Listen from the heart: I am here with this podcast based on the cricketing activities of the week, Sanjay Banerjee ka Namaskar- Suno Dil Se. The mutual relations between India and Pakistan are now becoming an eclipse on international cricket, especially Asian cricket. This is not a new issue, the controversy has always been going on in some form or the other. The only difference is that Pakistan is going through a very bad phase now, and in such a situation the left hand does not understand what the right hand is doing.
The format of the Asia Cup is still in doubt and there is a question mark over Pakistan’s presence in the ODI World Cup to be held this year. The schedule of the World Cup has not been decided yet. Pakistan had objected to the venue of the two matches of the possible program announced by the BCCI, which has now been rejected by the ICC. The PCB had asked for the matches against Afghanistan to be held in Chennai and against Australia to be held in Bengaluru, to get it done somewhere else.
It is discussed that the PCB is a little worried about the strong spin attack of the opposition on both these grounds. Due to PCB, a match of 2016 T20 World Cup was changed from Dharamshala to Kolkata. This time the ICC has said that the change will be done only for security reasons.
Not only this, now the voice of Khilafat is growing in the Pakistan Board regarding the hybrid model of Asia Cup. Zaka Ashraf can become the new chairman of PCB. Najam Sethi has withdrawn himself from the claim of this post. The hybrid model was agreed upon by Nazam Sethi and the potential new chairman Zaka Ashraf said even before being appointed to the post that he was not at all happy with the hybrid model.
However, he has also said that he is not going to create any hurdle. The hybrid model emerged after India refused to go to Pakistan, under which four matches would be played in Pakistan and the rest in Sri Lanka. In this, host Pakistan will have to go to Sri Lanka to play India. The Pakistan Board has already said that the tour of Pakistan team for the World Cup in India will depend on the consent of the government.
By the way, the reality is that whether Pakistan wants it or not, it will have to do what the ICC says and needless to say that India has dominance in the ICC. The board is anyway going through a period of dire financial straits due to the avoidance of foreign teams from playing in Pakistan.
On the other hand, after losing the final of the WTC, the so-called introspection and enlightenment is going on for Team India. Next month, Team India has to go on West Indies tour and play in all three formats. There is a dilemma in front of the selectors regarding team selection for all three formats, which players to keep, which ones to bring, the brainstorming continues. Many senior players of the team are now in plus in terms of age, in such a situation, there is a debate on what shape India’s future team will take. Batsmen like Captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane cannot play till eternity. Same is the case with Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin in bowling. If India reaches the final of the Test Championship at Lord’s in 2025, then Rohit and Ashwin will be 35 years old. Pujara, Rahane, Virat, Jadeja and Shami will also be 34 years old, in such a situation what should be thought about their options in time.
The way no indications have been received regarding the team selection for the West Indies tour, one thing is clear from this that nothing special is possible other than minor changes on the lines of three leaves of Dhaka. It is also possible that some seniors may not join in the name of rest and youths will get a chance in their place. The condition of the selection committee is that even now there is no head of the selection committee formally.
Rohit Sharma’s captaincy is also a big question. Rohit is being blamed after the defeat in the final. Some of his decisions are under question. By the way, it is certain that Hardik Pandya will take over the reins of the team in T20 but whether the other two formats should remain with Rohit, the debate is on this issue.
Rishabh Pant was being touted as the future captain, but now he will have to throw everything in order to return to the field again. Jaspreet Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill can be looked at. If fit, Shreyas Iyer can also be considered. Among them, Bumrah has captained a Test against England two years ago, but his injury is not taking the name of complete recovery.
The way Australian captain Pat Cummins led from the front in the first Test of the Ashes series after the final is commendable. Similarly, the attitude shown by England captain Ben Stokes in the Birmingham Test was also excellent. In such a situation, the pressure on Rohit’s captaincy is even greater.
On the other hand, the West Indies team is worried because it has to play the first Test against India in Dominica on July 12. At present, the West Indies team is playing in the ongoing World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe and its final will also be held on July 9. It will not be easy for this team to play from white ball to red ball by traveling long distance in just three days. If the West Indies team does not reach the final, then one day’s extra time can be given. Still it is not easy at all.
In the latest ICC Test rankings, once again R. Ashwin has got the first position in bowling. He has been on top for a long time. No Indian is in the first ten in batting.
Meanwhile, Cheteshwar Pujara will again play for Sussex County after the West Indies tour. He was also playing in the County Championship before the WTC final. Arshdeep Singh has also made his debut for Kent. In his first match, this lefty bowler took four wickets against Surrey. Now Ajinkya Rahane will also play county matches for Leicestershire after the West Indies tour. Rahane has already played county for Hampshire after not being selected in the Indian team for the World Cup in 2019.
India’s domestic cricket season is starting this week. The first tournament is in the form of Duleep Trophy which will be held in Bangalore from June 28 to July 12. Six teams will participate in it. In the quarterfinals of the preliminary round, East Zone will compete with Central and North Zone will compete with Northeast Zone. In the main tournaments of the season, Deodhar Trophy will start from July 24, Irani Cup from October 1, Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in October, Vijay Hazare Trophy in November and Ranji Trophy from January 5.
And finally women’s cricket
India’s women’s A team won the T20 Emerging Asia Cup title by defeating Bangladesh by 31 runs in the final held in Mongkok city of Hong Kong. India had scored 127 runs, in response to which Bangladesh team got reduced to only 96 runs. India’s spin trio Shreyank Patil took four wickets, Mannat Kashyap three and Kanika Ahuja took two wickets.
Earlier, India A’s semi-final match against Sri Lanka A could not be played due to rain. Not only this, India’s league matches against Pakistan and Nepal could not be played due to rain. In the only league match played, the Indian team defeated the hosts Hong Kong. So that was it, our podcast of the week’s cricketing activities – Suno Dil Se. See you again next week, allow Sanjay Banerjee, Namaskar.