By Jaideep Ghosh
Sunday night saw Dale Steyn steaming in against Mumbai Indians. What a sight! At the same time, what a waste. The best fast bowler playing for the worst IPL team, and defending only a 100 runs. And then you see people like Amit Mishra dropping sitters, you wonder if the bowler himself may not be wondering why he wasting his time.
Equally, we saw Ajinkya Rahane scoring heavily once more for Rajasthan Royals, in a losing cause. That is just one of the many ways that this promising youngster is being wasted.
One goes back to a BCCI release, announcing the India A squad for a tour of the West Indies. Rahane was on it. The man, who should be a certainty for the India team, is relegated to the India A team, for reasons that aren’t a secret.
This one is about how batsmen like Rahane and Manish Pandey are being wasted. I can wager my non-existent pension that Pandey would have done better than Rohit Sharma, given the same number of chances. Rahane, on the other hand, would have been a certainty for the India team, had Mr. Sachin Tendulkar not turned it into a ‘will I, won’t I’ pantomime.
The only reason Rahane is not playing, or hasn’t played off late, in Indian colours is because Tendulkar just won’t let go and no one will ask him to. So the man who was till Sunday afternoon wearing the Orange Cap in the IPL will play for India A. What a waste.
Sure, there aren’t any India matches till September, but the way things are going, Rahane will be played out of form by the time they arrive. He should have been left alone, nurtured for greater things. Not to mention getting injured playing inconsequential A-team games.
So while we always claim we look ahead, towards the future as a cricket team and a nation, the real potentials are left in the sidelines as players, who should in honesty make way for the younger lot, just would not give up. Like Oliver Twist, they want more. At least Twist had a reason.
Reflection alike of the fallacy of the IPL as a talent pool. How many batsmen or bowlers have five editions thrown up? Pandey was the next big thing, once he scored an IPL hundred. He doesn’t even make it to the India probables. Paul Valthaty is already in the past and many promising youngsters will play this format, and then vanish. Sure, they will make some money. But what does India gain in the larger scenario? Precious little.
By Jaideep Ghosh