Netflix’s Selection Day season 1, episode 1 recap


The Indian series Selection Day debuts on Netflix with a pulsating premiere episode about two boys struggling to achieve their father’s dream of seeing them become the best cricketers in the world.

Selection Day is the latest Indian Netflix show to be released in 2018. The series follows the trials of a couple of young brothers whose father wants them to become professional cricketers.

To achieve his dreams, the boys play for Under-16 teams in Mumbai, in the hopes that on Selection Day, they will play well enough for the sports selectors to award them two out of the three lucrative professional cricket contracts.

Adapted from the novel of the same name by Man Booker Prize-winning author, Aravind Adiga, the show is executive produced by Slumdog Millionaire actor Anil Kapoor, among others.

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The first episode of Selection Day begins in Badona Village, Madhya Pradesh where the Kumar brothers, Radha (Yash Dholye) and Manju (Mohammad Samad), are smashing it all over the park.

Their father Mohan Kumar (Rajesh Tailang) is watching from the sidelines and bets that his boys will win this match even though there are only three balls left to play in the game. Mohan signals Radha to hit three consecutive sixes off the final three balls. Any cricket fan can tell you that this is a nigh impossible task, especially under pressure.

The bowler runs up to the crease and Radha hits the first ball for six. Then again and with one ball remaining, he hits yet another six to win the match. This boy’s got game! Not that he has many choices as we soon see.

Once they return home, Mohan gives his boys no leeway to relax. He refers to Radha and Manju as ‘Champion No. 1’ and ‘Champion No. 2’, and keeps a scorebook of their failings and achievements. As soon as Mohan settles in, he begins chastising Radha for not being dedicated enough and for lapsing into Hindi instead of speaking in English which is the language the press will understand when the boys make their debut centuries at the Home of Cricket, Lord’s.

While Radha reports to his father, Manju finds fragments of broken items all over the house, including a spot of blood. Their father had told them their mother had gone out and would return later, but do the shattered bangles imply something else?

At night, Manju asks Radha why their mother wasn’t at the match. She never misses any, but she did this time. It’s really disturbing that the boys refer to each other by their father’s nicknames for them as well.

At prayers the next day, something really weird happens. After Manju confesses that he doesn’t even like cricket to the image of their family deity Subramanya, he isn’t able to turn off the lights in the prayer room. Instead, Subramanya winks at him from the frame and snaps the light off. Before Manju can tell his brother about the incident, Mohan commands them to begin packing as they’re off to Mumbai with the aim to join a club team and prepare for Selection Day.

While waiting for the bus to Mumbai, a peacock feather falls in front of Manju – we can see him wondering if this is a sign from Subramanya, a deity often depicted riding a peacock. But, he has little time to dwell on these things. Mohan insists that his wife has gone off to visit her aunt and will be back soon. Can we trust this man?

The more that is revealed about Mohan, the less I like him. He takes umbrage to being called a madman, but then reveals to his cousin that along with making an exhaustive list of potential clubs and teams the boys can play for, he also chose his wife because she was a champion Hockey player. This man is disturbed.

While the Kumars rent a room in one of Mumbai’s infamous cramped Chawls, the story briefly moves to the Business District in South Mumbai where smarmy businessman Anand Mehta (Akshay Oberoi) is trying to talk his investors into giving him millions to rebuild a mysterious area into a commercial estate.

This area happens to include a West Mumbai school where an art teacher can’t even convince his principal Nellie Weinberg (Ratna Pathak Shah) to invest in new blinds for his classroom.

Narayan Sadashiv Kulkarni aka Tommy Sir (Mahesh Manjrekar) doubles-up as the school’s cricket coach, but he seems less than enthusiastic about his team’s prospects. How these characters figure into the Kumars lives, remains to be seen.

Next. Netflix’s Selection Day season 1, episode 2 recap. dark

Mohan asks his cousin to bribe the groundsman at one of the club cricket grounds to let Radha and Manju in. It’s the only way the boys can show off their talent, which he believes is even greater than that of India’s greatest cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar.

Mohan has a singular goal, and he has memorized cricket manuals and studied every aspect of the sport – including medicine and psychology – to make sure he produces two prodigies who will triumph on Selection Day. Mohan is certain that one day, his sons will be the greatest batters in the world. Wow, no pressure dad.