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Indian selectors did a fine job

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Indian selectors have done a fine job of not recalling any of India’s senior cricketers for the tour of Zimbabwe. Whether the Zimbabwe tour was necessary should be debated. But the team selection for the same and India A’s tour of South Africa have nothing much to debate about. Here are some of the key points from the selections that deserve a mention.

Leadership 

It was certain that Dhoni would be rested for the tour of Zimbabwe. He has been playing non-stop across the formats. And following the recent injury and Zimbabwe tour being less important than many other assignments, the selectors have given him a well-deserved break. In his absence, choosing Kohli to lead was an obvious choice. Kohli had lost 2 games as a captain in West Indies but keeping in mind, the leadership potential he has, the Zimbabwe tour will be a safe ground for him to experiment and gain invaluable experience to lead the team at the highest level. Similarly, Pujara’s selection as India A captain for the tour of South Africa is an indicator that he is being groomed for the bigger roles in the future. May be in Kohli and Pujara, Indian selectors have found India’s number 1 and 2 as and when Dhoni retires. 

Exclusion of seniors

While there were murmurs of Gambhir making a comeback to the Indian squad and/or India A, the selectors have excluded him from either squad. The chance of a comeback for Gambhir and Yuvraj is not as bleak as that for Zaheer, Harbhajan and Sehwag. However, the selectors have made sure that they continue to back the policy of selecting players on the current form and not on the reputation alone.

Backing youth

It is not that the selection committees prior to this did not give opportunities to youngsters. But what's refreshingly different about this Sandeep Patil led selection committee is its assurance in including young personnel trusting their ability and then give them a longer run before being dropped from the team. While the mood and opinions are ever changing among the Indian cricket fans regarding team performance and team selection, the selection committee has maintained consistency in its approach while selecting a team. Hence, the decisions to include or recall Unadkat, Rahane, retain Rayudu and add Rassol, Pujara and Mohit Sharma (for Zimbabwe tour) in the squad should be lauded.

Inconsequential series is made watchable

The team that won the Champions Trophy 2013 boasted an average age of 26. With Dhoni enjoying his time away from the game, the average age comes down even further. By bringing in some fresh faces, the selection committee has added a zing to the squad and to an otherwise inconsequential ODI series in Zimbabwe. Pujara’s inclusion especially has created a feel good wave amongst many Indian cricket fans. A wave of satisfaction to witness a player moulded in a classical approach and a relief that the current Indian selectors gave by drafting Pujara in the ODI squad have avoided the mistake their predecessors did while delaying Dravid’s entry in the 50 overs format.

The recent round of selections has made it very clear that Indian cricket is not just thinking about the future but also taking the necessary steps to make it brighter. If that happens, Indian fans would be glad. But even if it does not, they can satisfyingly say that at least the efforts were made. As of now though, the current selection panel has done well enough to be called as one of the best selection panels yet.



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