Selection Day

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Selection Day
Selection Day.jpg
AuthorAravind Adiga
Publication date
Media typePrint (paperback, hardback)

Selection Day is a 2016 sports fiction novel written by Booker Prize winner Aravind Adiga. It was shortlisted along with four other writers for the 2017 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.[1] It tells the story of Mohan Kumar, a chutney seller who trains his two sons: Manju Kumar and Radha Krishna for Mumbai's under-19 cricket team. Here Manju meets his rival, Javed.[2] It was adapted into a Netflix series of the same name.


Laura Miller felt that Adiga comes closer than most in becoming a dickensian. She wrote: "His characters are brightly and sharply drawn and animated with great energy; reading about his Mumbai is like taking a double shot of espresso."[3] Elizabeth Kuruvilla of Mint wrote: "Adiga’s novel oscillates between lyrically exposing what the brutal system in the business of creating sporting heroes does to the minds, and lives, of vulnerable youth and an amateurish filling in of gaps with monologue and characters that are inadequately fleshed out."[4] Jade Colbert of The Globe and Mail said that "[It] is not a novel you read to find consolation from the melancholy realities of the world's injustices, but to know them, and feel Manju's scorn."[5] Ludovic Hunter-Tilney of Financial Times called it "mixes incisive stroke play with streaky shots." He further wrote: "Adiga’s prose has a bustling energy that makes it highly readable but also reduces characters to certain cartoonish traits, such as the slanted furrow in Manju’s forehead that appears whenever he thinks deeply, or the “rakishly” raised right eyebrow that signals his father’s outbreaks of anger."[6]

Michael Upchurch of Chicago Tribune gave a positive response and wrote: "Selection Day brings a family, a city and an entire country to scabrous and antic life."[7] Annalisa Quinn of NPR called the novel "exuberant and incisive".[8] Kamila Shamsie praised the writing and mentioned that Adiga knows how to talk about class, religion and sexuality "through his characters and their compelling stories."[9] Marcel Theroux praised Adiga for adding "pathos and depth" to his minor characters and felt the novel possesses the breadth similar to The White Tiger.[10] Dwight Garner felt that the plot loses its "altitude on occasion".[11] Ron Charles of The Washington Post wrote that "[..] Adiga’s voice is so exuberant, his plotting so jaunty, that the sadness of this story feels as though it is accumulating just outside our peripheral vision."[12] Keshava Guha of The Hindu called it "a moving, unsettling and absorbing story of aspiration and its discontents in contemporary urban India."[13] Malcolm Forbes called it "another great delivery" but felt the novel lacked the "satirical bite and societal sweep" of The White Tiger.[14]


In August 2017, it was announced that Netflix will be adapting the novel into an original series which was produced by partnership with Anil Kapoor and Anand Tucker.[15] Starring Mohammad Samad, Yash Dholye, Karanvir Malhotra, Rajesh Tailang, Mahesh Manjrekar, Ratna Pathak Shah, Shiv Pandit, Parul Gulati and Akshay Oberoi, the series premiered on 28 December, 2018.[16]


  1. ^ "Aravind Adiga's Selection Day shortlisted for DSC Prize; Perumal Murugan's Pyre fails to make cut". Firstpost. 28 September 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Selection Day". Simon and Schuster. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  3. ^ Miller, Laura (9 January 2017). "Some Boys Rise, Some Boys Fall". Slate. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  4. ^ Kuruvilla, Elizabeth (16 September 2016). "Book review: Selection Day". Mint. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  5. ^ Colbert, Jade (13 January 2017). "Review: Aravind Adiga's Selection Day is a polyphonous novel about contemporary India". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  6. ^ Tilney, Ludovic Hunter (2 September 2016). "Bowled over: Selection Day by Aravind Adiga mixes 'incisive stroke play and streaky shots'". Financial Times. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  7. ^ Upchurch, Michael (5 January 2017). "In 'Selection Day,' boys try to meet cricket-crazed father's high expectations". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  8. ^ Quinn, Annalisa (8 January 2017). "Cricket And Difficult Choices In 'Selection Day'". NPR. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  9. ^ Shamsie, Kamila (10 September 2016). "Selection Day by Aravind Adiga review – a compelling tale of cricket and corruption". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  10. ^ Theroux, Marcel (27 January 2017). "Aravind Adiga's Novel Is About the Game of Cricket — and Sexual Awakening". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  11. ^ Garner, Dwight (3 January 2017). "Review: 'Selection Day' Presents India as Seen Through the Wickets". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  12. ^ Charles, Ron (30 December 2016). "'Selection Day': Two brothers and an obsessed dad seek a ticket out of poverty". The Washington Post. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  13. ^ Guha, Keshava (21 August 2016). "Straight drive to stardom". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  14. ^ Forbes, Malcolm (5 January 2017). "Book review: Aravind Adiga's Selection Day – a tale of India, corruption and cricket". The National. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  15. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (3 August 2017). "Netflix Preps Indian Cricket Drama 'Selection Day'; Thriller 'Again' From 'Quantico' Writer". Deadline. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  16. ^ "Netflix sets December date for web series 'Selection Day'". 8 October 2018. Retrieved 10 November 2018.

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