Future! Don't worry it doesn't look too bleak for Team India. The young stars are coming and are keen to make it count. But the challenge lies in filling the big boots of Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Sachin, and Zaheer Khan. Obviously these names are some of the biggest achievements in the game. The course of Team India's future will be decided by the Selectors Panel who have been given an extension. The current Panel of Selectors are definitely not a "bunch of jokers", but they are not willing to take any risky decisions and in all their team selections they have played it safe. What they need to do is, take some bold decisions, which definitely will not go down in favour with either the players or the public. For example Cricket Australia's decision to drop Simon Katich created a huge uproar in Australia. Why was the team's second highest run scorer in the last season dropped? Simple, they are looking for youth. The current Australian team is blooded with youngsters while old stalwarts like Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey around to motivate them.
India should follow suit, the earlier the better. The main difference between player mentality in India and Australia is that the older players are willing to step aside to give chances to the younger lot. But our players also should do the same. Saurav Ganguly again shines as an example. In his last season before his retirement his numbers were amongst the best. Even then he called upon retirement, because he did not want to take a deserving young player's spot. What we have is the home series against England and the tour to Australia to follow, with the matches against the West Indians sandwiched between them.
In the ODI team we have a fairly settled combination full of talented youngsters, but the challenge in ODI cricket lies in finding the right pacemen. For that to happen, the selectors have to persevere with 4-5 pacemen and keep rotating them. By sacking them after one series and replacing them with new faces on every tour won’t do good for both. They have to persist with the current lot of Munaf, Vinay, RP and bring back Irfan and try him too. Ashwin should be given maximum chances in the ODIs, just to prove to Bhajji that he should not take his place for granted. Sachin should be rested and used sparingly. And in the Test arena it will be wise to blood some of the established ODI stars like Kohli and Raina (or may be even the likes of Rahane or Ambati Rayudu - an interesting choice given his good technique) and give them a long run. Cheteshwar Pujara ought to be in the team for the Australia tour. And Team India should try fielding the 6 batsmen plus 5 bowler combination, because we don’t have the fire power in our four bowlers to skittle the opposition or take 20 wickets.
And more over there are also no part timers nowadays who can take wickets like Sachin, Ganguly, and Viru used to do it earlier. The current England team are planning for their future wisely. They have built a core Test team and constantly rotating players and maintaining their fitness. Since the World Cup the Indian players have not had any rest with constant tours and the IPL and Champions League matches in between. So the current selection panel under Srikanth should rest the seniors, use them sparingly for the important matches, maintain a proper injury schedule, persist with and blood deserving youngsters.