While the Indian selectors have been spot on with most of their selections for the ICC World T20, yet there are a few decisions which were difficult to digest. Here is a list of players who had the potential to be in the squad, but were excluded for some reason or the other.
Robin Uthappa: One of the cleanest strikers of the cricket ball, Robin Uthappa played in all the matches of 2007 T20 World Cup and came up with some formidable knocks. Robin Uthappa is one of those rare Indian cricketers who doesn’t fear charging down the wicket even to the fast bowlers. Earlier this year, Uthappa was a part of the T20 squad that went to South Africa to play the one-off T20 match which indicated that the selectors were keen to include him in the playing eleven. But with Yuvraj back in the team, there was no place left for the hard-hitter.
Yusuf Pathan: The brutal right-hander hasn’t made most of the opportunities which came his way. The T20 format suits him the most but he was a big flop in IPL 2012. The KKR team went on to clinch the trophy but Yusuf failed to play a single innings of significance in the edition. His ability to strike the ball hard goes in his favour but his inconsistency was the big factor why he wasn’t included in the T20 squad.
Ravindra Jadeja: Just like Yusuf, Jadeja has been not been consistent in recent times. He was a regular part of the India ODI squad for some time and Dhoni could see a good all-rounder in his Chennai Super Kings mate which is probably why he kept giving him opportunities. Jadeja failed to capitalise on them and he couldn't do much in this season of the IPL as well. With Ashwin performing his duties pretty well with the bat and the ball, the selectors couldn’t find a reason to include Jadeja in the squad.
Umesh Yadav: Surprisingly, Umesh Yadav has been left out of the T20 squad and Laxmipathy Balaji made the cut for the final tournament. Indian team doesn’t have a genuine fast bowler who can trouble the opponents with the pace and this could be a costly decision for the Men in Blue. The selectors might have zeroed in on Balaji on the basis of his ability to bowl good slower ones in death overs and his good show in IPL and Ranji only asserted his place in squad.
Pragyan Ojha: A cricketer has to be special if someone like Sourav Ganguly keeps on lavishing praise on him. He is India’s experienced left-arm spinner with a lot of variety and he could have been a tough one to handle at the Sri Lankan pitches. It is hard to make out why Piyush Chawla was preferred over the left-arm spinner.
Ajinkya Rahane: Even a terrific show at IPL 2012 couldn’t cement his place in the squad. He was considered as a Test specialist before he shocked everyone at IPL 2012 where he hit two centuries and impressed the veterans of the game with his variety of strokes. Keeping his good form in mind, the selectors could have easily included the talented youngster ahead of Rohit Sharma.
First Published: Sunday, September 16, 2012, 19:50