Battle for the willow
Down and out from the team, a few cricketers are trying hard to gain BCCI?s attention, writes Sonal Srivastava.india Updated: Jun 26, 2006 15:25 IST
As the Men In Blue face some calypso music in the Caribbeans, there are other cricketers knocking on the doors of team India with dazzling performances in county cricket.
Once considered heroes, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra and Sourav Ganguly found their way out of the team with their berths occupied by younger and more promising counterparts. But all is not lost with these ageing cricketers as they are gunning for the lost glory once again.
County cricket seems to be the flavour of the season as most of these forgotten heroes are battling it out on a different turf. Beginning with Zaheer Khan, who made his best effort with nine for 139 for Worcestershire against Essex.
Batsmen Dinesh Mongia has also made his presence felt in the county circuit with his performance for Leicestershire.
An other come back hopeful, Sourav Ganguly did not have a very good beginning with Northamptonshire as he became a victim of compatriot Zaheer Khan. Injury-prone Ashish Nehra is reportedly looking to resume cricket with a stint in England.
The big question is will their performances get them back in the team? Former cricketer Maninder Singh says, “If they de liver without problems and injuries they should be given a chance.”
But others, like Ajay Jadeja feel, “Zaheer Khan and Dinesh Mongia have been doing well in coun ty cricket for quite some time now.
But performance in county alone may not be the only criteria for selection in the national squad.” Considering that team India is packed with phenomenal talent, it may be difficult for the players to stage a comeback.
A bowler like Balaji did well on a couple of tours but once hit with injuries, his career came to an automatic hault.
Take the case of Ashish Nehra who did well in the World Cup but couldn’t quite deliver a consistent performance. Even RP Singh, once hailed as the next big thing, finds himself dropped from the team today.
Maninder Singh concurs, “Fast bowlers try a little too hard. There is pres sure and insecurity about being dropped from the team as well.
A player like RP Singh needs to work hard on his speed. Another bowler Laxmipathi Balaji was looking good until he developed injuries.”