If I was fixated on picking Yusuf over Rohit for the World Cup squad, then I would have played him in the first two ODIs instead of Rohit. And in spite of any failures, I would have still picked him in that hallowed squad. That is, if I was convinced in the first place that he should be in the squad of 15.
For me, not playing Yusuf is shielding him in South Africa, ensuring an easy and somewhat noncontroversial selection. Just imagine, Yusuf looking silly against the short ball, with another first ball duck. Not so good for the World Cup resume is it?
He will play in the next three games (instead of Rohit) and even three first ball ducks will not reverse the selector’s decision.
For Rohit, two games that didn’t really come off. Let’s say, like Yusuf, he too played a match turning knock, then what – pick him as well? That’s right, on the basis of one international performance, we would have picked Rohit in addition to Yusuf and Munaf.
Still better than picking Chawla, who last played a one-dayer in his teens. Who again, like Yusuf has not played in either game. But who like Yusuf, could quite conveniently play in the next three.
What swayed it for Piyush, more than his bowling, is his perceived added qualification: can bat - bats better than Ojha.
And that’s what kept Rohit in contention so long: can bowl; and if not for Virat Kohli’s run-making binge, Rohit would have pipped him to the fifteen. Notes: Bowling more useful than Kohli.
That’s what works for Yuvi and Raina too.
So when it gets down to pick that final eleven for the World Cup, after Sachin, Sehwag, Gambhir, MSD, Bhajji, Zaheer, the names inked will be the guys who will add up to MSD’s ten overs – Yuvraj, Raina, Yusuf. And then the second and third seamers.
Regardless of the batting form of these three, they will play most games. If Yusuf doesn’t come off, or worse still, embarrasses himself, it’ll be Chawla for Yusuf. And of the two, I still don’t know who the better batsman or bowler is.
On Bored: Why was Piyush Chawla picked?