When the selectors sat down to select the Indian cricket team for the first three matches of the five-match ODI series against Australia, every cricket fan was eagerly waiting to find out if Yuvraj Singh will make it to the squad or not. But, once again, the southpaw has been left out of the side. Yuvraj, the man who made his India debut at the age of 19, the destroyer who smashed 6 sixes in an over, the conqueror who has won an U-19 World Cup, T20I World Cup, ODI World Cup and Champions Trophy, the fighter who came back from the dead to play for India again is now the fallen hero who is no longer a part of BCCI’s plans.
Even though the selection committee headed by MSK Prasad has maintained that Yuvraj has been left out as part of their rotation policy, the recent pattern suggests otherwise. The top 16 players of the country will be playing against Australia including the likes of captain Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni among others.
The Duleep Trophy which includes three sides of 15-men each is currently being played and will go on until September 29, simultaneously with the Australian series. However, Yuvraj Singh wasn’t picked for any of these sides. In fact, another veteran Suresh Raina found a place in these 45 men, showing that he is still a part of selectors’ plans.
Now, before the start of the ODI series, Australia is also set to play a warm up match against the Board President’s XI. With 61 of country’s best players unavailable, selectors didn’t have too many options left so they turned towards IPL performers like Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana and MS Washington Sundar along with completely unknown entities like Delhi’s left-arm quick Kulwant Khejroliya.
Yuvraj could have been the perfect man to lead this side, having the kind of experience that he has, which also lends muscle to his claims for a place. But, once again he was overlooked by the selection panel. “Yuvraj’s fitness standards have fallen drastically and coach Ravi Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli have time and again indicated that a certain fitness standard is a must to make the cut in the national team. The selectors want to look ahead and so does the team management,” a BCCI official, privy to selection matters, told PTI on Thursday.
Players like Odisha’s Govinda Poddar and UP’s Shivam Chaudhary have also been picked based on some decent Vijay Hazare Trophy performances despite not even scoring 500 runs in the first-class season but Yuvraj wasn’t chosen.
If this selection pattern means anything, we might have to wait for a long time before watching Yuvraj in the blue jersey again.