Published- 25th March
Edited- 9th June
Favoritism in Indian Cricket
Indian cricket team has been performing well over the last few years in all formats of the game. However, we have observed few aspects of the team selection which have looked weird. It is very much prevalent that favoritism exists everywhere and Indian cricket is no exception to it.
During the IPL 2020, T Natarajan was about to become a father, rather than being allowed to go back to be with his family, he was strictly told to be with the team and play the IPL playoffs.
The sad part is that even after the completion of IPL, he was told to fly to Australia and be with the team as a net bowler. He could meet his newly born child only after 3 months of his delivery. Virat Kohli on the other hand went back to India just after the first test for the same reason and he was granted leave easily.
The team management should understand that the right players should be backed at the right time. KL Rahul performed horribly in the first 4 matches still he was dropped only in the 5th T20I with England, while Shikhar Dhawan failed in the first T20I and he was shown exit door for the remaining of the series.
In the last few years, the captain in Team India has become very powerful. It is up to the team management to say who will play in the final 11 but in reality the decision taken by the captain. And due to these powers, the captain keeps giving his favorite player a chance even after a very poor form.
Rishabh Pant exclusion from the playing XI in ODI is also one of such examples.
The cricket pundits have said that it is due to Virat Kohli’s motive to give KL Rahul more chance so that he can cement his place in the ODI team. Also, Ravichandran Ashwin’s exclusion from Team India in the limited-overs squad can also be termed as one of the tactics.
They want Washington Sundar to be groomed for the international level. But Ashwin has performed well as a player in recent times and he deserves an ODI comeback.
During the 2013-2014 season, MS Dhoni was accused of picking a lot of CSK team players on the national side. The commentators were fuming about the selection of Mohit Sharma over Umesh Yadav at that time given the fact that Umesh Yadav was performing even better than Mohit Sharma.
Also Read : IPL 2021 : KL Rahul’s Cricketing Journey
Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag has also criticized team management for persisting with few players and giving less chance to the rest. He said that everyone should be treated equally.
Even the great Sunil Gavaskar has also many times highlighted the issue of the captain picking and choosing a certain player for a longer period of time irrespective of his failures.
Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav was not considered in the final Test against Australia ( India tour to Australia 2020-21) when India had neither Jadeja nor Ashwin available for selection. It is shown that Yadav was not the favorite of team management though he is talented and he has proven so many times. This is also the finest example of favoritism in Indian Cricket.
It is very clear that favoritism has been prevalent in team selection. The coach and the captain should realize that players who are in good form should be backed and those who are struggling should be rested.
This will also give some much-needed rest for these non-performing players so that they can rectify whatever mistakes they do and come back stronger.