Dear BCCI, please convert a needless tour into an opportunity

Ritesh Misra Roar Guru

By Ritesh Misra, Ritesh Misra is a Roar Guru

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    My open letter to the BCCI.
     
    Dear BCCI,

    From 11th of November to 24th of December 2017, you organised a three-Test, three ODI and three T20 series between India and Sri Lanka. There were murmurs that there was a surfeit of India-Sri Lanka matches but you went ahead.

    We won the Test series 1-0, our skipper Virat Kohli piled up more than 600 runs and Ravi Ashwin took 12 wickets. We were happy at yet another series win. We then saw India win the ODI series 2-1 and the T20 Series 3-0.

    We were happier. 

    However, a thought lingered at the back of the mind. Did this affect preparations for the important forthcoming overseas series to South Africa?

    After all, South Africa, especially for Tests, is acknowledged to be one of the toughest propositions. India had never won a Test series there, and yet India was going to play the first Test of such a tough series without a single day of match practice.

    India quickly lost the first two Tests and therefore the series, but then thankfully pulled one Test back with a super win. We were relieved since a 1-2 loss is better than a 0-3 loss.

    India then won the ODI series 5- 1 and we were even happier. The Test series quickly became a distant memory for some. However, the long tour was not over.

    A three-match India South Africa T20 series would have to be played and would be followed by some much-needed rest before the IPL would start in April, followed by the all-important tour to England. Or so it was thought.

    But instead of the rest and recuperation, in March India is going to play the 2018 Nidahas Cricket Tournament which is organised to celebrate Sri Lanka’s 70th year of independence.

    It will be a three Nation T20 series between India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Both teams will play each other twice with the top two teams progressing to the final. 

    The query obviously arises as to whether this series is important from the point of view of Test cricket, from the players’ point of view and from the fans’ point of view. From the Test cricket point of view, India does have some players who play all the formats of the game and most of them would be playing the IPL too.

    Will this help for the forthcoming tough Test series to England? India has a potent bowling attack and just as they had never won a series in South Africa and had a realistic chance of doing so (but could not), similarly they have a realistic chance of winning their first series in England since 1986.

    Will this series help to attain that objective?

    From the players’ point of view, will it help hone their skill sets? All the matches will be played at Colombo so it will certainly help them develop a domain knowledge about the city, but how will it help them as players?

    What about fans? Will a surfeit of cricket not make them disenchanted from the wonderful game?

    BCCI, please have a thought at the answers to these questions.

    At the same time BCCI, why not convert this to an opportunity?

    Why don’t you go in for a brand new team to give exposure to players who have not had a feel of international cricket or those who have not made a permanent place for themselves in the regular Indian team?

    For a start, you can certainly think about giving regulars like Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jaspreet Bmraah a much-needed break.

    Virat Kohli runs between the wickets vs Pakistan

    (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

    Chances can be given to youngsters like Rishabh Pant or Sanju Samson to have a glimpse as to whether they are ready to fill in the shoes of MS Dhoni. Jayadev Unadkat and Shardul Thakur can get a chance to start as the new ball bowlers and Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel can continue to play as spinners with Hardik Pandya getting a chance to rediscover his form.

    Lokesh Rahul and Shreyas Iyer can get a chance to show they deserve a spot on the regular team. This series could even be an opportunity to blood some youngsters into the national team.

    Yes, the Sri Lanka Cricket Board will cry foul, they will say you have to send your strong team. Since they have been good and obliging neighbours, you would not like to ruffle their feathers, but then you have to think about the interests of Indian cricket and Indian players first. 

    BCCI, please convert this needless tour into an opportunity. 

    Thank you.

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    The Crowd Says (22)

    • Roar Rookie

      February 24th 2018 @ 5:26am
      savage said | February 24th 2018 @ 5:26am | ! Report

      Completely agree with this article.
      Except that, India’s last series win in England was in 2007.

      We gained nothing from that SL home series.Players like R Sharma cemented their test spot in place of Rahane.

    • February 24th 2018 @ 10:05am
      Paul said | February 24th 2018 @ 10:05am | ! Report

      So you’re suggesting showing respect to Sri Lanka’s invitation to help celebrate their 70th annniversary of independence by sending a second rate team? What political message is that sending? What cricket message is sending? In both instances it could be taken as a major slight by implying they’re a second rate country.

      I can absolutely guarantee this is the way India would perceive it if the situation was reversed and Australia, for example, sent a Seconds squad to India for a major celebration.

      By all means, rest a few players and try others, but taking out the bulk of the squad is inappropriate. It is a maximum of 3 T20 games

      • February 24th 2018 @ 11:56am
        Matt said | February 24th 2018 @ 11:56am | ! Report

        Agree with you paul but partially though. agree that not sending first choice players wont be appreciated by srilanka But ironically i do believe indias second string batmans are actuallly better at t20 than the first chosen ones. You can compare the top six. Dhawan,rohit,raina,kohli,pandey,dhoni to rishabh pant, ishan kishan,sanju samson, nitish rana, d hooda,w sundar. They have much higher striking power than the senior guys. If you remember thats how india won inaugural t20 world cup. All seniors were rested and young fearless guys were given chance who ended up winners.

