India squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt & wk), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, Praveen Kumar, Irfan Pathan, Pragyan Ojha.
What does one have to do to earn a call up to the Indian Cricket Team? Well there is one sure-fire way—performance! But where? In the rotten by lanes of Ranji Trophy cricket? Or in the Junior International Circuit? Or both?
One person who satisfies both is Ravindra Jadeja. So it was good news for him when Srikkant and co. decided to select him for the good-for-nothing tour of Sri Lanka next month. Fair enough.
The story doesn't end here. The person who he has replaced goes by the name of Virat Kohli. He too satisfied both prerequisites. The chances he got were very limited.
Take the case of Badrinath. He did nothing wrong to be omitted from this tour. This must be demoralising for the 29-year-old.
Let us analyse the team. Dhoni, Sachin, Viru, Gauti, Rohit, Yuvi, Zak and Ishant select themselves. Considering the other players:
Suresh Raina and Irfan Pathan: They have performed well in the recent past and deserve a look in.
Yusuf Pathan: this guy is a future star and this is the right time to give him sustained backing.
Munaf Patel: now this one is controversial. But he is a talent and puts the ball in the right places.
Praveen Kumar: Consistent performer, but too many fast bowlers in the squad could influence the final XI selections of either him or Munaf.
Pragyan Ojha: A mistake. Piyush Chawla and Amit Mishra rank way above him. Jadeja is a left arm spinner and another one was not needed. But who cares about this tour anyway.
That's it. Apart from Ojha, all other selections are justified. Maybe there should have been another spinner in place of either Munaf or Praveen.
My First XI (ODIs)
Sehwag, Sachin, Gambhir, Yusuf, Yuvi, Rohit, MSD, Irfan, Praveen, Zaheer, Ishant
My First XI (T20)
Sehwag, Gambhir, Yusuf, Yuvi, Raina, Rohit, MSD, Irfan, Praveen, Zaheer, Ishant