Team's success makes selectors' job easy

With the 3-0 victory over Australia in the recent T20 series making it comfortable for the selectors to retain the "winning combination" it is difficult to foresee a new name getting a look in.

the 3-0 victory over Australia in the recent T20 series will make it comfortable for the selectors to retain the “winning combination”.   -  AP

The National selectors will have very little to do when they sit down today to choose the T20 squads for the upcoming Asia Cup in Bangladesh and the World Cup at home.

Since skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is known to advocate a team including seven batsmen and four bowlers in the shortened format, it remains to be seen how a fit-again Ajinkya Rahane is accommodated in the probable playing squad.

With the 3-0 victory over Australia in the recent T20I series making it comfortable for the selectors to retain the “winning combination” – something Dhoni has preferred over making experiments – it is difficult to foresee a new name getting a look in.

Unlike Australia, that made six changes from the squad that lost the opening T20 encounter, India is not expected to make changes just for the sake of it.

Manish Pandey, who scored a century in a winning cause in the fifth ODI against the Aussies, has every reason to feel optimistic of keeping his place in the T20 squad after making the cut for the three-match series against Sri Lanka.

Quite understandably, Pandey cannot be dropped without being seen in action against the Lankans. Rahane, on the other hand, has proved himself consistently in all three formats. It must also be remembered that Rahane’s injury provided Pandey a chance and the Karnataka batsman responded by scoring a century before putting the finishing touches to India’s morale-boosting record chase.

With speedsters like Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav dropped against Sri Lanka for consistently lacking discipline in their line of attack in crunch situations, the selectors have made it clear that in their opinion, on sub-continent’s pitches, India can pull it off through its slower bowlers. With rookies like Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya doing enough, the selectors already stand vindicated with their experiments with youth.

However, it would have been better for the aspirants and the selectors if these teams could be announced after the three-match series against Sri Lanka. But as things stand, in all fairness, the selectors have very little choice but to back the combination that blanked Australia, never mind if the host was firmly in an ‘experimental mode’ ahead of the World Cup.

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