Nevertheless, the inclusion of left arm pacer Ashish Nehra, who is short of 40 years of age, is a shocker. The Delhi fast bowler has played very little cricket for quite some months now and his recall for the T20s is nothing short of a poor commentary of the fast bowling resources of India.
At the best of times, Nehra was not a good fielder or batsman and he could not have gotten any better by not playing good, competitive cricket for months together.
At least Yuvraj Singh has been in fine nick in domestic cricket this season and his string of good scores augur well for him and the team. He brings a lot of punch to the batting order that is expected to revel through KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, skipper Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Manish Pandey.
Obviously the team needs muscle in the middle order to take advantage of the field restrictions and has thus packed it with big hitters. The fact that South Africa clobbered the attack for 438 for 4 in 50 overs in Mumbai last season is still fresh in memory. India will hope that Yuvraj and company can give that sort of thrust to their line-up in the forthcoming matches.
Yuvraj is a good timer of the ball and his powerful hitting could come in handy on the small outfields in India and England. Hopefully, he will find some sort of form in international matches too.
It is confounding that the selectors have opted to include Ajinkya Rahane and Hardik Pandya, both of whom are coming off injuries. Their earlier stated policy was that injured players would have to prove their match fitness by playing domestic cricket. Rahane was not fit to play the Ranji Trophy semifinal against Tamil Nadu, yet finds a place in the national team?
The same could be said of Nehra and Suresh Raina. Perhaps there are different rules for different folks. Karun Nair’s suspected hernia (subsequently tested negative) is probably the only reason the rising star was kept out of the team, thus allowing Raina to be squeezed in.