IPL has opened avenues for them

The IPL has proved to be a god send to Yusuf Pathan and to be fair, he is an ideal cricketer for the shorter version of the game. In fact, I for one felt that he was under-utilised in the World T20.

The razzmatazz is over and it is time for cricketers to get back to National duty and perform in international cricket. The coming tri-series will see cricketers getting back to their grind after six weeks of glamour and camaraderie brought forth by the assorted combinations in the IPL teams.

Of course, the camaraderie in the respective dressing rooms will prevail but on the field it will be a case of hard-nosed competition. The cricket lovers will look forward to cricket sans the cheerleaders and the incidental gimmicks but the enthusiasm of the public will be no less than it was during the IPL. The Indians will be expected to win the tri-series as they beat the World Champions on their home turf and in doing so, Dhoni and his boys have raised the expectations of the public

The composition of the team is an indication that the selectors have decided that there is no turning back as both Ganguly and Dravid have been ignored. Ganguly would have fancied his chances of a recall after some success in the IPL but the Prince of Kolkata will now realise that his one-day career is more or less finished. Whether he deserves a recall is debatable, but the selectors have shown consistency in not considering him.

Dravid had ceased to be a serious candidate for the one-dayers earlier than Ganguly which leaves the likes of Raina to take over the middle order slot. Raina has caught the attention of the selectors with his performances in the domestic circuit and the recent IPL matches. Besides, the failure of Tiwary to make an impression, has made his comeback trail smoother.

The IPL has also proved to be a god send to Yusuf Pathan and to be fair, he is an ideal cricketer for the shorter version of the game. In fact, I for one felt that he was under-utilised in the World T20. The elder Pathan is a powerful striker of the ball and can be a very useful off-spinner. He will have to prove his credentials when he gets the opportunities since he will be playing in the Sub-Continent where the conditions are similar to those that exist in India. With Harbhajan Singh out of the equation, Yusuf Pathan along with Ojha and Chawla will make up the spin trio. In terms of experience the trio is short on it, and it will be a challenge as well as a big opportunity for them. Chawla has been in good rhythm in the IPL games and he has shown that he has the variations to fox the batsmen.

Ojha has been making steady progress in the last couple of seasons and his inclusion is no surprise at all. The young lad from Hyderabad made his mark in the junior level and has gone to the senior level without any problems. I saw him in the NCA a few years as would have Dilip Vengsarkar when he was the chief TRDO and even then the left arm spinner showed a lot of promise. However, he needs to be nurtured properly as he is young and raw. Besides, he does have a tendency to go right across when he delivers which can give people ideas about his action. A few sessions with Venkatapathy Raju should help him get his alignment right and the sooner Ojha does it the better.

The selectors have not made the mistake of picking the team based on the IPL matches alone. However, some youngsters have made a good impression and need to be watched closely.

The likes of Manpreet Goni and Shikar Dhawan have acquitted themselves well and the latter should go down as one of the best fielders in the country. Dhawan has been a consistent run-getter for Delhi in Ranji Trophy and he played a critical role for the Daredevils too in the IPL. In as much as Dhawan been consistent, Badrinath has been another consistent performer who is finding it difficult to convince the selectors. It is harsh on a player if he is not given an opportunity to show what he is capable of. He might prove the selectors wrong in case they have preordained that he is not suitable for the one-dayers.

Rohit Sharma is a case in point as he has adapted to the demands of one-day cricket exceedingly well in a short span of time. He was not a big hitter when he started his first class career but when he got thrown into the deep end he has come out on top in style.

He will hopefully go on to become the backbone of the Indian batting line-up in the years to come but on current form, he is the best middle order batsman in the team. The young lad needs to be in good form if India has to do well in Bangladesh and Pakistan.