Indian selectors shouldn’t forget players’ previous contributions for India before IPL: Irfan Pathan

The 17th edition of the Indian Premier League 2024 is nearing its playoff stage with the  T20 World Cup 2024  in the West Indies and the USA approaching in June. Team India are facing a major dilemma while picking their 15-member squad for the shortest-format World Cup and former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan has opined that the selection should not be done over the IPL 2024 performances rather the selectors should consider the previous international performances.

Irfan Pathan, Commentator & Cricket Expert with IPL official TV Broadcaster, opined on Star Sports Press Room Show, Ticket to World Cup about the recency bias not being a factor in the IPL in selecting a World Cup squad: “I was part of the Indian team when Cheeka sir was a selector. I got injured and was dropped from the team after that, despite having played for India. No, no, that’s the truth. But I’ll tell you, I have no qualms at all. I have great respect for you, but I’m saying, at that time, the situation was different. The mindset, perhaps of the captain or the selection committee, was different.

“But let’s talk about the 2010s. Wriddhiman Saha was literally out of the team for a year due to injury. When he recovered, he returned to the squad and made it into the Playing XI after a year. A year is indeed a long period of time. The Indian team considered what he had contributed in the past before his injury. They didn’t want to undervalue that; rather, they wanted to acknowledge it. So, they decided to give him some matches and see how he performs.”

Irfan added, “When you’re in a selection committee, you shouldn’t forget a player’s previous contributions for India, even before the IPL. You should never forget that, and I’m not referring to events from too far back. This should always be taken into consideration. Just because some players are performing well in the IPL, it doesn’t mean they should automatically be selected. In the IPL, there are always one or two uncapped bowlers who can be easily smacked due to small grounds and flat pitches. However, international cricket is a different beast altogether. You’ll have five bowlers, each with a significant number of matches under their belt before entering the World Cup, bringing in tons of experience. You’ll be up against top-quality bowlers like Mitchell Starc.

“While Starc’s performance in the IPL may differ, you’ll still be facing top-quality bowlers. For instance, from Sri Lanka, you might face someone like Pathirana. But you’ll also have the other four bowlers, who are top-quality performers. So, don’t overlook their contributions. While considering recent performances is important, remember their achievements for the Indian team before the IPL as well.”

Irfan dismissed the opinion that India played a young team in their championship-winning inaugural T20 World Cup. He said, ” So the question you’ve been asking about, the youngsters being backed by the selectors, especially after IPL performances. Let’s rewind to 2007. This is a myth that India won that World Cup with a young team. No, boss, we had experience. Harbhajan Singh had six years of experience. Virender Sehwag had six years of experience. Yuvraj Singh had five to six years of experience. I had four years of experience. Mahendra Singh Dhoni had four to five years of experience, he debuted in 2004. About 90% of the squad had proper three to six years of experience. And then we went into the World Cup, and we won the World Cup.”

He added, “A lot of people said the otherwise, that we won the World Cup with a young team. Yes, age-wise we were young, but experienced. So when the pressure situation comes, you always bank on experience. And that’s why it might be the last time we see Rohit Sharma in the T20 World Cup. It might also be the last time we see Virat Kohli in the World Cup. Then things might change because there is a big shift in T20 cricket, the way the cricket has been played. There was a time in T20 cricket or in one-day cricket, we used to think, okay, let’s do a partnership where one batsman will go hard, the other batsman will rotate the strike. Now it doesn’t happen. You have to go bang, bang from both the ends. So things are changing, and as a result, going forward, we might see a lot of youngsters participating in the T20 World Cup. However, this World Cup demands that selectors be particularly vigilant, especially given its location in the West Indies. And when the slowness of the game comes in, this is where the experience comes in. This is what Haydos said, this is what Tom Moody said, this is what I believe as well. Always bank on experience. Never solely rely on young players and believe that it will work just because it did in 2007. It’s a myth, and I’ve just debunked it for you.”

Kris Srikkanth backs Rinku Singh for India’s 15-man T20 World Cup 2024 squad

Krishnamachari Srikkanth, Commentator & Cricket Expert with IPL official TV Broadcaster, said on Star Sports Press Room Show, Ticket to World Cup that Rinku Singh is a certainty in the final 15 to the T20 World Cup: “A classic example is Rinku Singh. Rinku Singh is a certainty in my 15. He hasn’t got that many opportunities to bat in the IPL but you see his international track record, it’s an amazing track record. Amazing track record in South Africa and with every opportunity he has got. So Rinku Singh has to be a certainty in the 15. But if we go by recent form or opportunities, he hasn’t got enough opportunities. End of the day you’ve to forget who the player is and look at what is his track record. Is he a great player, is a deadly player, is he fit? So Rinku Singh has to be a certainty, he has to get the Visa and he will fasten his seat belt to take the flight to the United States to play the game as one of the 15 members in the side.”

Matthew Hayden, Commentator & Cricket Expert with IPL official TV Broadcaster, said on Star Sports Press Room Show, Ticket to World Cup that the IPL has brought out some of the biggest stars in Indian cricket: “I tell you it’s a true credit to the IPL, that it gets so much headspace in terms of selection, for international cricket. It’s a testimony to how brilliant the competition is and it’s also a credit to the way the IPL has allowed it’s foreign players, to play and strengthen the tournament. I’m not sure there’s another across T20 cricket that’s equal. How good is it, because we have found Jaiswal and he’s just one of the many like Rinku who have been discovered by IPL cricket.”

(With Inputs From Press Release)


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