Team India For Asia Cup And ICC World T20 Cricket: Ishant, Raina Dropped! Why Captain Dhoni Spared?

The Indian Cricket Selectors today in Bangalore announced the Indian squads for the ODI Tournament Asia Cup and the ICC World Twenty20 and axed fast bowler Ishant Sharma from both the teams. This was expected largely due to some consistent poor cricket by Ishant, particularly in South Africa and New Zealand. Suresh Raina who had a string of dismal scores over the past few months was dropped from the one-day team for Asia Cup, but was retained for the ICC World Twenty20. Cheteshwar Pujara, the Test specialist, comes into the ODI team replacing Raina. In fact, both Ishant and Raina were dropped during the on-going India Tour of New Zealand. Struggling Yuvraj Singh has been accommodated in the T20 team, but not taken back in the ODI team.

Both of the tournaments are going to be hosted by Bangladesh. The Asia Cup starts on February 25 while the ICC Twenty20 World Cup begins from 16th March, 2014.

The moot question is why the Indian Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni goes on unscathed as if nothing has happened. He lost the ODI Series in South Africa 0-2 and in New Zealand 0-4. He lost the Test Series in South Africa 0-1 and now trailing New Zealand 0-1. His decisions, his inability to inspire the team and his on-field tactical strategy have been questioned widely. He could not do anything spectacular with the bat either. Apart from all these Dhoni is being reportedly implicated in the three-member Mudgal Committee Report on IPL Spot Fixing submitted to Supreme Court yesterday. The Supreme Court of India had appointed this committee headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal to do an independent inquiry. 

One police officer from Tamil Nadu is believed to have deposed before the Committee and made some startling revelations casting doubt on Dhoni for his possible involvement in fixing an IPL match between CSK (Chennai Super Kings) captained by him and Rajasthan Royals teams. The Committee has also named the owner of Rajasthan Royals to have indulged in betting through a contact. More crucially the Committee has implicated Gurunath Meiyappan for being involved in betting and passing information about his team. The Committee also confirms him to be an official of CSK, if not the owner. He is the son-in-law of BCCI President N Srinivasan. And who is Dhoni? Answers are not hard to find in this dirty saga of money, corruption and greed. Maybe Dhoni is still considered to be king like many of his team on slow and flat subcontinental pitches.

The Mudgal Report also names six Indian cricketers apparently involved in match fixing and a reputed one of them is still a part of the current Indian team. The Report has a sealed envelope too that will be opened only on 7th March when Supreme Court would start hearing on the IPL Spot Fixing case. With this report and Srinivasan and Dhoni continuing to be insulated how this cricket scam is going to affect the forthcoming tournaments is to be seen. More so, if that ‘reputed’ cricketer continues to be in the team. High time Dhoni comes out with some explanation after that ridiculous press conference last year when he decidedly kept dead mum playing to the tune of his BCCI bosses. What is more interesting, the big-money IPL-2014 Auction is going to be held on 12th and 13th February that is from tomorrow in Bangalore. The cricket mandarins must consider themselves lucky that the Supreme Court gave them some time to get it over with.

Team India For Asia Cup: MS Dhoni (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ambati Rayudu, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Varun Aaron, Stuart Binny, Amit Mishra, Ishwar Pandey

Team India For ICC World T20: MS Dhoni (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Stuart Binny, Amit Mishra, Mohit Sharma, Varun Aaron

The inclusion of Stuart Binny in both squads is significant. This means that the Selectors consider his all-round ability along with the tested ones like Jadeja and Ashwin keeping the ICC World Cup—2015 in mind. Binny would add some variety as he bowls medium pace. Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina too were not totally dispensed with, because they are most likely too to feature in the coming World Cup.


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