BCCI must introduce ranking system

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HOPEFUL: Saurashtra’s prolific batsman Cheteshwar Pujara can be considered for the Indian middle order.
HOPEFUL: Saurashtra’s prolific batsman Cheteshwar Pujara can be considered for the Indian middle order.

We cannot have two sets of selectors going in two different directions, writes Makarand Waingankar

Cricket Australia has recently launched performance oriented ranking system for the players. The system based on statistics and cumulative points system will not only motivate the players to compete with other players, but they would also get to know the benchmark for getting selected for a State team.

This system will get rid of bias and nepotism which are rampant in the Indian cricket selection process. The ranking system works on the principle of awarding points for performance in all the aspects of the game. By and large the system ensures that players get some direction, which is what is missing in Indian cricket.

One wonders whether Saurashtra’s prolific scorer Cheteshwar Pujara’s name figures in the discussion of the National Selection Committee. Here is a player who has been scoring double and triple hundreds from the age of 12.

Of course his State is to be blamed for making him bat in the middle order when he has always been an opener.

The coach perhaps is keen to use the quality of Pujara’s batsmanship to the team’s advantage in putting up nothing less than 600 runs.

But having batted in the middle order for long, Pujara could not be considered for the opener’s slot in the Indian team. Surely he can now be discussed for a slot in the middle order.

Another case is of Yogesh Takawale of Maharashtra who was picked for the Challengers and India ‘A’ apart from being part of the Mumbai Indians, but was not found good enough to be in the State squad. Funnily, though Surendra Bhave represents Maharashtra and West Zone in the National Selection Committee, he is not in the State Selection Committee.

Flawed process

Ideally, the national selector ought to be heading the respective State and Zonal Selection Committees; only then there would be a trickle-down of the same selection logic. The fact that many of the players picked for the Challengers were not part of their zonal teams indicates the process is flawed. We cannot have two sets of selectors going in two different directions.

The performance-based ranking system ought to be introduced gradually in junior cricket where cases of blatant nepotism and corruption are reported. Though many State selectors are paid remuneration, they continue to be unprofessional in their approach. With ranking system in Indian cricket, no player who has not performed will even be considered. Only the players who have met all the criteria will figure in the discussions.

Talent is subjective. It has to be backed by performances. Such subjective parameters are used to drop a player who belongs to opposite camp in the State politics. The list is big. Compare R. Satish’s skill level in batting and fielding to any of the players in the Indian team in the ODI and one is confounded as to how a player of that class couldn’t find a place in the Indian ODI team before he switched over to the rebel league.

At a time when India’s young team is doing exceedingly well, the BCCI must introduce the ranking system and allow the live-telecast of the proceedings of the Selection Committee. The leaks in Indian cricket affect the morale of the team. Let BCCI be the first Board to show to the cricketing world that they care for transparency.

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