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)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Sep 23, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Raipur

World T20 League 2014

Sep 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Perth Scorchers won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 19, 2014  at Raipur

NK won by 33 runs (D/L method)

Photos

KXIP vs Hobart Hurricanes, Match 2 CLT20 2014

Videos

Kane, Devcich praise each others knock

Live Cricket Score Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Lahore Lions CLT20 2014: KKR labour to 4 wicket win

CLT20 2014: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Lahore Lions (LL), Match 7: 5 key battles

Before Mitchell Marsh, Surinder Amarnath had hit sixes off last two balls to win a match in England

Kings XI Punjab vs Barbados Tridents, Match 5, CLT20 2014: Highlights

CLT20 2014: Mitchell Marsh stakes his claim for a spot in Australia’s ICC World Cup 2015 squad with late blitz for Perth Scorchers against Dolphins

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 CLT20 CLT20 2014 Hobart Hurricanes Incheon Asian Games India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab KXIP Lahore Lions

Bigg Boss 8: Ajit Chandila not to be a contestant of the show

CLT20 match between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Lahore Lions (LL) almost like India-Pakistan clash

CLT20 2014: Mohammed Hafeez blames fielders after losing

CLT20 2014: Gautam Gambhir backs fielders after victory against Pakistan side Lahore Lions

CLT20 2014: Shah Rukh Khan thrilled after Kolkata Knight Riders’s win against Pakistan side Lahore Lions

Cape Cobras v Hobart Hurricanes CLT20 2014 — Highlights

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Lahore Lions highlights, CLT20 2014, Match 6

Steven Smith: I would love to bat at No 3 in ODI cricket

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Lahore Lions (LL), Match 7, CLT20 2014: KKR likely XI

CLT20 2014: Akshar Patel reaffirms all-round abilities

Fan of the Day

Cyrus Irani

Cyrus Irani

770 Posts | 24 Fans

Italy 0 Costa Rica 1 Full Match Highlights and Goals Video: FIFA World Cup 2014 Match 24

Revealed: Puneet Issar, RJ Preetam, Deepshikha Nagpal are the members of Bigg Boss 8′s Secret Society!

‘Bigg Boss Season 8’ grand premiere review: Salman Khan rocks as the captain cool

Bang Bang Dare: Hrithik Roshan challenges Priyanka Chopra to do handstand push-ups

NGOs pursue education for all

Round 2 in Android One war: New phones may hit market by December-end

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Kind people appear to be more attractive

Revealed: The real reason why Upen Patel agreed to do Bigg Boss 8

Bigg Boss 8: Ajit Chandila not to be a contestant of the show

Cape Cobras v Hobart Hurricanes CLT20 2014 — Highlights

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here