It is understandable that after a hard tour of South Africa some of the players have been rested by the Indian selectors. It will be interesting to see how the youngsters taking the places of those genuinely rested after South Africa will deliver in Sri Lanka. Admittedly, the T20 format is not the ideal one to showcase one’s skills but what will be watched closely is how their temperament holds up to the intense pressure that this format usually generates.
It is a wonderful opportunity for youngsters like Mohammad Shiraz, Rishab Pant, Deepak Hooda to serve notice of their talent and temperament, and for senior pros like (Suresh) Raina and (Dinesh) Karthik to show that their selection is justified.
As always the selection of a team means some in-form players who have done well in the domestic season won’t find a place in the squad. Mayank Agarwal has had a fabulous season in all three formats of the game but still is not in the team. This has happened to many players in the past where it’s been impossible to dislodge the established ones in the team.
Many spinners in the 70s and 80s never got the India colours because of the famous spin quartet. Many middle order batsmen couldn’t get a look in from the late 90s till 2010 as that department was ruled by (Rahul) Dravid, (Sachin) Tendulkar, (VVS) Laxman and (Sourav) Ganguly.
It’s simply the accident of birth and the player has to keep dishing out big hundreds over and over again to not just knock on the selectors doors but to break it down so it’s not just a matter of the selectors hearing but also seeing him.
What’s been interesting though in this debate about Agarwal’s exclusion is the name of the player that those backing him wanted dropped, rested, whatever. As always Shikhar Dhawan’s name is top of the list and while he could hardly be dropped on form, Agarwal’s backers wanted him rested.
Why Dhawan, why not Rohit Sharma? After all Rohit played more matches than Dhawan in South Africa. Not for a moment it is being advocated that Sharma should be dropped but it’s only to bring out that when the axe is to be wielded then Dhawan invariably tops the list.
That’s why the left-hander has to realise that getting brilliant 70s and 80s is not going to save his place. Only hundreds will and so like Virat Kohli hardly plays a lofted shot even in limited overs cricket and gets to 100s, Dhawan also has to ensure he eliminates the risky lofted shots and gets hundreds. His scoring rate is tremendous anyway so that will not drop down but his centuries will increase and the usual call to leave him out will decrease.
Agarwal’s progress has been tremendous from the hit and miss player he was a couple of years back. Rahul Dravid must take a big share of the credit for that for it is under his mentorship of the A team that Agarwal has become the consistent big score player he is today. Source : timesofindia