but the difference in their body language and the kind of impact it had on the outcome of the game was there for everyone to see. The side needs more such players, and it’s now up to Sandeep Patil and his entourage to do the needful.

(Karthik Parimal, a Correspondent with CricketCountry, is a cricket aficionado and a worshipper of the game. He idolises Steve Waugh and can give up anything, absolutely anything, just to watch a Kumar Sangakkara cover drive. He can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/karthik_parimal)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 28, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 29, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 124 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 25 runs

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Daniel Vettori becomes the most capped New Zealand player

Quinton de Kock equals record for most centuries before the age of 22

Wriddhiman Saha’s performance in the 1st Test at Brisbane could make or break his career

England tour of Sri Lanka 2014: Stats overview of past encounters

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: New Zealand’s inspired performance in 2nd Test serves important lesson to non-Asian countries

Australia Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 England India India tour of Australia 2014-15 South Africa Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs England Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

England tour of Sri Lanka 2014: England lack killer instinct, feels Alastair Cook

Jacques Kallis to make his debut as caddy

Moeen Ali, Ravi Bopara’s efforts go in vain as Sri Lanka trump England by 25 runs in 1st ODI

West Indies tour of South Africa 2014-15: Sheldon Cottrell ready for return

Phil Hughes’ injury asks for review of safety factor in cricket equipment, feels Jagmohan Dalmiya

Moeen Ali becomes third fastest centurion for England in ODIs

Ishant Sharma — Is his current ODI form good enough to earn him a place in ICC World Cup 2015 squad?

The birth of Day Night cricket matches

Phillip Hughes head injury: Are helmets making batsmen complacent?

Daniel Vettori becomes the most capped New Zealand player

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

Bigg Boss: Hot Pakistani model Veena Malik and husband arrested on blasphemy charges

மணப்பெண் அழகு சரிபார்ப்பு பட்டியல் – உங்கள் திருமணத்திற்கு ஒரு மாதத்திற்கு முன் என்ன செய்ய வேண்டும்

Bigg Boss 8: Is Gautam Gulati out of the house?

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

Scoop: Is Sid Mallya really gay? Watch video to find out!

Microsoft Lumia 535: First non-Nokia low budget Windows smartphone set to be launched today

रितेश-जेनेलिया देशमुख के घर पुत्ररत्न का हुआ जन्म

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here