Bangalore, Aug 9: By recalling Rahul Dravid for the ODI and T20 leg of India's tour of England, the Indian selectors have justified their tag of being called a 'bunch of jokers'. Someone who is 38 years old and has not been in the limited overs format scheme of things for the last two years was suddenly deemed as a wise choice for a team that was just a few months ago crowned the world champions. No surprises if Rahul Dravid himself would be wondering as to what had struck him.
With the ODI crown firmly on the Indian team's head the selectors should have tried to invest in players who can ensure that a similar success can be reciprocated in the next world cup. Instead what they did was to opt for a stop-gap arrangement.
Enough of this blame game now, let us take a stock and see how the selectors could have fared better and not made a mockery of the World Champion's tag.
Mohammed Kaif: If selectors wanted someone with experience to hold the Indian middle order, then what wrong has this lad from Uttar Pradesh done. True, he has had a few mediocre series, but then was not he the man who scripted the famous victory in the Natwest Trophy finals of 2002. He might not have the flair of a Rohit Sharma or Suresh Raina, but he is a better fielder than any of these youngsters on display.
Recalling him might have appeared a bit weird, but if Dravid could be then Kaif's reinclusion would not have been that baffling. He has age on his side and is fitter than many in the current Indian squad. His batting might not be of Dravid's class, but as someone who has not done that badly in the limited chances that he got, his inclusion would surely have been a bold one.
Irfan Pathan: Ever since he burst into the international cricketing scene, there have been incessant conversations about how he could be the answer to India's long wait for a real all-rounder. True his bowling stocks have dipped over the years, but then there seems to be no plan in place to ensure that he hits the high strides again.
He could have been called up in the swing-friendly conditions in England to give him the leverage of suitable pitches to prove his case. No, that was not to be. He bats reasonably well and ideally should have been in the team for the ODIs and T20 to see whether the potential that he showed was for real or a fluke.
Yousuf Pathan: There cannot be a more baffling non-inclusion in the Indian ODI and T20 squad for the England series. For a man who tore through the likes of Steyn and Morkel for a brilliant century in the tough South African conditions, the English pitches should have been a ideal place to check his class.
With Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh out of the tour, his off-spinners could have proved to be a more handy option than that of Raina or Rohit Sharma.
Hopefully, the selectors decision to bring back Dravid for the ODI tour was a one-off one and they would do really well to aim for the future than fall back on the past. Or else, with all due respect, if they continue with such selections, one day we might even see VVS Laxman back in the ODI squad.