The Indian team is performing admirably in ODIs, they are ranked No 3, they have just won the World Cup and it was basically a young team that pulled off the great feat.
By Partab Ramchand
Where was the need for the selectors to press the panic button and recall Rahul Dravid? The Indian team is performing admirably in ODIs, they are ranked No 3, they have just won the World Cup and it was basically a young team that pulled off the great feat.
When the future is looking bright, when there are a number of young players who have proved themselves where was the need for the retrograde step of recalling a 38-year-old who last played in an ODI two years ago?
Make no mistake. Rahul Dravid is a great player, a great team man and one of the most selfless cricketers in the history of Indian cricket. He has rendered yeoman service to the team in both formats of the game over an extended period. But while he continues to be an integral part of the Test squad he has done nothing to warrant a recall to the limited overs squad. This is no time to turn the clock back; instead it is imperative to look ahead and plan for the future. And with Dravid’s decision to retire from limited overs cricket once the series against England is over his recall means that this is just a short term solution whereas long term planning is the need of the hour.
Overall however his decision can be termed as the right one for he can now concentrate on Test cricket where he still has a major role to play in shaping the Indian team’s fortunes.
Limited overs cricket is very different from Test cricket and whatever the recent travails that the Indian team has undergone in the longer version of the game there is every reason to believe that India will do well in ODIs against any opposition and in any country.
The team is bonding together nicely following the World Cup triumph and of particular gratification is the form shown by the three foremost young batsmen in the country Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. Dravid’s recall could well mean that only one of the three will find a place in the playing eleven and that is not an encouraging scenario for the future.
But for Dravid’s recall there are no real surprises in the squad picked for the five ODIs and one Twenty20 against England. Yuvraj Singh’s injury – he has not played an ODI for India since winning the man of the tournament award at the World Cup – probably led to Dravid’s recall while Harbhajan on current form might have not found a place in any case. This gives another opportunity for Amit Mishra and Ravichandran Ashwin to advance their claims for a permanent berth in the ODI squad.
There are no surprises when it comes to the pace quintet. Zaheer Khan’s return led to the omission of contenders like Ashish Nehra and S Sreesanth. His subsequent withdrawal through injury has earned a recall for another left arm seamer RP Singh who it may be recalled had a successful tour of England in 2007 though he last played in an ODI almost two years ago.