A day ahead of Indian team selection for Asia Cup and WT20, mid-day photographer Atul Kamble caught chief selector Sandeep Patil deep in thought at Mumbai's Brabourne Stadium
As chairman of the national selection committee, Sandeep Patil has a lot on his plate. A day ahead of Indian team selection for the upcoming Asia Cup T20 tournament and the subsequent ICC World Twenty20 championship, mid-day photographer Atul Kamble caught chief selector Sandeep Patil deep in thought at Mumbai's Brabourne Stadium.
The Indian team's performance in the just concluded T20 series in Australia where they swept the three-match series 3-0 may have given him some relief. But that's the past and the future is unknown. After all, the team he and his co-selectors pick will carry with them the hopes and aspirations of an entire nation and that's no small responsibility.
Patil and Co will sit down in Delhi to select the Indian squads for the two tournaments on February 5.
Sandeep Patil deep in thought at Mumbai's Brabourne Stadium while watching the Ranji Trophy match between Bengal and Madhya Pradesh. Pic/Atul Kamble
While the performance of the Indian top order in Australia means that the panel won't have to sit for too long to decide the international combination for T20s, the inability of the Indian pacers to restrict the AUssies on their flat tracks means there is a possibility of some changes being made that department. Also while Hardik Pandya looked like a decent prospect for the future, the selection of Pawan Negi for the Lanka T20 series suggests that the search for an all-rounder is still on.
And this seemed to be on the chief selector's mind when he came to Mumbai's Brabourne Stadium to watch the Ranji Trophy match between Bengal and Madhya Pradesh.
And the proceedings in the middle may not have helped his mood with 16 wickets falling in the day to pace. Bengal being dismissed for 121 with MP medium pace trio of Ishwar Pandey (4 for 45), Puneet Datey (3 for 30) and Chandrakant Sakure (3 for 38) claiming the wickets. Earlier, Bengal pacers India discard Ashok Dinda and Veer Pratap Singh utilising the second new ball to grab the last six MP wickets for the addition of 94 runs. Spin didn't claim a single wicket on Thursday. But the lack of application by the batsmen of both sides must have left Sandeep Patil and his fellow selector Saba Karim disheartened.
Sandeep Patil and Saba Karim at Mumbai's Brabourne Stadium watching the Ranji Trophy match between Bengal and Madhya Pradesh. Pic/Atul Kamble
Whether Patil’s panel will consider Ishwar Pandey or Ashok Dinda for the T20 series is not known, but skipper MS Dhoni's emphasis on utility players leaves little room for pacers, especially, on sub-continent pitches.