How can India's cricket selectors be trusted?

How do we begin to evaluate their judgement in taking punts on players if we are forever confronted with the elementary errors they persist in making?

updated: September 28, 2011 17:24 IST
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Bangalore: John Buchanan's success with Australia is often credited to his being at the right place at the right time. He seems to have lost that sense of time and place ever since he finished with that world-beating side. When he came up with his idea of revolving captains in Twenty20 cricket, he couldn't have chosen a place more unsuitable for the experiment than Kolkata, given their unconditional love for Sourav Ganguly. Working with New Zealand now, Buchanan has put forth the concept of an administrative selection manager, a man who will maintain a record of players' statistics, fitness, availability and suchlike. Sorry Buck, wrong place again: if any national team needs such an administrative selection manager it is India, not New Zealand.

Consider last week's selection of the Rest of India squad for the Irani Cup. The BCCI release included a "B Suval" as one of the men to play the Ranji champions, Rajasthan. It left those who like to think they know domestic cricket scratching their heads. Forty-three minutes later, the next BCCI release revealed B Suval was actually the Delhi left-arm quick Pawan Suyal, who took 22 first-class wickets at 23.81 in the season gone by. However, 24 hours earlier, a Champions League Twenty20 release had said that Suyal was one of many injured Mumbai Indians players (which spate of injuries had resulted in the team being allowed the use of five overseas players). Suyal himself said he expected to be match-fit only in December.

The BCCI's email correcting the spelling of Suyal's name also mentioned that Jharkhand batsman Ishank Jaggi, originally included in the squad, was now excluded because of an injury. Jaggi's state association said he was fit and had been practising with the state team in their pre-Ranji camp. The selectors thought he was unfit because the NCA physio had reported to them that he needed surgery. The Jharkhand Cricket Association told the Indian Express that the said physio failed to get Jaggi an appointment with the surgeon, Andrew Wallace, and that the BCCI-appointed doctor, Anant Joshi, later advised that Jaggi no longer needed surgery. Jaggi wasn't given a fitness test before the selection and the non-selection.

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