Despite the rich skills of foreign players that light up the T20 league, it is a domestic tournament the BCCI floated six seasons ago with the noble intent of promoting young Indian talent.
Strange then that the Sandeep Patil-led national selection committee gives it a complete miss. The five selectors watch cricket through the year but don’t attend any match, choosing to track players through television coverage and media reports.
But selectors do factor in league performances when picking the India side. Dinesh Karthik and Amit Mishra are in the Champions Trophy squad because they did enough in the league. If Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh missed the cut, one reason is neither did enough in the league.
Surprisingly, no new Indian talent has emerged this season despite the guaranteed presence of seven domestic players in every starting eleven. Even players who made strong statements in the earlier years (Swapnil Asnodkar, Paul Valthaty, Manish Pandey) have had indifferent runs till now.
From the standpoint of discovering talent, Sanju Samson of the Royals is the lone bright spot. He has grabbed attention with his well-organised technique and the courage to play shots fearlessly in high pressure situations.
As things stand at the moment, he is a step ahead of the hugely-talented Unmukt Chand, who has not seized the opportunities he has had. Unmukt however is looking forward to a place in the India ‘A’ squad scheduled to tour later in the year.
The list of young Indian batsmen who failed the test is long. Some detect a spark in Hanuma Vihara, Karan Sharma and Mandeep Singh but a final verdict will wait till they perform more consistently. Manish Pandey, Mayank Aggarwal and Ashok Menaria have had limited chances, same with Manpreet Juneja, a gifted striker. Kedar Jadhav looks explosive, he could spring a surprise yet.
Among the relatively senior players, Ajinkya Rahane has been outstanding for the Royals but Abhishek Nayar, T Suman, Ambati Rayudu, Sathish, Saurabh Tiwary, Manoj Tiwari and Badrinath seem stuck on a treadmill, running but going nowhere.
The talent drought in bowling is no less depressing. Mohit Sharma is impressive but Ranji's number one bowler Ishwar Pande is not in the frame.
(The writer is a Delhi Daredevils official)