Are talents from weaker domestic teams being looked at?

No fast bowlers, No all rounders, No spinners and basically no bowlers is what we are made to believe by the selectors with the kind of selections we have been seeing in the past few years. So my question is that 20 odd domestic teams in our first class set up and we are saying that there is no bowler who is half decent at the international level?which is kind of hard to believe. I guess it’s time for the selectors to expand their horizons a little bit and tap the talent in the lesser fancied teams.

If Assam plays Mumbai in the Ranji trophy and a bowler from Assam takes a 5+ wickets in the game and ends up as one of the leading wicket takers of the season with good average and strike rate, shouldn’t he be looked at more seriously? Players representing weaker teams will most often be pitted against a stronger opposition which according to me makes their performance much more worthwhile. The player I am talking about is Sachin Rana from Haryana, the guy averages 33 with the bat and 22 with the ball at the domestic level in 35 first class games, have we ever heard of him? I guess never.

He is not even been considered for any A tours or even the Emerging players trophy. I thought that we are desperately in search of an all-rounder. How will we know if he is any good at all without giving him any opportunity? I am guessing there would be lots of Rana’s in the domestic setup who would have fallen through the cracks due to our selection process. I guess unless you are playing for a high profile team you will not be noticed. Over the past 6-7 years the selectors have not looked past Irfan Pathan for the all-rounder spot. God knows how many still play or have played for teams like Himachal, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam etc who were never even looked at.

Looking at the domestic averages for 2009/10 season, apart from the regular bowlers there are other bowlers who have topped the list like Abid Nabi, Abu Nechim and Sanjay Budhwar. These bowlers have been very good this season and have overall better or comparable records to the other bowlers who have been considered often for the National team or for A tours. I understand that it is difficult for the selectors to sit through and watch all the games but how difficult is to look at the top performers for a particular season and then pick a squad based on that for various A tours? It seems like unless you perform in IPL, you will not get noticed by the selectors.

I am not saying that any of the above players will be the solution to India’s problems but unless we try them out how will we know if they are any good? All these guys have performed very well for their respective domestic teams and have been consistent over couple of seasons. If India wants to unearth a gem, they need to dig deeper than to just look at the high profile teams. Politics and regionalism not withstanding India might have already found some solutions.

I am just hoping that good talents don’t get lost due to the shortsightedness of our selectors and players with potential get opportunities no matter whom they play for. I hope players like Sachin Rana, Abu Nechim, and Abid Nabi get a chance to prove their potential at a higher level. I would have expected to see such promising youngsters in the Emerging players squad rather than seeing Parthiv Patel who has already represented India at the highest level considerably and is for sure not an emerging player. Unless our selectors wake up to this fact we will not see quality bowlers/All-rounders in the near future.

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