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)

 

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

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Pakistan hold advantage at stumps on Day 3 of 1st Test against Australia

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

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

Duleep Trophy 2014: Central Zone lead by 81 runs as North Zone bowled out for 457

Laxmi Ratan Shukla to lead Bengal ODI team

David Warner feels lucky to have equalled Don Bradman’s record

Kapil Dev’s Dev Musco Lighting accused of inflated costs by GCA

VVS Laxman advises budding batsmen to score big hundreds

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Spin hunt continues for visitors

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

Don Bradman — even if every chance he ever gave in his career was accepted, he would still remain head and shoulders above the others

Len Hutton’s hundred gets reported as illness

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Student dies in Finland high school stabbing

Google partners Oxford University to teach machines to think

How to make tamarind or imli packs for hair and skin

Laxmi Ratan Shukla to lead Bengal ODI team

School girl gang-raped in Bengal

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Pavitra Rishta to air its final episode tomorrow

Top Sex Positions: Frog Princess

NGOs pursue education for all

Nokia turnaround since handset unit sale continues, reports $950 million Q3 net profit

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here