Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) sacked the national selection committee led by Chetan Sharma; India failed in multiple ICC tournaments.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have sacked the national selection committee led by Chetan Sharma recently, without even intimating them, as it invited applications to fill those positions.
Was BCCI so upset with their performance or rather the India men’s team’s outcomes that it had no choice but to sack the committee? What could be the possible reasons for it? Let’s take a look.
India’s poor performance in ICC events and failure in Asia Cup
India’s jinx with ICC trophies continued during the Chetan Sharma-led committee era. First, India lost the World Test Championship (WTC) 2019-21 final against New Zealand in Southampton, although they were the best team leading to the final. Then, India were knocked out of two successive T20 World Cups on a rather embarrassing note. In T20 World Cup 2021, India first met with a 10-wicket loss against Pakistan and then lost against New Zealand in the Super 12 stage which eventually led to their elimination from that stage itself. In T20 World Cup 2022, India were knocked out by England who beat the former by 10 wickets in the semis.
As much as a team is known for its failures or wins in ICC trophies, a selection committee is also accountable for the team’s showings. Hence, the writing was on the wall for Chetan Sharma and his men once India lost to England in the 2022 World T20 semis.
Coming to Asia Cup 2022, India were not focussed on winning the tournament. They took it more as a preparation ground for World T20 2022. And this mindset failed them with India losing out on a place in the final. On the other hand, Sri Lanka played great competitive cricket to win a tournament after being beaten by Afghanistan in the first game of the tournament.
Musical chair of captaincy
Since the Chetan Sharma-led selection committee took over, India’s captaincy was passed on from one player to another, bringing instability to the team. As many as 8 players were handed the captaincy in just a year, making the Indian team the butt of all jokes on various fora.
Different captains were chosen for various reasons, ranging from injury to regular captain Rohit Sharma, or India fielding different teams in simultaneously held tournaments or bilateral series or rest or injury to the next-in-line skipper.
Picking KL Rahul after an 8-month injury gap, and rushing Jasprit Bumrah early
The selection committee erred in selecting players who were yet to get in the groove post their return from injury. A case in point is KL Rahul who was picked right after his return from injury and not asked to play any domestic cricket to prove his fitness. The result was that Rahul struggled to regain form, and with a struggling partner in Rohit Sharma, it created more opening woes for Team India. Another player who was rushed from injury was Jasprit Bumrah who broke down soon after a match or so on return, and had to miss the World T20.
Not rewarding IPL or domestic performances
BCCI selection committee was guilty of not rewarding domestic or IPL performances to the extent it should have. Hence, one saw Mohammed Shami, who had an outstanding IPL 2022, only being recalled at the last minute for World T20 2022, after Bumrah was ruled out due to injury. The likes of Prithvi Shaw and Sarfaraz Khan, who are making heads turn in domestic cricket, have been regularly ignored for a place in the national team.
The selection committee was also guilty of not managing the workload of players in an efficient manner. Hence, there were too many incidents of players being rested on just whims and fancies, leading to star players making a joke about the workload management system. Star seniors could just choose to play any series they liked, skipping the not-so-important ones.
Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar pointed out the loophole in the system by pointing out that these same star players would not dare to skip IPL games as a lot will be at stake, and also face pressure to play the tournament from the team owner/management, but they increasingly skip national commitments on the grounds of excess workload.