India touched another low on Thursday when they were beaten comprehensively by Zimbabwe twice inside one week. Indian batsmen surrendered meekly against the disciplined Zimbabwean bowling attack and did not give their bowlers enough runs to defend.
With the loss, there chance of making to the June 9 final also became very slim as they are now lying at the bottom of the points table and will have to win their game against Sri Lanka. They will also hope that Zimbabwe go past the Lankan Lions in their encounter.
The Indian side came to play the tri-series with their second-string team. A number of senior players including captain MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra were given rest, while many new faces were given a chance.
It was a gamble taken by selection panel, headed by K Srikkanth, to try out so many young players all at once rather than mixing them with few experienced pros. Most of them failed completely and so also the chance taken by the panel.
The selectors also did not seem to have learnt from the other top playing nations, especially Australia, that it is vital to test the bench strength on a regular basis but keeping the winning momentum going is equally important. Major teams send their junior side to tour countries, especially before the scheduled tour of their senior side to that country, so that the fringe players get used to the conditions there and come into selection reckoning immediately if needed.
Though, BCCI fields its senior side in as many series as they could in a calendar year, but it hardly thinks about sending junior players to tour different nations. Indian A side is touring England at present and some of the players playing here should be a part of that side. And what is the point sending the A side to England now if the senior team are not to tour UK in the near future? Instead, they should have been sent to South Africa, where India will be at the end of the year.
The result of the series being played at present will hardly make any difference to the coffers of the world’s richest cricket board but it has already tarnished the country’s image and has affected the morale of the players who are still very new to perform on the stage.