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Unadkat, Yadav dumped too soon

Something seems to have gone completely awry with team selection for the first international series after that triumph. Aakash Chopra writes.

india Updated: Jun 13, 2011 23:04 IST
Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra
Hindustan Times

While Team India basks in the afterglow of the World Cup win, we must laud the selectors for picking a team that brought us the ultimate glory.

They are men who are often confronted with tough choices and their decisions prove crucial in deciding the national team's fate at the International arena.

However, something seems to have gone completely awry with team selection for the first international series after that triumph. In the absence of some key players, Praveen Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun got a look in.

Mithun, the leading wicket-taker in the 2009-10 domestic season, impressed everyone with his only international exposure against Sri Lanka a year ago. Praveen may not have played for India in the longer format but has spearheaded Uttar Pradesh's attack. He took wickets in heaps, thanks to his ability to move the ball both ways. Hence, giving them their much-deserved chance is only just.

Good Domestic run
But allow me to take you a few months back to the series in South Africa. India had picked two rookies in Jaidev Unadkat and Umesh Yadav.

While they didn't have a spectacular domestic season to merit the selection, it was their potential that was the decisive factor. While Unadkat played in one Test, Yadav warmed the bench throughout the tour.

On their return, they represented their respective zones in the Duleep Trophy. Since Umesh played for Central Zone, I saw him from close quarters and he did beat the batsmen for sheer pace.

Unadkat took five wickets in his only outing for West. Both played sporadically for their franchisees in the IPL.

Now, only a few months down the line, both Unadkat and Yadav have been dumped even though Zaheer and Sreesanth opted out.

If we picked them on the basis of 'potential', then why dump them without giving them enough opportunities to realise that potential?

Pankaj ignored
Also, spare a thought for Pankaj Singh, the guy who took 53 wickets in the last first-class season, took his team from Plate Division to the Ranji Trophy, impressed everyone during Duleep and Deodhar trophies and yet hasn't got a chance.

Yes, he did get to play an ODI a year ago (and didn't get any wickets) but is that enough to test anyone's skills?

First Published: Jun 13, 2011 23:01 IST