Balaji’s Return A Welcome Sign

The selectors in a surprise move replaced the injured Munaf Patel with the “smiling assassin” Laxmipathi Balaji. This move is no doubt remarkable for so many reasons. Most importantly, it is a sign that domestic performances count for selection to the national team. Balaji has performed exceptionally in the domestic circuit and has worked his way back to the team.

Secondly, its a welcome sign than those who have performed at the highest level of the game are not ignored when they are hit by major injuries. After a fine performance on the Pakistan tour a few years back, the promising Balaji has struggled to get back from his injury and prove that he is capable of still performing at the international level. There was no question that he had the promise and the potential. Unfortunately, he was hit by major injury and has been in the wilderness for the last three years (barring his performance in the IPL). Coming back after being away from the game for a long time is a challenge in itself. Being constantly ignored can make it worse. The selectors and captain Dhoni deserve credit for recognizing Balaji’s return to reckoning.

Last but not the least it keeps the current crop of fast bowlers in the Indian team on their toes, knowing that the bench strength is constantly knocking on the doors. I can’t remember the last time when India had a fast bowling bench strength of the likes of R.P. Singh, Sreesanth, Gony, Umesh Yadav, to name few.

Author: Pran Kurup

Pran Kurup is founder and CEO of Vitalect, Inc.

2 thoughts on “Balaji’s Return A Welcome Sign”

  1. Pran: All what you say is true except and I believe that Balaji is a deserving case to be in the national team. That said, would he have got the call had the the Chief Selector been anyone but Srikkanth? I am sure that if there had been someone else in Srikkanth’s place Balaji would not have had a look in. Factionalism, regionalism etc. still rule in Indian cricket – except that here Srikkanth is trying to make a logical case for the TN boys to be included in the national side. Some notable exclusions from the National side would be Pujara & Ajinkya Rahane – who had a stellar season with the bad. Strangely Badrinath has been left out when he showed sterling form through the season. Also who can forget Shivkant Shukla’s wonderful performances that took UP to the Ranji final. As for bowlers Dhaval Kulkarni quite rightly deserved the call up.


  2. I agree with you.

    Note that Dhoni has been roping in his Chennai IPL team mates. Balaji, Raina, Gony, Badrinath, etc. at various times.

    I saw Pujara bat. For now, I think he is mostly in the Dravid mould. Badrinath should have been selected. They could have waited on M. Vijay. The guy is still young. Besides, India doesn’t need a backup opener.

    Wonder how much more clout the Chairman of the selectors has when compared to the rest of the selectors.

    I really think India needs to find a backup keeper. Karthik and Parthiv are both very unreliable, though I think highly of Karthick’s batting (which I recall you don’t agree with 🙂


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