No surprise as opaque Indian cricket board’s picks baffle again – The New Indian Express

The functioning of the Indian cricket board could appear baffling at times. Less than two months after removing former India all-rounder Chetan Sharma and the previous selection panel, the BCCI named him as the new committee chairman. Though the other four selectors are new, the choice of Sharma seems intriguing.

As always, there was no plausible explanation. The media will also not get a chance to hear the BCCI side of the story because the board has done away with press conferences after taking major decisions. It makes things more mysterious and opaque. The turn of events leading up to the change of selectors last year was pretty obvious. India did not win any International Cricket Council trophy. They failed to reach the final of two T20 World Cups, lost in the final of the World Test Championship and crashed out of the Asia Cup. The team’s overall performance was unremarkable, considering the BCCI is the world’s richest cricket body.

There were other issues too. The selection of the right person for the right format was one. More than once, the committee faltered, selecting players suited for T20 in the one-day international squad or those good for ODI taken in Tests. The workload management the BCCI tried to promote aggressively as an antidote to the frequent breakdown of players did not bring in desired results. Jasprit Bumrah, initially named in the ODI squad for the series against Sri Lanka beginning on Tuesday, found himself out of the reckoning 24 hours before the first ball. He missed the T20 World Cup, and till now, we don’t have a complete picture of his recovery from him.

Should Sharma lead the selection panel again if the selectors bungled last time? The only reasonable answer seems to be that the BCCI did not get names good enough to replace Sharma. If the other panel members are considered, apart from Sharma and Shiv Sundar Das, no one has played the requisite amount of top-flight cricket. This also indicates that elite players are reluctant to apply for the posts of selectors as most have lucrative IPL and commentary contracts. With the 50-over World Cup in India this year and the T20 World Cup next year, the selectors will be under immense pressure to find the right combination of players. The decision to split captaincy, too, would be another challenge. The BCCI has made its decision, but only time can tell whether it’s the right one.

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