Tuesday, January 25, 2022

India tour of South Africa: Dravid brings back another Kumble era policy, ‘All players must play domestic to be eligible for selection’

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India tour of South Africa: BCCI’s diktat to players – play domestic – After bringing back handing over debut caps by former India players, Rahul Dravid has restarted yet another Anil Kumble-era policy. Players who are going out of the team due to fitness issues and poor form must play in domestic cricket to be eligible for selection again. The practice stopped for a while during Ravi Shastri’s tenure but Dravid has brought in back to life. The reason? Hardik Pandya’s selection debacle. Follow India tour of South Africa on InsideSport.IN.

During Anil Kumble’s tenure, there was a clear diktat from the BCCI and the selectors, ‘play domestic, prove yourself and come back’. But during Shastri’s tenure, the practice didn’t take precedence due to back-to-back matches. But it has changed. Confirming the development, a senior BCCI official told InsideSport that Rahul Dravid has been very clear on playing domestic cricket, especially for the players who are Test specialists.

“The policy was always there but it wasn’t strictly followed in the last few years. Rahul has made it mandatory for players to play in domestic cricket barring multi-format players. It’s very simple, if you are injured and recover, you have to play in domestic to prove that you are completely fit,” a senior BCCI official told InsideSport.

Also Read: India Tour of South Africa: Ravindra Jadeja likely to miss South Africa tour, Shubman Gill also doubtful due to injury, check details

India tour of South Africa: Rahul Dravid brings back another Anil Kumble era policy, ‘All players must play domestic to be eligible for selection’

India Tour of South Africa: Why is Rahul Dravid forcing players to play domestic cricket?

  • While IPL performance has been one of the selection criteria, Dravid wants to change that.
  • For Test selection, IPL performance cannot be taken into consideration.
  • The recent Hardik Pandya injury debacle is one that has been closely monitored by all and the BCCI isn’t happy with that.
  • Dravid wants to ensure all the players who are coming back to the team after injury layoff are completely fit.
  • If Hardik wants to come back, he has to play Ranji Trophy as he has already opted out of Vijay Hazare Trophy.
  • Since he isn’t featuring in the Vijay Hazare, he will not be eligible for selection in ODI team for South Africa tour.

IND vs ENG: डे -नाइट टेस्ट मैच के लिए Hardik Pandya को मौका मिलेगा या नहीं ?

India tour of South Africa: Rahul Dravid brings back another Anil Kumble era policy, ‘All players must play domestic to be eligible for selection’

Also Read: Hardik Pandya injury: BCCI official to InsideSport, ‘Hardik Pandya thinking of Test retirement for the sake of white-ball cricket’

InsideSport has learnt that Rahul Dravid jump-started the policy after Hardik Pandya’s selection debacle. Junior Pandya brother came back to the team directly after his surgery banking on his IPL participation. During the entire IPL 2020, he didn’t bowl and had a disappointing season with the bat. In the T20 World Cup, despite chairman of selection committee Chetan Sharma declaring that he would bowl, his bowling was limited to just four overs. He was dropped from the New Zealand series at home.

India tour of South Africa: Rahul Dravid brings back another Anil Kumble era policy, ‘All players must play domestic to be eligible for selection’

Furthermore, Shreyas Iyer too returned to the national team setup after shoulder surgery without playing any domestic match. He was amongst India’s reserves for T20 World Cup. But it is expected to change and the first in the line will be Hardik Pandya.

Even though the flamboyant all-rounder has opted out of Vijay Hazare Trophy as he is undergoing rehabilitation in Mumbai, he will have to play in the Ranji Trophy (January 13-March 20) to be eligible for selection.

Ishant Sharma playing for Delhi in a Ranji Trophy match

“See, one must understand the systems in place. We have a world-class domestic structure and there is no harm in testing their mettle in Hazare or Ranji. Players will also gain confidence. Hardik has been low on confidence and before he returns as an all-rounder, he has to prove he is fully fit. He has to come to the NCA and also play in the Ranji Trophy,” the senior BCCI official told InsideSport.

India tour of South Africa: Rahul Dravid brings back another Anil Kumble era policy, ‘All players must play domestic to be eligible for selection’

Earlier, InsideSport reported that Hardik is contemplating Test retirement to prolong his white-ball career. His back injury in the last two years has plagued him and kept him out of bowling action. But the India team management is clear, Hardik must be fully fit to bowl a full quota of overs to be eligible for selection. Arguably one of the best all-rounders India has ever produced, Hardik Pandya is now taking a break from cricket to make a comeback.

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