Selection smacks of BCCI orchestration

first_imgDivide and rule is an old colonial trait that has been ingrained into Indian cricket. In the 70s and 80s, it witnessed the North-South segregation, a subject that the press and the public speculated a lot about. But the acrimony, if any, never came out in the public domain.The BCCI has had its own share of spars with broadcasters, new cricket leagues or even the contract issues in the 80s which saw K Srikkanth, the former opening batsman and current chief selector, take over the India captaincy under duress.The MS Dhoni-Virender Sehwag public spat is one that could leave impressionable scars on Team India. The team is in transition and the younger breed entering the system will wait and watch. Some will choose to be on the buttered side of the bread and some may choose to be neutral.It is apparent that Sehwag and Gambhir will be around for a while on sheer cricketing skills. The blemishes of this incident will stay for a while, if they are not wiped away through transparent talks.If the selection of the Indian team for the Asia Cup is any yardstick to dissect the locker room screenplay, then it is palpable that the BCCI has orchestrated this script.First, there was the rationale behind rewarding the only bright spark of the tour Down Under, Virat Kohli, with the mantle of being the second-in-command. Kohli’s time to be understudy should have come by design rather than default. At the moment, he seems to be a catalyst to douse the fire in the team.advertisementSecondly, the uncanny elucidation (one of the many, I might stress) by the chairman of selectors on the disparity between Gambhir and Dhoni’s age is a hollow argument. It doesn’t take one to be an Archimedes to recognise that disproportionate ages don’t change with the passage of time or preferences of the authorities.The counsel to suggest rest for Sehwag and Zaheer is again seemingly ambiguous. The selection on the threshold of a possible three-game, undeserved, final in the CB Series highlights a few issues.The apparent backstage histrionics that surfaced from the ‘rotation’ theory didn’t help team camaraderie. The subsequent lack of restraint by the protagonists at press congregations did not helped the issue. It has highlighted the otherwise strategically acknowledged theories of ‘rotation’ and the contentious ‘youth over seniors’ debate and questioned its bona fides.Dressing room moods and a team’s character are often tested in sport .The positive mood often comes from triumphs and stunning performances. Indian cricket needs to focus on these two critical issues. The rest will sort itself out. Crevices are often evident when there is a famine. The scarcity of competitive team performances is where Indian cricket’s drought is.(The writer is a former captain of the Mumbai Ranji team)last_img read more