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A DDCA 'simulation' that went awry

Though the result was along expected lines - the team mostly comprising senior pros won easily by six wickets - many questions were left unanswered.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2006 14:38 IST

The old saying that "you can only bring a horse to the water but you can't force it to drink" came true once again on Wednesday. Watching Delhi's 30 - deserving and non-deserving - probables fight it out in the first of two trial games at the Ferozeshah Kotla was proof that there's wisdom in adages.

Though the result was along expected lines - the team mostly comprising senior pros won easily by six wickets - many questions were left unanswered…

1. What was the logic behind conducting large-scale trials at the fag end of the domestic season?

2. Knowing well about the technique and capability of a few pros, why were these performers scrutinised?

3. What excuses will the Delhi selectors now offer at the time of team announcement if they still choose to ignore the claims of these performers?

4. And last but not least, if the selectors were so hell bent on conducting these trials, then why were all of them not present throughout?

Most selectors were present only selectively despite the fact that it was no less than a do-or-die battle for the players.

However, credit must go to three men. Coach Madan Lal, skipper Mitthun Manhas and stand-in skipper of Team B Aakash Chopra, who turned this funny exercise into a serious affair. And there were a few standout performances too.

Virat Kohli (middle-order batsman)

Coming this far after smashing 785 runs in seven u-17 matches, Kohli showed no signs of nervousness while playing a chanceless knock against the likes of Kuunal Lall, Chetanya Nanda and Sarandeep Singh. And why should he fear? He was in the middle only because of his two double tons and a century, not because of any proxies.

Gaurav Chhabra (middle-order batsman)

His 505 runs in five u-19 and u-22 innings were not good enough to merit a Ranji place. So he gave another reminder to the wise men with his classy unbeaten knock.

Puneet Bisht (wicket-keeper)

Watching this diminutive u-22 keeper play alongside bigger lads is somewhat strange but no batsman took a chance while he was behind the stumps. His gutsy batting puts him much ahead of any other competitor.

Suhail Sharma (offie)

Of all the spinners called for trials, he looked the most impressive. At 24, he looks mature enough to handle the pressures of one-day cricket.

His flighted deliveries clubbed with the shrewd mix of faster ones could come in handy for Delhi. The highest wicket-taker in the DDCA league is also known for his useful batting.

NS Negi (all-rounder)

A Delhi team discard, he displayed his usual usefulness in the field. This stocky all-rounder needs no introduction to push his case. Rather, he needs the wise men's backing. He can be invaluable in one-dayers.

Ishant Sharma and Pradeep Sangwan (medium-pacers)

At 6 feet 4 inches, Ishant was by far the best speedster on display. His 35 wickets at Under-17 & 19 level are enough proof of his talent. Pradeep was only a step behind matching his tall mate. Now, it's up to the selectors to be absolutely fair. The others (for whom this whole drama was created): The less said is the better. Just come and watch them playing.

Brief scores:

Team B: 209 for 4 in 50 overs (Rajinder Bisht 38, Aakash Chopra 59 retired, Hanish Arora 7, Virat Kohli 40, Kesar Chaudhary 4, Mohit Sharma 0, Navdeep Tomar 18 not out; Ishant Sharma 3/36, NS Negi 1/26) lost to Team A: 211 for 4 in 41.2 overs (Gaurav Chhabra 51 retired, Puneet Bisht 35, Rajat Bhatia 48, Mitthun Manhas 36,; Pradeep Sangwan 1/15, Mukesh Dewan 1/39, Abhishek Sharma 2/36).

First Published: Feb 01, 2006 23:44 IST