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Brave move by selectors

What a brave move. All the Delhi selectors, for the first time in recent memory, have stood up to take the state cricket forward, leaving aside their personal differences and petty politics.

india Updated: Feb 04, 2006 01:03 IST

What a brave move. All the Delhi selectors, for the first time in recent memory, have stood up to take the state cricket forward, leaving aside their personal differences and petty politics.

There are nine new faces (including stand-byes) in the Delhi Ranji squad for the one-dayers. Seven of them in the 16-21 age group.

No pushes, no threats. Only performances in various age group tournaments and trial matches were taken as the criterion to infuse much needed oxygen to revive cricket in the Capital, which was on a decline.

Youngsters like Virat Kohli, Gaurav Chhabra, Puneet Bisht and Ishant Sharma were consistently reminding the selectors with their exceptional performances at various age group tournaments. It was high time to act. Especially after watching the Delhi Ranji team's performance in the days' games season. What was stopping these wise men from acting was perhaps not hidden from anyone. The only question now was how long could they keep the doors shut on these deserving players.

Offie Suhail Sharma's (in the squad) or speedster Ashish Malhotra's (in the stand-byes) cases were typical ones. Both have been called almost every year for the Ranji camps these past few seasons. However, at the time of selection, their claims were always ignored for the sake of obliging few powerful lobbies.

Also, for the first time perhaps, selectors have shown vision by taking a number of all-rounders in the squad by keeping the demands of one-day cricket in mind. What is the most striking feature of this team is that almost all the six players kept in the stand-byes have proven credentials of being good all-rounders.

Kuldeep Rawat, Abhishek Sharma, Wilkin Victor and Joginder Singh have all shown enough promise to replace anyone in times to come while the other two in the stand-byes, Malhotra and Harsh Gautam, have impressed one and all with their medium-pace bowling.

The only deserving names left out from the list of 21 (team of 15 and 6 stand-byes) were that of all-rounder Pradeep Sangwan and wicket-keeper Rajinder Bisht. But they shouldn't worry, their good work will hopefully pay off somewhere down the line.

The 15-member Delhi squad has two openers (Aakash Chopra and Shikhar Dhawan), five middle-order batsmen (Mitthun Manhas, Rajat Bhatia, Gaurav Chhabra, Virat Kohli and wicket-keeper Puneet Bisht), three all-rounders (Abhinav Bali, Suhail Sharma and NS Negi), two spinners (Chetanya Nanda, Yogesh Sachdeva and three speedsters (Amit Bhandari, Kuunal Lall and Ishant Sharma). The first positive step has been taken by the Delhi selectors. Now it's up to the selected lot to justify the kind of faith put in them.

The Team

Mitthun Manhas (captain), Aakash Chopra, Shikhar Dhawan, Rajat Bhatia, Gaurav Chhabra, Virat Kohli, Abhinav Bali, Puneet Bisht (wk), Ishant Sharma, Amit Bhandari, Kuunal Lall, NS Negi, Suhail Sharma, Yogesh Sachdeva and Chetanya Nanda.

Stand-byes: Ashish Malhotra, Kuldeep Rawat, Abhishek Sharma, Joginder Singh, Wilkin Victor and Harsh Gautam.