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Why a mediocre bowler like Agarkar’s name is in circulation for India’s chief selector?

By Sudhansu R Das 

Ajit Agarkar is likely to become the Chief Selector of India as reported by various media. When India has so many good cricketers who performed well in international cricket, why is a mediocre bowler like Agarkar’s name in circulation for India’s chief selector? Agarkar as a bowler, has not impressed the cricket world with his skill though he occasionally shined with his batting and bowling performance. Agarkar hung on in the Indian cricket team for too long and for too little impact. How come he is projected as the chief selector of the Indian team when India has so many dedicated veteran players?
Player selection from 142 crore people is a big challenge which can be tackled by veteran players only. Chief Selector of the Indian team is a very important job; his decision is crucial for the development of cricket in the country. The selection for the Chief Selector should be above language, religion, regions and caste bias. Crores of cricket fans in India take pride when India wins matches; this is the only game which brings pride to people.
Over decades, the country has not identified a few genuine fast bowlers from 142 crore people. There are a few young spinners who can live up to the rich spin tradition of India. The selection process is still focused on a few metro cities where cricket infrastructure has developed. The IPL has helped talented players from different regions to shine though the 20 over IPL matches can’t explore the genuine cricket talents in a player. Long duration games are very much essential for the players to prove their patience, technique and perseverance. The selection net should be cast wide and long.
Though the state of Odisha has many talented players, the state has not given any good player to the India team after Debashis Mohanty and Shiv Sundar Das. Both faded away when they were in good form. Mohanty was a surprise weapon in the World Cup 1999; the opening pacer was unplayable and he was the second highest wicket taker though he had played four matches less than the other bowlers. He was sent on a Pakistan tour and was forgotten. Pakistan is not the place to test the pace bowlers. Shiv Sundar Das was a complete batsman but he did not get many opportunities to play for India. Like Shiv Sundar Das and Debasis Mohanty, many good players have withered in the bud due to the long stay of senior players in the team in spite of their poor form; their occasional brilliance and past records were taken into consideration. This situation has improved a lot in the past five years; young players can hope to make an entry in Team India despite a few stumbling blocks.
India has a long list of veteran players; one of them can be selected as Chief Selector. Virenra Shehwag, Kapil Dev, Yuvraj Singh, Sandeep Patil, Mahindra Singh Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble and VVS Laxman etc were world class players and they can serve India better than anybody else. There are many veterans who are honest and frank in their opinions; their opinions are very much needed for the development of cricket in India. The team management should give them an opportunity to serve India better; the veterans can play an important role in identifying genuine talents across the country. The game cricket should be freed from political maneuvering, controversy and regional bias. The interest of the nation is above everything else.



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