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)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

Amla feels Proteas more acclimatised to conditions

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs North Zone, semi-final at Mohali Day 4: Naman Ojha out for 40

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 4: Pakistan are 116/1 at lunch

Live Cricket Score Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe, 1st Test Day 1 at Mirpur: Zimbabwe lose Sibanda in first over

World Cup 1992, England vs Pakistan: Three hours of rain changes course of tournament

David Warner’s transformation into a dependable and effervescent batsman

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Duleep Trophy India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Zimbabwe 179/5 against Bangladesh at Tea, Day 1

West Indies team’s decision to abandon tour needs explanation: Daren Ganga

Pakistan take 267-run lead against Australia at lunch on Day 4 of 1st Test

New Zealand vs South Africa 2014: Dale Steyn senses fear among South Africa batsmen despite good show

Marlon Samuels opts out as players retain lawyers for battle ahead

Strangers, Brothers and Cricket— the English novelist CP Snow’s lasting passion for the game

World Cup 1992, England vs Pakistan: Three hours of rain changes course of tournament

David Warner’s transformation into a dependable and effervescent batsman

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Spin hunt continues for visitors

Sarfaraz Ahmed may have trumped the Akmals as Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman across formats

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Top Sex Positions: Frog Princess

Pakistan’s apex court admits plea against 2013 polls

OMG! What was Anushka Sharma doing with Virat Kohli at a hospital?

Writing about Clean India a service to nation: Narendra Modi

How to make tamarind or imli packs for hair and skin

NGOs pursue education for all

Developers of ‘Room’ app claim Facebook copied their idea, may pursue legal action

Sundar Pichai gets elevated, will reportedly oversee most Google products

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Nwe Zealand vs South Africa 2014: Dale Steyn senses fear among South Africa batsmen despite good show

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here