'Honest criticism welcome'

Vinay says scoreboard shouldn’t be used to judge performance.

New Delhi: R Vinay Kumar was taken to the cleaners by the Australian batsmen during the seven-match ODI series in October-November last year.

Despite skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni standing by his bowlers and arguing that the flat wickets and new ODI rules made it a nightmare for bowlers, Vinay has not played for India since.

Vinay said comments from those who follow the game on a regular basis are welcome, but using a scoreboard to judge a player’s performance is uncalled for. He believes there is more to a game than what is registered on a scoreboard.

“I have often seen people reading the scoreboard and asking why a player hasn’t been performing to potential or why he is going through a bad patch. But they do not realise there is more to the game of cricket than just the scoreboard,” Vinay told Mail Today.

“For a bowler, he might have bowled beautifully, but missed the edge of the bat on certain occasions. For a batsman, he might have got a rough decision. There are days when things don’t go your way, but that is not noted on the scoreboard. Honest criticism is welcome, but not which is based on scoreboard-study.”

Although he was drafted into the ODI squad against the West Indies – after Dhawal Kulkarni was ruled out – he didn’t get a single game. And the selectors ignored him for the tours of South Africa and New Zealand.

While Vinay is disappointed to have missed the plane to New Zealand, he believes healthy competition in the pace bowling department augurs well for the team.

“I am a bit disappointed that I didn’t find a place in the squad to New Zealand, but it does give the coach and captain a lot of options when you have players fighting for spots."

"It is always better than a situation when the captain doesn’t have options at his disposal. I am trying to perform in the Ranji Trophy to knock at the doors of the selectors and make a comeback into the Indian team,” the 29-year-old seamer said.

While Karnataka has had a dream run this season, Vinay had picked just 17 wickets from six games before the semi-final against Punjab.

But he came to the party in Mohali as he picked five wickets in a spell of just 6.5 overs, to derail the Punjab batting.

“Firstly, I missed a few games due to my wedding and then, I haven’t really had luck going for me. I have missed the edge of the bat on so many occasions that it almost disheartened me. But it is part and parcel of sport and I don’t really complain."

“Also, I missed playing on wickets like those at Lahli, otherwise I would have finished with a few more. But for me, the team is more important and as long as we are winning, it does not matter,” Vinay said.

Most players might have the IPL auction — on February 12 and 13 in Bangalore — at the back of their minds, but Vinay says winning the Ranji Trophy is more important to him.

“At the end of the day, you need to perform well, no matter whichever team picks you and I play the game because I love it. So I am not thinking about the team which will pick me. As of now, not just me, but every player in the Karnataka team is more concerned about lifting the Ranji Trophy and it is important that we don’t lose focus,” he said.

Karnataka play Maharashtra in the final of the Ranji Trophy in Hyderabad.

ALSO SEE: Images from India vs New Zealand, 3rd ODI

Ross Taylor of New Zealand reacts during the One Day International match between New Zealand and India at Eden Park on January 25, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty ... more 
Ross Taylor of New Zealand reacts during the One Day International match between New Zealand and India at Eden Park on January 25, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images) less 
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Getty Images | Photo by Stringer / Anthony Au-Yeung
Sat 25 Jan, 2014 2:30 PM IST

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