My Thoughts

Posts Tagged ‘Abid Nabi

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.

Abid Nabi - Considered one of the fastest in India, does not get even mentioned in team selections

Abid Nabi - Considered one of the fastest in India, does not get even mentioned in team selections

India is almost out of the champions Trophy and barring a miracle, they will pack their bags and head home tomorrow. As I wrote earlier India’s bowling problem hurt their chances in the Champions Trophy. The Indian bowlers were pathetic against Pakistan in their first game allowed them to escape from a precarious 65/3 to 302 which in the end proved too much for the depleted Indian batting lineup. This has been the problem with the Indian team for the past 1 year or so.

The batting strength was able to shield this weakness but with the absence of couple of key players it was exposed even further against the Pakistanis in the Champions Trophy. So the perennial question is where are the bowlers? So much of domestic cricket being played, so much of talent but why do we keep hearing the same names again and again? Are the selectors good at actually tapping good talent? India has loads of talent in the Domestic arena but has been reluctant to try out new players in the National squad. Three years back when Guru Greg was at the helm there was a bowler named Abid Nabi who was touted as the next big thing in Indian cricket. He was even summoned to bowl at the Indian batters in the nets but where is he now? He signed up for the ICL and could not be considered but still his name was never mentioned during selection anytime. He is now in the list of players who has accepted the BCCI “Amnesty” program. Another one of BCCI’s ridiculous act but at least he can be in contention now.

And then there is Sudeep Tyagi who has been performing very well in the domestic cricket, had a good IPL and also performed brilliantly in the recently concluded Emerging Players trophy in Australia but he is nowhere close to selection. The Indian selectors are known to waste talent in domestic cricket for ages now and it has hurt Indian cricket. There are loads of names which come to mind. Where is Piyush chawla, Pujara? Both have been performing consistently in the domestic arena. Chawla though has done quite well when he has been given chances at the National level but still continues to be ignored by the selectors. The Indian selectors are short sighted which is the major problem. They always look to fix the current issues but fail to look at the larger picture.

When we speak of All rounders, it always has to be the Pathan brothers but what about Ravichandran Ashwin who has been brilliant for Tamil Nadu? Ashwin has been brilliant for TN and could be an asset in the Indian team but has never been in consideration. The Indian team needs to find some good bowlers to complement Zaheer and unless they do that we cannot claim ourselves as the contenders for the Number 1 spot. Ishant Sharma needs a break to sort himself out and if possible needs to take a break from the IPL to concentrate on his bowling. India has the talent to develop into one of the best teams in the world even after the retirement of the greats but the selectors need to be smart about this.

Grooming and nurturing young talent is really important and unless that happens, Indian cricket will continue to suffer. Right talent needs to be encouraged irrespective of where they come from. Players like Ashwin, Nabi, Pujara, Tyagi, Chawla, Mishra, Kohli, Badri, Vijay etc have to be in the Indian plans for the future and need to be given chances regularly to prove their worth. India play a 7 match ODI series against the Australians and it will be the right time to rest some bowlers and give chances to youngsters. They cannot perform worse than the current pack. Keep Ashish Nehra and change the rest of the bowling, RP Singh, Ishant and Harbajan need a break and have to be challenged. They have been performing badly for about a year now without being shown the door in ODI cricket and need to be given a break.

If India needs to be considered as the number 1 team in the world they have to work towards it. I hope that Dhoni and the selectors are listening.

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