Some big names in Indian cricket discovered over the weekend that their one-day international careers could well be on the line when the selectors picked 30 probables for the Champions Trophy to be held during this year’s English summer.
By not including fading stars Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag for the second most important ICC event after the World Cup, Sandeep Patil & Co have indicated that it is time to look ahead and plan for the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The selectors couldn’t be more right because, while Zaheer, Harbhajan and Sehwag have served the country with distinction over the last 12 years, it is highly unlikely that they can stretch themselves till 2015. To opt for youth and persist with them over a reasonable period of time before the mega event seems the right way to go about things. Never should we forget that India will be trying to defend their title in 2015 and what better way to prove that they deserve to be highly rated than going on to win the cup.
Having a younger look to the roster also opens up the possibility of boasting of a top-class fielding side which is such a great prerequisite in one-day cricket. If there is a downside to Saturday’s selection, it’s the omission of Parthiv Patel, who must now do something incredible to attract the selectors’ attention with his wicketkeeping and batting skills.
India is often accused of being intoxicated by Twenty20 cricket. However, fair or unfair that charge is, 50-50 cricket is still the more prestigious and challenging of one-day formats.
Meanwhile, the omitted trio can still hope to flourish in Test cricket if they right all the wrongs that are plaguing their careers.