The big news at the moment is Sachin Tendulkar's return to the one-dayers. It's the most sensationalised news item because Tendulkar had announced prior to the World Cup that he wouldn't be keen to play one-dayers after the World Cup, and he didn't play even against the weak West Indies.
But now that he is back, another performing youngster Ajinkya Rahane is out of the team after warming the bench for a month. Having got acclimatised, Rahane ought to have been retained. But when Tendulkar makes himself available, to apparently chase the 100th ton goal, selectors behave like obedient children.
They take upon themselves the responsibility of ensuring all the seniors in the team, irrespective of their form and fitness, are given a long rope to perform. It does appear that the selectors are suffering from a certain short-sightedness and banking more on the past than the present.
They let Tendulkar pick and choose series, turned a blind eye on the general fitness of seniors and, while dealing with Sehwag's irresponsible shot selections, perhaps thought bowlers were on the field only to help Sehwag entertain spectators.
Michael Clarke's men planned meticulously and executed the plan ruthlessly. After India's humiliating defeat to England and the none-too-comfortable win over West Indies, beating Australia in its homeland, with the young players available, didn't seem an easy prospect.
The BCCI did every possible thing to accede to the requests of the team management by not only extending the support staff to ensure players' fitness but also allowing a throw-down boy to accompany the team at the request of some of the seniors.
The senior members reached Australia two weeks prior to the Boxing Day Test. Apparently the schedule of the tour was approved by the team management. After the Melbourne and Sydney Tests there were enough days between the second and third and third and fourth Tests, but no practice game was organised.
What next is the question that needs to be addressed by the selectors. Are we going to let Tendulkar pick and choose? Isn't the game greater than the individual? Will we wait for seniors to move on so that they don't feel humiliated if they are dropped?
It's time to review the IPL. The Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) must be complimented for not letting its under-21 players participate in the IPL. At a time when most of the associations and their affiliated district units are busy conducting T20 tournaments, PCA's decision has to be backed by the BCCI.
The country expects the selectors to take some tough decisions. In 1969 when the experienced Chandu Borde and Rusi Surti (who was signed with Queensland), were dropped after the first Test against Lawry's Australians, Chairman of selectors Vijay Merchant had said, “I told the seniors to perform. Since they didn't, they had to make way for the hugely talented Gundappa Viswanath and Eknath Solkar.” Viswanath scored a century on debut.
Later Merchant picked Sunil Gavaskar and surprised everyone by replacing Pataudi with Wadekar. All his decisions proved to be beneficial to Indian cricket. Merchant had the courage of conviction. His duty was to make decisions, often against the wave. Can we expect Krish Srikkanth to take some bold decisions?