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Don't dump senior players: Atapattu

Fellow ICL player and former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Harris, however, did not find anything wrong in it and said the side under Mahendra Singh Dhoni has done an excellent job.

cricket Updated: Mar 25, 2008 19:06 IST

The new-found go-young policy may have yielded results in recent past but it was rash on India's part to dump senior players like Sourav Ganguly from the one-day squad, feels former Sri Lanka captain Marvan Atapattu.

According to him, packing a side with only youngsters affects the team balance and Ganguly is not yet a spent force as far as one-day cricket is concerned.

"Had I been in Ganguly's place, I would have been disappointed," Atapattu, who is here leading the Delhi Giants in the Edelweiss 20s Challenge, said.

"I feel you need a judicious blend of youth and experience and there you need senior players," he argued.

Besides, this is not how a board should treat senior players like Ganguly and Rahul Dravid who have rendered yeoman service to the side, he said.

"This is not how you treat these players. If the selectors had decided to leave them out, they should have passed on the message to them that they are running out of time. They should have been treated with some dignity," he said.

Fellow ICL player and former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Harris, however, did not find anything wrong in it and said the side under Mahendra Singh Dhoni has done an excellent job.

"Even without the senior players, they are still a fantastic side. Though it's not right to outrightly dump seniors without giving them a chance to leave with dignity, I think India's policy to go with a young bunch has clicked," said Harris, who leads Hyderabad Heroes in the ICL event.

"In the Twenty20 World Cup and in the tri-series in Australia, India blooded youngsters, who delivered the good. If you ask me, I would say Indian cricket would be in safe hands even after the seniors call it quits," he added.

Dhoni recently stirred a hornet's nest when he said, without any qualms, that he had asked the selectors to induct more youngsters, even if it was at the cost of the illustrious seniors. Besides, Dhoni said, he wanted to put a message across.

Though some felt Dhoni's comments would create an uncomfortable situation in the Test dressing room where the ODI captain would be sharing space with the same seniors, former chief selector Kiran More stood by Dhoni and said selectors should stick to their policy.

"I think what he has said is correct and when the captain is saying something, everybody should listen," he said.

More, however, felt Dhoni's go-young policy could have boomeranged had India failed in the Twenty20 World Cup and the tri-series in Australia.

"Now that they have won both, everyone is going ga ga. But poor results and it would have surely backfired," he said.