The selectors decision to retain the same team for the WI tour is a sound one. Notice that despite the questionable form of Viru and Kaif, the cries for change are minimal. It is a growing sign of increasing focus on team performance and less on individual milestones by both the selector and the viewing public. The fact is that not all players are going to be in the best of form all the time. As long as the team succeeds those who have proven their class must be given an extended run to regain their form. The best part is that the likely replacements (Venu, Robin, Raina) for these two players are already part of the action and waiting to step up if called upon. Viru partly silenced his critics and justified the team management’s faith in him with a fine knock in Abu Dhabi. Kaif will have to do the same in the WI to earn his berth to the WC.
Despite the continuing victories, none of the members of the current team can take their place in the WC team for granted. For the first time, it appears that performance counts and those with proven class will be persisted with. Credit should go firstly to Chappell (and the selectors for a change!) and secondly to Dravid for the excellent planning and execution from match to match while still keeping the long term team perspective in mind.
4 thoughts on “Selectors Do Well to Retain Team to WI”
A different thought on Kaif
I am quite certain that the team management had a lot to do with retaining Kaif. Given that the team management has been delivering the results in the ODIs I think its Ok to go with their recommendation. Its good in my opinion, to give them the flexibility as long as the team delivers. Besides, this series is a good opportunity for players to get exposed to the conditions in WI. Having been an integral part of the team over the years and given that Kaif is in the scheme of things for the WC, it makes perfect sense to include Kaif on this tour. If he fails, he is more than likely to be replaced. I don’t think you can compare him to Ganguly. Apart from being a bad fielder and being badly out of form for a very long period, Ganguly carries with him lots of additional baggage — former captain, his tiffs with the coach etc. etc. Ganguly can seriously impact the atmosphere in the dressing room and create needless disharmony.
Fine, but is retaining a team unchanged when it is winning good? Weak links should be strengthened so that the team becomes more powerful. There are quality batsmen waiting in the wings. The poor selectors had nothing else to talk about other than Kaif’s fielding aspect to justify his selection. That itself is an indication of their foul-play :-)Let me make my comparison of Kaif with Ganguly more precise. Let’s take their recent form because it is considered for selection rather than anything else. When considering the last 10 innings of each player, Ganguly has 178 runs averaging 20 and Kaif only 53 at 7. Both are bad, but which one is better? That’s why I said, there is no better Kaif did that Ganguly didn’t. I also favour the ousting of Ganguly from the side. But why different treatment for the same sort of players. The scale for measurement should be the same!
I think as long as the team management is able to deliver results they should be given the freedom to make some calls. After all they must be doing something right? In this case, I suspect they chose to retain Kaif. The selectors didn’t do a good job of explaining this. Retaining a winning combination is perfectly justified. Besides, Venu and Raina are already around to take over from Kaif if he were to continue to fail. Just having a bunch of good players won’t help. There has to be a team atmosphere (which thankfully Dravid & co seem to have). I would agree with anything to keep that going. We saw how the World X1 lost badly to Aus despite being a good team on paper.
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