Hapless Karun Nair caught in selection crossfire

Manoj Prabhakar was a brave and street cricketer, whose spirit of rebellion the Indian cricket could have done without him. Those who played with him tell him that he had a deep-seated resentment for the system since Kapil Dev called Madan Lal of the English leagues to replace the injured Chetan Sharma in the Headingley test on the 1986 England tour. As a member of the squad already, Prabhakar believed that he had earned the right to play the test when Chetan was injured. But the captain of India had other ideas.

Ajinkya Rahane in recent times has gone through a similar mismanagement. He and Rohit Sharma went through the entire 2011-12 Australia tour by shooting in a corner even as India stumbled from one defeat to another. In the year that followed, Rohit played off the side of the test through the poor form ODI on the tour to Sri Lanka. Two players withdrew; Cheteshwar Pujara took a place, and out of nowhere came Yuvraj Singh to usurp Rahane in the queue. Nor did he have the opportunity in first-class cricket to score the races needed for the selection or in the XI Test. So much so that when Yuvraj was finally eliminated, India chose Ravindra Jadeja, a bowler, ahead of Rahane.

There was not much in the name of a support system to help these players. They had to fend for themselves. You expect someone to speak to Karun Nair at this moment, explaining why he is not part of the Testing squad against the West Indies and what the future holds. According to all reports, Nair told Cricbuzz : the team management did not do it when they kept him out of the XI during six consecutive tests.

In a way, Nair seems to be caught in the crossfire between the selectors and the team management. One thing was clear in South Africa's tour earlier this year: the team management qualified Rohit Sharma before Ajinkya Rahane, forget about Nair. The selectors gave them Nair as the backup hitter in England. The team management responded by refusing to play Nair, even when the situation and conditions demanded reinforcement of the batting.

Even when the team management gave in and finally played an extra hitter, it was not Nair. A bolter, Hanuma Vihari made his way into the squad through first-class racing, something Nair could not have done sitting on the bench in a long tour in which India did not play a first-class game outside of the Tests. . Nair spent about two months with the India team impressing Shankar Basu, the coach, with his physical condition.

The handling of Nair took to Sunil Gavaskar to the wrath during the tour by England. "I know he was not your favorite player, you do not want to choose him," was one of the instructive things Gavaskar said after India chose Vihari for the Oval Test, "you" are the team's management. Vihari, of course, marked half a century in The Oval, and now has the opportunity to reserve his place for the tour of Australia. India does not have the services of the injured SUV Hardik Pandya for the local series against the West Indies, which means that he is likely to play a sixth batter, and these are home runs against a lower ranked opponent. These are runs that ensured that Rohit played ahead of Rahane in South Africa. These are races Nair would have thought he should have had the opportunity to score. And this is said without any ill will toward Vihari, who was in the right place at the right time and took his chance.

As usual, the selectors refuse to comment. This particular selection process has been particularly curious. They met in Delhi three days before the announcement of the squad, but the BCCI said the meeting had nothing to do with this selection, despite the fact that the secretary had convened a selection meeting that day. The announcement was made through a statement that failed to mention when the selectors really met, or if they really met.

However, selectors must receive that small benefit of the doubt. Possibly they realize that if Nair is going to heat the bench during this series, which, let's face it, seems to be his destiny, he can also score runs in domestic cricket. Except that the only domestic cricket at that time will be of the shortest variety. However, there is still time for Nair. There is inspiration for him in his state teammate Mayank Agarwal, who has scored so many races over and over again that it has been impossible to look the other way. Do that, and who knows, Nair could see the selectors fight for him again when they have space for 17 men on the tour of Australia.

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One man who seems to have lost sponsors in the selection committee is Shikhar Dhawan. In the tests, he is that peculiar cricketer who seems fortunate to be there, and at the same time unlucky when he is finally out. Possibly it is because he makes his return through limited careers or injuries to others, then he gets massive scores at home and fails to score those races in difficult conditions away from home. However, it also seems unfortunate when you fall because you can see that you are putting all the effort to try to succeed. He fights, fights against his natural game, does all that with a smile, and still, something or the other brings out the best.

And then Dhawan comes out once again without having completed a series away from home: before England, he has been eliminated halfway in South Africa, Australia and also on the last tour of England. However, it is possible to say that Dhawan has the bad luck to get lost. As the numbers of other first-rate hitters will tell you, the conditions in England were really difficult for the starters. Dhawan showed the will to overcome it, always asking the bowlers to deliver good balls to get it out. After the first four Tests – the Live Tests – Dhawan was easily the best of the five starters who played that series.

It was at The Oval that the openers finally managed to score centuries, Alastair Cook for England and KL Rahul for India. This test presented the best batting conditions of the series, and the bowlers in their greatest fatigue in a dead rubber. It is very possible that Dhawan has secured his place if he had scored runs here, but he got two really good balls to go out. It is also imaginable that Dhawan could have done well in Australia, where the lateral movement is less pronounced and shorter in life, but there will not be too many crying for Dhawan because he has had many opportunities and does not have the difficulty to show it.

There is a sense of purpose in this coup of the selectors. The message is clear: we know that you can score two centuries in two sessions in these two Tests against the West Indies, but that is not good if you do not reach fifty in England, Australia or South Africa. It also seems that there is no way back to Dhawan now; During the Tests of the West Indies, there is no other first class cricket in India. When first-class domestic cricket begins, Dhawan will be busy with limited internationals. The only way back for this Australia tour looks like a combination of ODI races and failures for the new starters, but the selectors seem to be in no mood to give in.

source:- espncricinfo.com

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