Challenger Trophy 2006 - The missing names

List of players who played in last year's edition and are missing out this year : Shikar Dhawan, Sridharan Sriram, Sunny Singh, Satyajit Parab, Ranadeb Bose, Amit Bhandari, Ravi Kant Shukla, Sreekumar Nair, Neeraj Patel, Dheeraj Jadhav, Shahbaz Nadeem, Manoj Tiwari, J P Yadav, Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan, Yousuf Pathan.

Around this time last year, Jai Prakash Yadav was part of the Indian dressing room. Less than a year later, he finds himself out of the list of top 39 ODI cricketers in the nation. He is 32 and honestly, I really don't see him being able to make a comeback from here. I feel the same about Sriram too. He is 30 and he has signed up to play for Maharashtra this year, but I doubt the transfer of address from Chennai to Pune would really help his international prospects in any way.

I feel sorry for Shikar Dhawan. I would have picked him ahead of Jaffer as the reserve opener in the Blue team. Dheeraj Jadhav was not long ago in the list of potential Indian openers and he seems to be slowly falling out of favour. Vidyut opened for the India seniors in one of the games in last year's edition and put on a big score, but I did think he was lucky to get a game then. So, I'm not surprised he is not getting any this year.

Irfan's brother Yousuf was a last minute addition last year (because Sourav pulled out) and he would be hoping for something like that to happen again. From the family's point of view, he would just be hoping Irfan would get back to some sort of form with the ball. Given the way the likes of Munaf, Sreesanth and RP have performed in the recent months and given that Nehra and Balaji are back to full fitness, Bhandari and Bose stood absolutely no chance of featuring in any of the squads. RaviKanth, Nadeem and Tiwari are still quite young and I'm sure they will get their chances again. I wasn't too thrilled with the inclusion of Sunny Singh, Satyajit Parab, Neeraj Patel and Sreekumar Nair last year and I'm not really surprised to see their names missing this time around.

SS Paul didn't play in the Challengers last year. But he was named in the list of 30 ICC Trophy probables last month. I wonder what made the selectors select him then and ignore him now.

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Blogger Stu 4:28 PM

Nice coverage of something we know very little about over here (Aus).

How long has this tournament been going on? Is the main goal just cricket at a very high level and exposure for those who wouldn't otherwise get a chance, or is their more to it?    



Blogger vishnupavan 4:40 AM

Stu, The Challengers were introduced in 94-95 and 've become an annual affair since then. They are usually played at the start of the season. These games have become popular only in recent times because the senior players and the selectors have started taking them seriously. The best 39 players in the country (based on their performances in the previous season) are selected and the selection is a very good indicator of who is in the selectors' scheme of things and who isn't.

It is a 4 game series with each team playing the other two once and the top 2 playing the finals.. Needless to say, this year's tourney has gained lot of interest because of Sourav's selection..    



Anonymous Anonymous 9:32 AM

On the basis of last year's performance, guys with very less first class experince(like Sreesanth, VRV Singh, Piyush and that opener_guy_ who_ plays_
all_ deliveries_ on_ front_ foot), got a chance to play for country, which is kind of dangerous thing to do. There are chances of them wearing out early. Usually top teams/coaches sort out a new bowler after his first season, and thrash him all over after that, ending their career as one-season-wonder'.

Also, if selectors focus solely on ‘Youngsters’ (under 20-22), then I think that discourages 26-28 yr old guys toiling hard in Ranjis etc.

Like you said JP was in team last year, then suddenly was shown door with no reason, same thing happened with guys like Bangar, Badani and Sodhi in the past.
In those the need of accommodating Ganguly was the problem, in now a days sole focus on only 'Youngsters' is an issue.

Regards,
Sandip    



Blogger vishnupavan 11:10 AM

Sandip, I guess the selectors did overdo a bit with the whole young blood thing last year by selecting quite a few under-19 stars.. But this year I think, they have got the balance right.. all those who did well in the domestic limited overs games (Raghu, Tej Pal, Badri) last season have found places in these squads.. Tanmay is very young and his selection could have probably waited, but given the way he has played the last two under-19 series (in England and Pakistan), I dont blame the selectors for giving him an opportunity..

In modern day cricket, any new player gets figured out sooner or later by the opposing teams - irrespective of whether he is a teenager or a late-bloomer. How soon you develop at the international level and how soon you learn from your mistakes is what really matters in the end.. If a teenager can do that, there should be no problem having him in the squad..    



Anonymous Anonymous 7:08 PM

i really dont agree with the selectors view. They only pick the youngsters and they think they will perform well in the higher level. But it is not possible. If you pick any youngster, obviously, he will be very athletic in the field, but he will definitely fail in his batting or bowling. With the lack of experience in the first-class matches, they will not perform to the level which the international team needs. There are so many players who are having lots of experience in the first-class level. The selectors should identify those players and give them a chance. They cannot simply give chance to the same players who are not performing. They should give chance to the players like Ganguly, Zaheer, Balaji, Nehra, Kumble, Joshi, Kanitkar (they have forgotten), and so on. Give them a chance, and they will definitely perform, because they have done it earlier.    



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