Dinda gets the boot
Bengal have taken their first step for life without Ashok Dinda.
The senior pacer, the bowling attack’s spearhead for almost a decade, was excluded from the 16-member squad for the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy on Saturday.
So upset and annoyed is Dinda with the decision that he’s even thinking of not representing Bengal any more, sources said.
In the Vijay Hazare Trophy in September-October, Dinda picked up 10 wickets from six matches. His economy rate was 5.52.
On the other hand, youngsters Ishan Porel (10 from six matches) and Akash Deep (12 from eight) were among wickets and that too, at better economy rates of 4.68 and 4.73, respectively.
The decision to drop Dinda only reflects that the team management and selectors now are keen on blooding young players with 25-year-old and former India U-19 medium-pacer Ravi Kant Singh too added to the side. Sayan Ghosh and Ayan Bhattacharjee also add to Bengal’s fast bowling options.
“Ashok Dinda is a legend of Bengal cricket. We salute him for his contribution. But dropping him is a decision taken by the selectors,” Bengal coach-cum-mentor Arun Lal told The Telegraph.
However, according to reliable sources, Bengal’s focus now is on getting “another Ashok Dinda” and thus, they don’t want the 35-year-old to carry on endlessly. “Lately, he (Dinda) has been coming in and out of the ground while some of his deliveries are not even reaching the ’keeper.
“He came to the camp only for two-three days and when he was available, he hurt his leg, which was unfortunate… In this year’s Vijay Hazare Trophy, being the strike bowler, he wasn’t as effective in the two key matches versus Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. He leaked runs.
“Bengal cricket cannot let go of everything just for a name. If youngsters aren’t given a chance in T20 cricket, where will they be tried out then?
“The CAB is really serious about promoting youngsters. That’s the reason even someone like Anustup Majumder was left out,” the source said.
Not just Dinda or Anustup, but a strong message has been sent out to the other senior pros as well. Perform or else you could be left out of the Ranji Trophy.
Abhimanyu Easwaran (captain), Sreevats Goswami, Abhishek Raman, Vivek Singh, Manoj Tiwary, Agniv Pan, Ritwik Roy Chowdhury, Shahbaz Ahmed, Debabrata Das, Arnab Nandi, Writtick Chatterjee, Ishan Porel, Akash Deep, Sayan Ghosh, Ravi Kant Singh, Ayan Bhattacharjee.