Raj-Powar pickle messing up the plate

Dec 01, 2018, 07:10 IST | mid-day correspondent

The focus on Powar is grossly unfair because it's not only he who made the decision. As it often happens in Indian cricket, the coach ends up on the chopping block

Raj-Powar pickle messing up the plate

How to Escalate a Problem. It's a manual which the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is well qualified to publish through a joint effort of all the people who occupy the big seats at D Road, Churchgate.

Normally, the first step towards solving a dispute is to get all parties together and hear their viewpoints. In this case, the CEO and the GM heard out individual views virtually. Since the decision to drop Mithali Raj for the crucial World T20 semi-final against England was a team management decision comprising captain, vice-captain, team manager as well as the selector on tour, they should have been called in together.

The focus on Powar is grossly unfair because it's not only he who made the decision. As it often happens in Indian cricket, the coach ends up on the chopping block. Raj is understandably hurt and to drop an experienced performer like her for a knockout game doesn't give logic a good name. There are times when it is more essential to use a soft brush rather than stand the risk of spoiling the mural through flamboyance. Enduring performers ought to be handled differently and it is here that the team management probably played down the wrong line as it were.

T20 cricket is a different beast. Some players walk away from it and there's no disgrace in doing so. Raj can do the same or go back to the nets and lift her game to such a level that she becomes a T20 force again and proves the team management wrong. At the moment, she enjoys the support of the public. That won't last forever, though. How she ends up as an India player will ultimately count and it must be remembered that there's the 50-50 and Test formats of the game for her.

The greatest of players have not been great T20 exponents and they are comfortable with that. And, finally, there's something the BCCI should know. To suspect that your handling of the Raj v Powar issue reeks of Board-CoA politics will not be viewed as absurd because some cricket administrators are past masters at the mixing game and will ensure the cocktail ends up perfectly suited to their tastebuds.

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