Awana T20 trial, an error
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In a statement announcing his retirement from ODI cricket, Sachin Tendulkar defended the timing of the decision with a pertinent point. By insisting he didn't want to be a stick in the mud of the 'preparatory process to defend the World Cup in 2015,' he also provided a logical vision to Sandeep Patil & Co for the future of Indian cricket.
On the same day, the Indian selectors proved they weren't on the same wavelength as Tendulkar by picking for the Pakistan series, an ODI squad that reeked of a lack of vision. How else would you explain them leaving out a fast bowler, Parvinder Awana, whom they had groomed over two seasons to be an all-format performer, and opting instead for Ishant Sharma, whom they had discarded from their 50-over plans till recently?
Delhi's Awana was picked for the Nagpur Test against England on the back of two solid seasons of domestic cricket. He was then benched before being thrown into the deep end with two T20s on flat wickets in Pune and Mumbai. So in the selectors' opinion, he is good enough for Tests and T20s but is somehow found wanting in the ODI format.
The one pick that really symbolises the muddled mind of the selectors is Ishant's recall, especially when he's been found wanting even in Test cricket of late. The same goes for the surprise return of Amit Mishra in place of Piyush Chawla.
While Patil & Co were lauded for a couple of bold steps at the start of their tenure, a number of their decisions make you wonder whether they've lost the plot or they're plotting an obscure plan based on some whimsical Russian roulette.
Bharat is a senior correspondent based in Mumbai
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