Friday, February 24, 2006

Selection gripes

Why does the Indian Board always insist on picking these gigantic 15-player squads for home tests? This is a situation bordering on the ridiculous, and confirms what I've always thought of one aspect of Indian selection strategies. That rather than being concrete announcements of faith in a player's abilities, they are signals to the player that he has been noticed (not the same - the former would mean some definite place for the player in the team's strategy). Look at the Indian team for the first test: I question the need for the 14th and 15th players. Is the Nagpur pitch so mysterious, the team health situation so unsettled, the team strategy so fluid that they need 15 players to be able to pick the final 11 from? No, obviously not. Instead, Chawla and VRV Singh have been dragged in merely as a way of letting them (and perhaps their zonal reps) know that they have been noticed by the selectors. Perhaps its a way for them to get used to the dressing room? Who knows. No other board of selectors treats team selections as a form of patronage in this fashion. Its entirely possible that the two will be mysteriously rotated out for some other two players for the second test, and then not show up again for a year. We've been through this before - doesn't look like its going to end any time soon.

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