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Yuvraj Singh has been at the receiving end of some poor selection decisions IANS

All of a sudden, but not surprisingly, one of India s finest all-rounders across formats has started getting the cold shoulder again. The warrior in Yuvraj Singh, who has defied all odds and turned up all guns blazing after every setback in his career, has been ignored again for the Indian Test side for the series against England. Though it is not surprising at all to see the champion cricketer being confined to the limits of domestic cricket, it is certainly the time to ask the new Indian selection panel under MSK Prasad one of the most impertinent questions in Indian cricket. Does the new panel, which has served a deserving comeback call to Gautam Gambhir, has any plan in place for Yuvraj at all? FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs England, 1st Test at Rajkot

It is not the case that Yuvraj, who suffered an injury during the ICC World T20 2016, is not completely fit. The champion cricketer is more than match-fit, and is smashing bowlers all around the park in the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2016-17 for his state Punjab. And as far as his form with the bat is concerned, Yuvraj hammered a brilliant 260 for Punjab against Baroda at Delhi in the fourth round of India s premier domestic cricket competition. Unfortunately, Yuvraj s marathon innings could not force the result of the game in Punjab s favour.

For those still doubting the 34-year-old s hunger for runs, the innings against Baroda was no flash in the pan. In the second round of the Ranji Trophy 2016-17, Yuvraj clobbered 177 off 295 balls with 24 boundaries to help Punjab knock over Madhya Pradesh by 126 runs. Yuvraj s last two centuries in First-Class cricket were not just ordinary centuries; they were daddy hundreds telling the Indian selectors that fire still burns inside the heart of the all-rounder who is once again ready for Test cricket.

If these two centuries were not enough for the Indian selectors to not consider Yuvraj, then there are serious doubts over what exactly they seek from the senior cricketers who have been on the fringes for long. The last time Yuvraj played Test cricket for India was against England in 2012, and if the selection panel wants to continue punishing the all-rounder for poor run in the series which India lost 1-2, then it has to be one of the most unfair calls.

The reason why Indian Test side has been so dominant for more than last one year is only because the bench strength is extremely rich. For opening slot, there are at least 3-4 cricketers involved in a tough fight. The middle-order is already packed with batsmen like Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, who will, in all likeliness, continue to feature in there for the next decade or so. And as far as tail is concerned, Ravichandran Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha have provided India more solidity than they anticipated.

While the team composition remains the top most priority, it must also be remembered that a selection panel can be considered good only when their decisions contribute heavily in victories. At a time when an on-song Indian cricket team is looking strong to face England who have beaten the hosts 9 out of last 13 Tests since 2011 there should be no let-up. But with a few surprising inclusions, the new Indian selection panel has thrown up an old topic of debate involving Yuvraj.

The selection of Hardik Pandya and Jayant Yadav both with somewhat ordinary First-Class records was certainly shocking. While their inclusion would provide Pandya and Jayant the necessary boost in their confidence, England series is not the ideal opportunity to throw in the young talent. England have been the toughest opponent for India both home and away in this decade, and now that India have finally found some sort of momentum, the hosts should have put the touring party under the pump early on by naming a cricketer who has some past history and the will to settle the scores.

When Sandeep Patil s tenure ended as the chairman of the selection panel, the former India cricketer revealed some of the darkest secrets. Even Sachin Tendulkar was not spared for being poor with the bat; Patil went on record to say he had warned the Little Master to perform or perish. But as far as Yuvraj is concerned, such conversation is unlikely to have taken place, since the all-rounder has a few more years of cricket left in him, and he is not struggling in any discipline at all.

To decipher the reason why Yuvraj was ignored especially when he has been in tremendous form and there were openings in the squad is next to impossible. It is a widely-known fact that India will need their spinners to win against England, and a seasoned campaigner in Yuvraj would certainly have added another variation to the bowling attack. Indian Test side already has two very high quality all-rounders in Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, but another addition in the category would not have harmed the national side. With the unavailability of the likes of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul, the No. 6 position is vacant. Yuvraj would have been the perfect choice.

Yuvraj s inclusion would have also brought in a lot of experience, and some relief for Kohli who tends to depend on his teammates for their views and suggestions on a constant basis. Kohli and Yuvraj share a great bond since a very long time, and the presence of an assured figure in the dressing room as well as on the field would have given Kohli a few more wings.

If Indian selectors have no plan in place for Yuvraj and his future in the longest format of cricket, it makes a little sense for him to continue toiling at the First-Class level. Yuvraj is a champion cricketer in the shorter formats, and he will be benefitted immensely if he focuses on List A cricket, if at all there is no scope for him in the Indian Test side. If not, then it will not be fair on a cricketer to keep plundering big hundreds in First-Class cricket that neither give any guarantee of a place in the Test side, nor provide any clue about what lies ahead.

(Devarchit Varma is a senior writer with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)