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Sandeep Patil - a threat to non performing senior cricketers?
Sandeep Patil has taken a tough stance by showing the exit door to three senior players - Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh for under-performing. He has chosen players, who have been consistent in the domestic circuit, raising hopes of many young cricketers at the domestic level.

THE INDIAN selectors led by Sandeep Patil were brave enough to axe three senior players, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan from the Indian cricket team for the fourth and final Test, which is scheduled to start from December 13 at Nagpur.

It was a stern warning sent by selectors to the rest of the Indian players that non performance would not be tolerated at any cost. Piyush Chawla, Ravindra Jadeja and Parvinder Awana have replaced these players, courtesy their good domestic performances.

Yuvraj Singh started the series in a good manner with 74 runs to his name, but only scored 51 runs in the last two Test matches. Yuvraj Singh was aware of the challenges and the contenders who were knocking at the Indian selector's door, which include Manoj Tiwary and Rohit Sharma etc. But, it was Ravindra Jadeja, who got the nod, after he became the first Indian to score three first class triple hundreds. But, it was a likewise replacement with Jadeja also a handy bowler like Yuvraj, with both being left handed as well.

Piyush Chawla may not get a game for the Indian team in the last Test match, as Ashwin and Ojha have already established themselves as the two best spinners in the national side. It was not surprising to see Harbhajan axed, as his recent performances have not been any impressive.

Axing Zaheer Khan was one of the toughest decisions for the selectors, as he has been spearheading the Indian attack for years now. Basically, he is the Sachin Tendulkar of Indian bowling. Zaheer has been very disappointing with just four wickets going his way in past three games. This is not the Zaheer whom we know. He has been known for breaking opening partnerships with the new ball and reverse the old ball. Neither of those characteristics were witnessed in the series, so it could be a wise call to give the player some rest for a match or two, so he comes back fresh and shows the real Zak, we know – making crucial breakthroughs.

He has been replaced by Parvinder Awana, who has been impressing all and sundry with his bowling performances in the domestic circuit for Delhi. Even then the player might not be able to make it to the starting 11, as Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma would most probably play the last Test match.

Sunil Gavaskar has maintained that Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh have been made scapegoats, but one would like to say that it was a courageous move to drop these players, as they consider their selection guaranteed, even if they do not come up with good performances. But, this does not seem to hold true with new selection panel that has been set, led by Sandeep Patil. In the past, one has also seen that senior men were not dropped from the team, as it would upset them. Sandeep Patil doesn't believe in such theories but only believes in team's success, even if that means throwing a new set of Indian players on the pitch.

Such kind of arrogance is needed by Indian selectors and it is going to play an important role in making the Indian team a stronger unit. Youngsters would benefit a lot with such policies and they would give it their all in the domestic circuit, knowing well enough that their performances are going to be awarded with a place in the Indian team.

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