        • February 24th 2018 @ 1:30pm
          Paul said | February 24th 2018 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

          hi Matt, I have no issues with a country sending what some might consider to be their second string batsman if, as you suggest, they’re actually better than the guys actually in the team. I also have no issue with some players being tried out in the first team, but deliberately sending an under strength team to a celebration Sri Lanka will no doubt take seriously ( as we did with the bi-centennial in 1988), it’s just not a good look

      • February 25th 2018 @ 1:18am
        Ritesh Misra said | February 25th 2018 @ 1:18am | ! Report

        why only a 3 nation T20 series between India and Bangladesh only with the Sri Lankans. Also it is not 3 T20 games but 5. 70th anniversary i doubt is a major celebration anyways . 75th is.

    • February 24th 2018 @ 11:01am
      Tanmoy Kar said | February 24th 2018 @ 11:01am | ! Report

      BCCI is less bothered about the Tests Series in England, they are more interested in making money.

      • February 24th 2018 @ 1:49pm
        Rats said | February 24th 2018 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

        That’s the heart of the problem and has been since the evil IPL

      • February 25th 2018 @ 1:20am
        Ritesh Misra said | February 25th 2018 @ 1:20am | ! Report

        Exactly . You have hit the nail on the head. However very soon fans will lose interest in the game if its not administered properly

    • February 24th 2018 @ 12:07pm
      Matt said | February 24th 2018 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

      India need to use this series to blood in guys like pant kishan and nitish rana and even nagarkoti. India s batting in t20 has far lesser fire power than other major teams. Only reason they winning most of times in short format is bcoz they have the best bowling line up in the world. Dhawan,rohit,pandey dhoni should make way for pant ,kishan,samson, rana.t20 batting these days is about ability to clear boundary unless ofcourse you are kohli.

      • February 24th 2018 @ 1:32pm
        Paul said | February 24th 2018 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

        Matt, why didn’t India take the chance to change things up when they played Australia last year in India?. Talk about meaningless series.

        • February 24th 2018 @ 10:40pm
          Matt said | February 24th 2018 @ 10:40pm | ! Report

          Paul, there are few reasons for that. One is having different players for short format. Such as dhawan, rohit, pandey, jadhaw and dhoni. That means resting them for series is never a valid reason as they only play 20 to 30 games a year anyway. Secondly its the culture and favourtism. E.g having a opinion on dropping dhoni or any senior player can ruin your career. Prime example is harsha bhogle. There is no way in the world anyone can justify dhoni,s place in t20 atleast and he still is a given in india s t20 side.

        • February 25th 2018 @ 1:24am
          Ritesh Misra said | February 25th 2018 @ 1:24am | ! Report

          Yes that too was a most meaningless series as well

    • February 24th 2018 @ 1:58pm
      Rats said | February 24th 2018 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

      Excellent letter. Agree completely. But we will be disappointed..
      Whole of India were proud about the India U19 boys. But nobody seem to care what happens to these players from now on.. do they make it to international level. If so, when. Who will be monitoring their transformation. Are they getting enough chances. I still remember how commentators were at awe of Unmukt Chand few years back in U19 WC. But he has still not made it to the indian team. What went wrong..
      There is something seriously wrong with the way bcci treats upcoming talents. Unless they fix it, there is no point boasting about having lots of talent and winning junior WCs.

      • February 25th 2018 @ 1:23am
        Ritesh Misra said | February 25th 2018 @ 1:23am | ! Report

        I agree. I think from the Unmukt Chand led team hardly anyone has gone on to play for the senior team. except Sandeep Sharma who did not do well either

    • February 24th 2018 @ 5:13pm
      DavSA said | February 24th 2018 @ 5:13pm | ! Report

      “yet India was going to play the first Test of such a tough series without a single day of match practice.” ….Yes Ritesh , it was absolutely daft crazy ignoramus planning. India have missed a golden opportunity to rewrite the history books and can only look back with regret.This Indian team is …and I am going to pin my colours to the mast…The best I have ever seen.They are uncharacteristically aggressive. Field exceptionally well ( what a difference Gary Kirsten made to that aspect of their game during his tenure) and although so much is made of the SA and Aussie pace attacks, India is right up there in that company . Searing pace and hitting good lengths right from the get go. Add in the worlds best spin attack for a bit of spice and top it off with a very solid batting lineup. I predict that they are going to be a threat to all teams for years to come. They do themselves no justice by playing abroad so seldom.

      • February 24th 2018 @ 6:13pm
        DavSA said | February 24th 2018 @ 6:13pm | ! Report

        Just to clarify ..It is the best Indian team I have ever seen . The best team ever for me was the Aussie side in the early 2000’s.

      • February 25th 2018 @ 1:22am
        Ritesh Misra said | February 25th 2018 @ 1:22am | ! Report

        Excellent points indeed. A golden chance was lost. The longish home series vs Sri Lanka was not required at all and rather the team should have visited South Africa two weeks earlier

        • February 26th 2018 @ 1:34pm
          Bakkies said | February 26th 2018 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

          The South Africa v India series was supposed to be four tests I hope Cricket SA asked for compensation.

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