What I like about two decisions taken today by the Indian team is that they are being realistic and helpful.
The first decision was to send Irfan back home to play in the two Ranji games and get some match practice and let him sort out his issues by playing more games rather than bring the drinks for the team.
That’s being realistic. He is certainly not ready to play a test (not after going 0-74 in 11 against a b-grade side in a 2-day game). If he is held out in South Africa, he will not get any better because you can only do so much during match days in terms of practice. In fact, what the break did for Zaheer and Ganguly, may well be the case for Irfan and we certainly need him for the World Cup. So the earlier we stop the slide, the better. Good call, captain, coach. Thank you for not getting sucked in Gavaskar’s hype about making Pathan open the innings and somehow including him in the side!
Speaking of the opening slot brings me to the next decision. The XII announced today has no Gambhir but has Jaffer. This despite failing in the one dayers and the first test, and also the two side matches.
That’s being helpful. The captain and the team management has shown some confidence in his abilities and I really hope that he can come out of this bad patch quickly. If Sehwag has been given such a long run, why not Jaffer. Its bad for Gautam, but the fact is that he is #3 opener in the squad so he has to be ready for the call any time. That’s it.
I see only Munaf coming in for VRV because I don’t think India will opt for one more bowler sacrificing a batsman.
Congratulations, Indian team management.