Home > Features >

Why Sachin Tendulkar has done the right thing by making himself unavailable

Why Sachin Tendulkar has done the right thing by making himself unavailable

Sachin Tendulkar has opted to take rest and make way for young Ajinkya Rahane in the Indian side for Sri Lanka tour © Getty Images

By Karthik Parimal

 

There weren’t many surprises in the 15-member One-Day International (ODI) squad that was announced to tour Sri Lanka. Five changes were made to the squad that was picked for the Asia Cup a few months ago. However, these changes weren’t unexpected. The return of a few experienced players, alongside the infusion of some young blood in the bowling department makes this team look a formidable one on paper. Only time will tell if this team can overcome an equally strong Sri Lankan side in the latter’s backyard. The good news is that India’s recent record against Sri Lanka has been good; the bad news is that India have fared miserably playing away from home in the last one year.

 

Let us now have a closer look as to what changes were made to this Indian side for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka. 

 

Sachin Tendulkar’s exclusion

 

After Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar was India’s leading run-getter in the Asia Cup campaign that ended on a sour note for the World Cup champions. By scoring his hundredth 100 in that series, Tendulkar got the monkey off his back. It’s only appropriate that he sidesteps and makes way for youngsters for less-important tours such as this one. A lot has been discussed previously on whether he should still feature in the limited-overs side, but we shall not get into that debate now.

 

It is a known fact that Tendulkar will not be a part of the Twenty20 (T20) team that will revisit Sri Lanka for the World Cup in September, and hence it was a right move by the Little Master to make himself unavailable, thereby making way for a youngster like Ajinkya Rahane. This is a good thing because Rahane has now been presented with an opportunity to familiarise himself with the conditions there, since he could, by all means, be an integral part of that T20 team that will tour Sri Lanka again.

 

Return of Zaheer Khan and Virender Sehwag

 

Zaheer Khan is a seasoned campaigner and his services were truly missed in the bowling department during the Asia Cup. None of the bowlers could make their presence felt in that forgettable series and none of them could manage an overall economy rate of fewer than 5.20 during that tournament. His inclusion in the side will be a shot in the arm for India. And if other speedsters like Umesh Yadav and Ashok Dinda can provide Zaheer the right kind of assistance from the other end, India could do well to restrict the Sri Lankans on a consistent basis. But Zaheer is not going to be around for a long time, and it’s important for the Indian think-tank not to lose sight of that fact. Other young bowlers must be continuously groomed.

 

Virender Sehwag made merry with the bat in the recently-concluded fifth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). His presence will definitely bolster India’s top order. Not just Sehwag, Gambhir too appeared in brilliant knick with the bat in the Indian Premier League (IPL). If these two superstars could get the side off to a flyer on a regular basis in this series, the Indians would be unstoppable. However, it will be interesting to see how quickly both these openers adapt to the ODI format. Sehwag’s last few outings in Indian colours have not been that pleasant, and one hopes that he turns things around for himself and for India as quickly as possible.

 

The inclusion of Pragyan Ojha

 

He is one spinner who got fewer chances than he actually deserved. Whenever he’s been picked to play for India, Ojha has made his presence felt. In 14 Tests and 16 ODIs, Ojha has grabbed 62 and 20 wickets respectively. In and out of the side, he has hardly had the time to settle down and get familiar with his role in the Indian side. However, it’s up to him how he makes use of this current opportunity. He’ll have only himself to blame if he doesn’t carve a niche with his performance in this series. But whether Ojha will feature in the side for all five ODIs, especially with the presence of Ravichandran Ashwin and Rahul Sharma in the squad, is a big question. 

 

The axe on underperforming all-rounders

 

Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan and Ravindra Jadeja – these three all-rounders not only had a poor Asia Cup, but also failed to impress in IPL 5. Praveen Kumar, too, can be added to that list. Their exclusion from the squad to tour Sri Lanka may also imply that these players could find it hard to find a spot in the side for the upcoming T20 World Cup. Unless a few from the current Indian line-up perform extremely poorly against Sri Lanka, all doors appear closed for these underperforming all-rounders.

 

However, there is a possibility that Irfan Pathan could have added more value to this Indian side than Vinay Kumar. Both are medium-pacers who rely heavily on swing to trouble the opposition, but Irfan’s ability with the bat is well known. He could have been a handy customer down the order.

 

It remains to be seen if this Indian side can finally put an end to a string of defeats that they’ve encountered on overseas soil. 

 

(If cricket is a religion and has many devotees, Karthik Parimal would be a primary worshipper. His zeal for writing and love for the sport of cricket is what has brought him here. Karthik can also be followed on Twitter)

 

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

India tour of England 2014

Aug 15, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at London

More

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014  at Southampton

England won by 266 runs

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Colombo

Match drawn

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Photos

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test

Videos

Highlights of Phil Hughes' double ton

5 things you need to know about Graham Thorpe

India vs England 2014, 4th Test at Old Trafford: Ajinkya Rahane needs to play decisive role

10 little-known facts about Sir Frank Worrell

Statistical analysis of Jacques Kallis’s ODI career

Ajinkya Rahane England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Jacques Kallis Jacques Kallis retirement James Anderson Moeen Ali South Africa

James Anderson all set to close in on Ian Botham’s record after being given clean chit in ‘Pushgate’ incident

James Anderson, Ravindra Jadeja not found guilty by Judical Commissioner

James Anderson pleads guilty of pushing Ravindra Jadeja; says no malice intended

Ravindra Jadeja playing ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin in India’s tour of England a disaster, says Erapalli Prassana

Nasser Hussain praises Alastair Cook after victory in 3rd Test against India at Southampton

India A vs Australia A 2014, Final: Last chance for future stars to shine

Gary Ballance — the headline writer’s dream and the correspondent’s nightmare

An open letter to Pankaj Singh

India vs England 2014, 4th Test at Old Trafford: Should Umesh Yadav be sent as cover for Ishant Sharma?

5 things you need to know about Graham Thorpe

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

658 Posts | 6 Fans

Sachin Tendulkar's nine dismissals against James Anderson

Prevent Diabetes Tip – get regular health check-ups

Shah Rukh Khan: I want to continue working as long as I live

Shah Rukh Khan: I am bored of answering questions about Salman Khan and me

Google most attractive employer among Asia-Pacific graduates

India A vs Australia A 2014, Final: Last chance for future stars to shine

Delhi shoppers more e-commerce savvy: Survey

Rafael to miss rest of Man Utd’s tour of the USA with groin injury

India A vs Australia A quadrangular series final Live Cricket Score: Cameron White inching closer to ton

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here