Yuvraj Singh was arguably the biggest match winner to have represented India and so was the case with Suresh Raina. The two southpaws have won India games which seemed to be out of their grasp, and that’s why they proved it time and again why they were regarded as the best finishers in the limited overs format. But with Virat Kohli-Ravi Shastri helming affairs for the cricket team and indulging younger players, it is highly unlikely they will go one step back and select the old pros. Virat Kohli made his intentions clear that he was building the team for 2019 cricket World Cup. So does Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina not fit his bill? Well, that is what it seems like!
In fact, things are so difficult that Yuvraj Singh does not even find himself among the top 75 cricketers in the country. According to the chairman of selectors, MSK Prasad, Yuvraj was not selected because of their rotation policy, however, the recent pattern suggests otherwise. To make matters worse, Yuvraj has not even been selected for the Board President XI team that will play Australia preceding the series.
Earlier Shastri said, “Most of our players have played in this series already, and the endeavour will be to rotate the players giving everyone enough opportunity. So that when we have 12-15 months to go for the World Cup, we have a nucleus of about 18-20 players in place. And we can then choose from this group just before the World Cup begin.”
Currently, the future of the two southpaws looks very bleak. Earlier, Yuvraj and Raina did not make it to the Sri Lankan tour and now they did not make the cut for the Australia series as well. The indications are clear. Fitness has become the priority for team India and consistency, in both fitness and performance, corresponds to the player’s selection. The Yo-Yo test, which both the senior statesmen failed turned out to be the root cause why they did not find a place in the squad.
Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag still seems to be having a lot of faith in his contemporaries, as he believes nothing can replace experience and feels that they would bolster India’s middle order and will help MS Dhoni and team India in the process.
With Yuvraj Singh being 35, he is in the twilight of his career and could probably drag on for a couple of more seasons, whereas Suresh Raina, who is still 30, has some time to prove his mettle and roar back into the team. But with Hardik Pandya, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav and the rest of the younger squad hungry to make their presence felt, it is going to be very difficult for the star cricketers to bounce back and make it back to the blues.
Also, players like Ajinkya Rahane have to sit out, speaks volumes about the situation which Virat Kohli is in, there certainly is a problem of plenty and fitness is the yardstick for selection.
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 10, 2017
Ravi Shastri after the Lankan series said,
We want the best fielding side on the park. That’s it. So how do you become the best fielding side on the park? Fitness. And that’s why there have been parameters set. When there are parameters put in place and that’s the vision of the team, then everyone has to fit into those parameters. It is as simple as that.
By the looks of it, it is not wrong to say that it may be the end of the road for the senior statesmen of the team. However, if they get back in shape, one may never know, they just might be called back.