The Infuriating Case Of Parvinder Awana

I don’t follow domestic Indian cricket as closely as others, so I don’t know as much as I should about promising prospects for the national side. As a result, Parvinder Awana is pretty much a stranger to me, even though he’s apparently been on people’s radars since at least 2004. While Awana, the latest Indian fast bowler messiah (after Ishant, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav, Sreesanth, Munaf, etc.) may fully deserve his place in India’s international squad, I think his journey to selection shows what’s wrong with India’s planning process. Evidence:

Awana expected to be on the plane to the Caribbean for an A tour after the IPL [in 2011-2012], but was overlooked by the selectors…However, an injury to RP Singh opened a slot for Awana. He played one game on tour and took three wickets. He was overlooked again for the A tour of New Zealand but was picked for the A team’s match against England at Brabourne Stadium. He went wicketless, but his two five-fors this Ranji season were a timely reminder of his talents.

Ideally, you’d have a system that spotted talent in young players and then nurtured it through a testing process that ultimately leads to an international debut. Instead, what I think we have in India is a haphazard system that flirts with a promising player but then insists on making the courtship as stormy as possible. Awana misses out on an ‘A’ tour — basically, among the more surer ways of finding a spot in India’s national team — to R.P. Singh, last seen plucked from a Miami nightclub to play against the English. Singh then disappears; Awana takes three wickets but cannot secure a spot on the next A tour (but he does get called for the tour after that).

The Indian team has done something similar (and equally annoying) in the past: it will pick a player as part of a touring squad. This player will not get a game, and he will then be dropped for the next tour. It’s never clear why this happened — did the player not show any promise in nets? Did he piss someone off? I don’t know if Awana will get a game soon — Dinda probably deserves first pick — but I’d hate to see Awana then fall back into IPL obscurity, or worse, into the level of hell where V.R.V. Singh now lives.


9 thoughts on “The Infuriating Case Of Parvinder Awana

  1. Remember Manoj Tiwari at CBS 2008? He was flown out as somebody’s replacement. He was barely off the flight, Dhoni put him to play the first match at Brisbane. He was jet lagged; hadn’t even practiced on Aussie soil. He was bowled out by Lee for 2 and didn’t get a single match for the rest of the tournament. Dhoni’s explanation of putting him in the playing XI within hours of landing was, it was based on “his gut sense”.

  2. tulipnandu says:

    The sad part of Indian sports I feel…and in general..Lack of basic foundation just ruins the promising talents…

  3. nishantskumar says:

    Ranadeb Bose, Pankaj Singh, Robin Singh Jr, Jaydev Unadkat, Abhimanyu Mithun…. part of a pretty long list of players who have appeared on one tour mostly as a passenger, might have got an ocasional game before totally disappearing away. Hope Awana doesn’t join the list

  4. Fake Saint Ricky says:

    Good point you make. Awana got in because he performed exactly one day before the selection.
    Infact, I think Zaheer didnt do much wrong. He did qutie well in Ahmed and Mumb. Ishant, Ashwin and Harby were the culprits in this series.
    And Zaheer is a rhythm guy – it might be that we were in for a windfall in Nagpur. Now, we wont get it.

    There is n o thought process to selection. The point is selectors are veering towards what the public will appreciate – lost two tests; kill them’;burn them; we need heads. Awana is doing well. he should be there instead of Zaheer. Jadeja is doing well he shud replace Sachin. Ankit Chavan did well in one innings he should replace Ashwin.

    This is the sort of twitterati reaction that Selectors are pandering to. And why not? This is the BCCI version of pandering to the paying stakeholders’ needs 🙂

  5. Fake Saint Ricky says:

    Ofcourse, Ankit didnt get selected and Jadeja didnt replace Sachin but I hope you see the point I am making

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