India in Zimbabwe : More CSR than competition
Image Credits: Indianexpress.com
BCCI is no doubt the richest and the most powerful cricket board in the world. And it seems it has taken up responsibility of reviving cricket in some of the minnow nations. Zimbabwe on this occasion is the esteemed side. The idea of increasing cricket between the regular teams with the minnows is no doubt a great idea. We as viewers would love to see the sport develop into a more competitive idea between more and more teams and not just the top 6 or 7 teams. Bangladesh for instance has come up pretty well and have played some consistent cricket in the past couple of years or so beating top teams like India and South Africa in bilateral series.
Every top team should play at least a couple of tournaments with the weaker teams to give them the sense of belonging and some decent exposure to world class batting and bowling as well. That is how they will learn.
India’s tour of Zimbabwe by all means was a good thought that was ill practiced by BCCI. The Indian team selection for this series was full of contradictions. Not for individual players but for the thought process behind this selection.
As far as I understand the proceedings of the game in our country, we have a team called India – A. This is the team comprising of the most promising players in India after the senior team. This India A team plays all across the globe with the senior and A teams of other nations quite regularly. So if the senior team is not available, in all likelihood and fairness the A-team should be playing. But the BCCI did not think so.
Most players from the A-team were not picked and the selection was entirely based on the IPL performance of the players except for that of Faiz Fazal.
BCCI surely thinks that teams like Zimbabwe need to play bigger teams like India but on the other hand, send depleted team to play. The whole idea goes down the drain this way because of the hypocrisy of the board. Zimbabwe ended up playing a third rate Indian side. The result still shows that even this team was way above the Zimbabwean team at the moment but the whole scenario was different as Zimbabwe did not get to play and learn against the top Indian players. So the whole idea of helping them come up as a team had been diluted.
To think of positives, the players who would not get a chance to play for India in normal times have tried the national uniform and caps. The bench strength has been tested and they applied themselves well. As far as Zimbabwe is concerned, I doubt they would have picked up anything new. So the world is the same for most except maybe KL Rahul who now holds the record for being the only Indian to score a century on his ODI debut.