Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Why India's new guns were selected

Ever since Jimmy Amarnath famously called the Indian selectors a bunch of jokers, respect has been a little hard to come by for them. But there is no question that selection policies in Indian cricket have become more sensible since the Kiran More era. I have heard enough of chairman Dilip Vengsarkar to figure that he is tough, reasonably fair and very performance oriented.

The selectors picked the following new players for the Indian team to Ireland and England.

Tests: Ranadeb Bose (Bengal), Ishant Sharma (Delhi)
ODIs: Piyush Chawla (UP), Rohit Sharma (Mumbai)

Congratulations to Ranadeb Bose for finally breaking through to the Test team. Although he's almost 29, its just reward for a lot of hard work and I, for one, look forward to Bose getting the ball to bend in the wet English air. Now, someone give that guy's hair its own zip code!

First-class bowling record: 54 Matches, 194 wickets, Average 24.25, Runs per over 2.64, A wicket every 54.93 balls, 5WI 16, 10WM 4.

Ishant Sharma after failing to make South Africa by a whisker late last year made his debut against Bangladesh and came away virtually empty-handed. He can count himself lucky that both Irfan Pathan and Munaf Patel are struggling with injuries.

First-class bowling record: 7 Matches, 30 wickets, Average 21.06, Runs per over 2.07, A wicket every 78 balls, 5WI 0, 10WM 0.

Rohit Sharma's selection is a bit of a surprise given that the Indian team is top heavy with batsmen. But his age (20 years and counting) and ability to bowl off-breaks might have tilted the scales in his favor. I'm not sure if he'll get a chance to play at all in the series.

List-A batting record: 24 Matches, 740 runs, Average 41.11, Strike rate 89.04, 100s 1, 50s 4, HS 142*.
List-A bowling record: 24 Matches, 3 wickets, Average 62.66, Runs per over 4.82, A wicket every 78 balls.

Piyush Chawla has had a shot at both varieties of international cricket before. And he's disappointed with his lack of variety. Since then he's believed to have added variations in his spin and at 18 years he seems to be a fine prospect. In any case, Harbhajan's inability to perform consistently overseas forces the selectors to hunt for an option in this department. You only get so many years to learn how to grip a different ball, Bhajji.

List-A bowling record: 22 Matches, 32 wickets, Average 22.78, Runs per over 4.63, A wicket every 29.46 balls, 4WI 1.


Anonymous said...

Hey ahavewala,

Such a well written blog. I love cricket and turn to sports page directly when i get the newspaper.. ur analysis on the new entrants is cool.. great that i found this blog through

Unknown said...

Hey Zizou, thanks. I wish we could access more cricket in the US - more analysis would be forthcoming. As it is a lot of series aren't even on pay per view. And when they are they are at odd hours and expensive!