New Talent

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 26 Jun 2017 14:30:05

FORMER captain Rahul Dravid, who is also the coach of the under-19 team, has given a timely call to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the national selectors to take a decision on Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh continuing in the team.

Dravid obviously has an eye on the preparation for the World Cup to be held in 2019. Already Yuvraj and Dhoni, who have played over 300 one-dayers, innumerable test matches and 20Twenty games, are showing signs of diminishing reflexes and energy to withstand the rigours of intense competition that modern day cricket entails. There is bound to be further diminishing of their energy levels two years hence.

And therefore Dravid’s advice needs to be taken in the right spirit and in the interest of the national team. The contribution the two players have made to Team India’s rise as a force at international level is part of a legend and glorious history.

Millions of fans will never forget their stellar role as the strong pillars of Indian team. But it must be acknowledged that years of intense competition at the highest level begins to take its toll even on the strongest ones and Yuvraj and Dhoni could not be exception to that natural inevitability. Mentally both may be strong but there comes a phase in a career when the call of the body has to be responded to.

The reflexes of Yuvraj Singh, who, besides his phenomenal batting prowess, was also known for his stupendous fielding skills, was a pale shadow of the past during the recently concluded Champions Trophy. His batting scores too did no credit to his reputation as a marauder of bowlers. The same is the situation with Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

He too has lost much sheen in his batting. Hence Dravid’s suggestion to have a look at these two players’ place in the team, especially in the light of the forthcoming World Cup, was very prudent. Even during the current tour of West Indies captain Virat Kohli seems to be in a dilemma whether to persist with Yuvraj.

When such questions become so obvious it is better to have a timely rethink. Fortunately there is a very strong pool of highly talented young cricketers in the country, both among bowlers and batsmen, who are certain to make the grade and would prove worthy replacements for these great cricketers, who undoubtedly are ageing.

In fact it is right time to expose young talented players to the intensity of international cricket. And Rahul Dravid is in a better position to judge the talent as he has been grooming young cricketers as the coach of the under-19 team. Of course entry into the Indian team is no longer an easy job because of the intense competition among young cricketers. That augers well for Indian cricket.