MUMBAI: In a classic case where the left doesn’t know what the right is doing, BCCI has been busy this week going around in circles on a decision that affects the Indian cricket team.
On June 28, Indian team manager Girish Dongre wrote an email to coach president Chetan Sharma – in accordance with Board protocol – requesting two substitutes in the Indian team, one as replacing after the exit of Shubman Gill another drummer.
Substitutions have been requested primarily for two reasons: a) Following Gill’s injury, the bench has a vacant place for an opener; b) Another top notch batsman because the Indian team will be based in England for two months and if another unfortunate injury were to occur, the quarantine rules will not allow substitutions and last minute trips.
It’s been a little over a week already and Sharma did not respond to the email. TOI asked Sharma if he had received the email and the former Indian pacemaker said: “You need to talk to the BCCI operations team”.
There was no response from the operations team.
The Indian team is panicking in England, in view of a series that it aims – in a way – as one of the “last frontiers”. Connoisseurs say, “Even if BCCI doesn’t want to send in any replacements why not just point it out. That way Virat and the rest of the guys can focus on what’s at hand.”
The BCCI, little known for its communication, remains unfazed and has not found the time or the need to respond to the letter.
For the record, the letter sent by the team manager does not ask which cricketers should be sent as a replacement. The letter only calls for replacements and it is solely up to the national coaches – Sharma and her colleagues – to come to a decision.
Meanwhile, in Sri Lanka, the management of the Indian team – overseeing the white balloon series with the island nation – are unsure whether Prithvi Shaw and / or Devdutt Padikkal will be in attendance for the entire series or may need to attend. make it to England. “Even if they don’t have to travel and BCCI have no plans to replace England, at least not those two names, then the board can at least say clearly ‘no’ about it and put an end to it, ”the sources say.
BCCI sent a jumbo team to Australia in November last year, a team that turned out to be a bullet in the arm for the team. Despite the injuries that accumulated during the tour, the team management had adequate replacements thanks to the volume of the bench.
“They have only sent 24 cricketers to England, four of whom are on hold. Abhimanyu Easwaran has done well in first class cricket, but is it fair to make his debut against James Anderson, Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad ? KL Rahul is not considered an opener but in the middle order. So if Gill’s injury requires a replacement, and if there is time to fly in one, what’s the harm? ”
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The 25-year-old Bengal batsman is clearly a talent to be pursued. “But rushing it like that and not listening to what the team think is not a healthy sign,” sources said.
Ultimately, if BCCI is to consider and respond to Team India’s demands is a call that must be taken by the national coaches and the secretary of the Council, who calls the selection meetings. But not communicating with the Indian team is where BCCI is going wrong right now.