J&K Ranji Trophy Squad Review (Read at your own risk) - Kashmir Sports Watch  

J&K Ranji Trophy Squad Review (Read at your own risk)

Mohsin Kamal

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Warning: Please don’t read this if you can’t take jokes seriously

Last morning, I was still in bed when my phone rang. The bell wasn’t as harsh to my ears as the news that followed. Yeah, it was about J&K’s Ranji Trophy squad; in case you were guessing. The squad has everything in it except what it should have! Well, leave that for a second, that’s not upto me to decide.

Soon after penning down the squad, I suddenly started to think about what the abbreviation ‘JKCA’ stands for. My mind responded:

J – Jammu

K – Jammu

C – Jammu

A – Jammu

Wait, what! So sorry! I sometimes get lost in thoughts and forget what actually I had to say. JKCA stands for Jammu-Kashmir Cricket Association. I missed it the first time around since after knowing the Ranji Trophy squad, ‘Jammu’ is the only word that’s coming to my mind. My bad! 

Now, let’s move to the subject as I was supposed to write a review on the squad. I hope it doesn’t end up being that Rishabh Pant-review, which is based on nothing but excitement and noise!

The first thing one wants to know when a team is announced is: who is the captain? But it wasn’t the case in this case. I didn’t ask my source to tell me who the captain is. I thought I’m smart enough to know it was Shubham Pundir. Why? 

Well, not only because he was handed the captaincy just a couple of months back and had already captained the side in Vijay Hazare and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, but more so because he has a 100% win-record as captain in Ranji Trophy. 

The last time J&K played in Ranji, he guided the team to four consecutive wins in absence of the regular captain. He wasn’t scoring runs at that time as well, if you were wondering he might have been successful because of that. 

This captaincy news came to me a bit late, and I wasn’t expecting it. But still, I wasn’t surprised! Why? No, I won’t answer this. I hope you’re smart enough to know why. 

“What about the earlier long-standing captain? Why has he been removed despite having a good record?” These are the questions you might be wanting to ask. I don’t have an answer either, all I can say is when these questions arise in your mind, think about those revenge South movies. That’s what it is. Only difference here is that both parties are villains.

Pic: KSW

Next: how good or bad is the squad? It is neither. For it to be good, selectors should have asked themselves “can this squad win us the Ranji Trophy?” (In case they’re the ones who select squads). I don’t know whether they did or not, all I can say is that they don’t care, not that I know of, at least. (I can be wrong. Who am I, anyways).

So, is it bad? No, I don’t think so. Despite having numerous flaws, this team can do well. Not because those who selected the team want it to do well but more so because there are enough players who are capable of taking the team forward.

Then what’s the problem? Perhaps, there are too many and readers mostly get bored after reading two-three paragraphs, irrespective of how good a writer you’re. So, I won’t waste my and your time in listing the problems.

However, there are a few things: why only one mainstream spinner– Abid Mushtaq (who is also a kind of all-rounder)? Parvez Rasool and Sahil Lotra are also there but they’re all-rounders. Maybe, selectors thought why do we need spinners when we’re already making heads spin with our decisions. That’s the only sane reason I can think of. 

7 fast-bowlers and 4 wicket-keepers in the 20-member squad! Another not-so-impressive decision. But again, we’re a team that’s going in the tournament for mere participation purposes, why do we have to care about the balance and other stuff? 

What else? Did I forget anything? A lot, I know. A few players did well in the trials and should have been there in the team. But, I am sorry to inform you that the trials don’t matter. Nothing really matters except who you’re (reputation-wise) and where you’re from. It seems these are the only two things being taken into consideration. 

What next? Nothing

Come on, how much more do you want? It’s too cold and my fingers are already begging me to stop. My ‘kanger’ is waiting for me, see you! 

Stop laughing. I was being serious!

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