Suhail, Jain in Delhi team for three games

Only chairman Wasan was aware of Dahiya's decision to yet again call it quits in the middle of a season. Thus Aditya Jain comes in for the next 3 three matches, writes CS Luthra.

india Updated: Dec 15, 2006 02:18 IST
CS Luthra
CS Luthra

Six points from the first three home games. Call it a good start or the senseless wisdom of the five wise men running the affairs of the Delhi Ranji Trophy team. Now some players - Yogesh Sachdeva, Rahul Sanghvi, Vijay Dahiya and Amit Bhandari - called the backbone of the team, have either escaped, are dumped or reduced to non-identities.

All the selectors, barring absentee Raj Kumar Sharma, decided after their 90-minute meeting on Thursday that their main off-spinner, Sachdeva, who was chosen despite heavy criticism, has suddenly lost his bowling skills, and he has been shown the door. The only offie among the stand-byes, Suhail Sharma, is the replacement.

Only chairman Atul Wasan was aware of Dahiya's decision to yet again call it quits in the middle of a season. Thus young batsman Aditya Jain comes in for the next three Ranji matches.

The rest of the squad was retained, though there were some discontented voices over the continuance of left-arm spinner Sanghvi, and the role of speedster Amit Bhandari.

Now was the turn of Wasan, who has gone all out to justify the inclusion of the veterans in the team, to give the reasoning. Asked why Sachdeva was dropped on the basis of only one appearance, he said: "He has not performed well." Pressed further to explain why he was picked in the first place --- Delhi failed to get an outright victory over Baroda just because of him --- Wasan added: "Why do you want us (selectors) to go back and discuss this issue again when this chapter is closed? Even we're disappointed with the result."

At last, the chairman of selectors has admitted that it was Sachdeva who was to blame for Delhi's dismal show against Baroda. Wasan has a different yardstick for another spinner, former India player Sanghvi, who has looked as pedestrian as Sachdeva in the only match he played this season. "He could be of need if we have an under-prepared track for the next home game," said Wasan.

From an India bowler, Sanghvi has now come to a situation where he needs Delhi to give him "helpful" wickets to survive!

Wasan also proudly announced that Bhandari has been kept as the fourth pacer. "Isn't it good for Delhi that a like Amit has to struggle for his place?"

Wasan also challenged HT to produce Bhandari's adverse fitness report, which the newspaper had accessed before the start of the season. "I've not seen any such report." he said. However, DDCA Sports Secretary Sunil Dev admitted that he had received that report, and Wasan beat a hasty retreat. One senior selector told HT that Sanghvi would be shown the door soon. "We need time to get rid of the deadwood," he said. "Dahiya has retired, and the others (veterans) also have to think on those lines."

It would be worth the wait.

First Published: Dec 15, 2006 02:09 IST