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Well done, Parvez Rasool

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Breaking into Team India today isn’t just an onerous task. For most youngsters, no matter how talented and versatile, it is like a Mission Impossible.

The stakes are increasingly high and the enormity of challenge stifling; whoever performs or perishes is just as good as the other in the offing.

Given the current bench-strength of Indian contingent, with A-listers like Ashwin, Jadeja, Kohli, Dhoni, Yuvraj, Rahane & Rahul already doing more than just holding down the fort, it makes breaking into the side an even bigger ask.

Rasool being picked for T20s sounds really exciting

The outsiders, at the moment- Rohit, Shikhar, Ishant, Mishra, Parthiv aren’t merely outstanding cricketers. They are names to be reckoned with.

Therefore in these incredibly taxing times, wearing an India jersey is an achievement that warrants respect in itself. Many have phased out or simply waned trying to make most of it. Sanju Samson (although he’s still very young), Gambhir (we might have seen the last of him) and, Manish Pandey and Robin Uthappa are the cases in point.

That said, the news about Parvez Rasool, a notable off break specialist who is no mean talent with the bat, breaking through the T20 contingent should be met with a round of applause. And truth be told, news is that everyone is excited about it, not least the man himself who represents one of India’s most conflict-ridden political and diplomatic landscapes, the land of allure and charm, Kashmir.

Captain Kohli too has something to say

The present Indian side, a bit like monsoons following the peaks of summer, has experienced a leveler of sorts under the daring and guile of ViratKohli. The passing of baton of captaincy, a crown that can also seem on rough days, thorny, might signal hyperactivity among fans. But for the captain, it is a moment to gather oneself.

So when Kohli, also applauding Rasool’s resilience, the 27-year-old having already played 58 First-Class games from which he’s taken 156 prized scalps, spoke on Rasool, all were geared up.

Instead of loosely welcoming Parvez Rasool into a contingent that would seem only boisterously pumped up with the exuberance of youthful energy, Virat paid mind to the fact that it is an opportunity for the Bijbehara-born J&K cricketer to prove himself at the highest level.

Off-break was only beginning to wane out under the enormity of pressure exulted by the achievements of pacers like McGrath, Gillespie, Vaas and later Johnson, Starc, Malinga, Morkel, Steyn, before Ashwin and Lyon rescued it and completely turned it around.

Now in this regard, Rasool, having carved his game on off-break sounds not only fun but comes with a feeling of enterprise value in it. While Ashwin might be the wrecker in chief of the exponent, it provides a seamless opportunity to Rasool to make a name for himself, in a format cherished by everyone.

Also, so far, his domestic T20 numbers don’t disappoint. The seemingly thinking cricketer, who believes in upping his game by combining his character of accepting challenges with glee to his urgency of wanting to be in good shape has stolen 27 useful wickets from 37 T20 appearances. In the only ODI he’s been made to play, he impressed with a 2 wicket haul. For sure, there may have been chances that he might have deemed useful had he been in it, but there seems a bright future for spinners.

And here’s the reason

Especially in the sub-continent, where India are supposed to be playing copious amounts of all-format cricket, 2017 and beyond, the wickets are either slow in turn and flat. Therefore, it augments critical selection of cricketers who really have something in them to make it count.

We’ve seen how the likes of mercurially talented Jadeja and newbie Jayant Yadav have switched their multi-dimensional talents- often contributing with the bat when bowling is tough. And have also demonstrated skill with off breaks when batting has been tough on wickets when ball doesn’t come well to the bat.

In this regard, Rasool’s scoring of 3000 plus First class runs speaks of his ability to adapt. Isn’t that what India needs particularly at this point of time? Although far too less might be his statistical credentials to warrant him a label of an all rounder, there seems intent and an acceptance of challenges, which Kohli would better regard as opportunities. T20 is that opportunity in the wing for Parvez Rasool at the moment.

Let’s contend with the fact that he’s in a unit where there’s both a reason to perform and an urgent need to do so too. May victory be India’s whether runs come from his shapely wooden blaze or his cunning and flighted off breaks.

 

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