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Board may have influenced selectors

india Updated: Apr 22, 2007 03:29 IST
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Against the backdrop of a disastrous World Cup campaign, like the one India had gone through recently, it's a normal practice for any team to make drastic changes in the side.

In its last meeting, the Indian board made it very clear to the selectors that the team should carry more youngsters to Bangladesh. It could also have meant that the board wanted to drop some of the senior players. Although the selectors' job and their area of operation are considered autonomous in nature, the directives of the board could not have been ignored. Perhaps, the speculation about selectors being delicately influenced (told to be tough with some of the seniors) is plausible.

In the current scenario, the selectors, I am sure, were caught in a Catch-22 situation. Had they picked Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar, they would have earned the wrath of many for succumbing to the star status of the players. Now, for not picking them, they are being accused of being puppets of the board.

The chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar mentioned that he took both Sourav and Sachin into confidence before announcing the team. But we are not too sure whether this brave exercise will do any good to Indian cricket.

Dropping or resting senior players like Sachin and Sourav is a sensitive issue. I hope Vengsarkar and his team had done enough homework before taking this decision. It is a typical situation where the relationship between players, who are in the squad, and those who are out could be tested.|

If things are not handled properly, it can leave indelible negative impressions. If such differences were to appear in the team, I am afraid it won't be the best atmosphere for the youngsters, who are supposed to learn a lot from their heroes. I sincerely hope that proper efforts are made to communicate the right message and protect the interest of the team above any individual.

Coming to the selections part, it is common to see lot of opinions. Greg Chappell's report on the players, it seems, has had a bearing on the latest team selection. It is hard to digest the fact that a player, who didn't even deserve a place in the World Cup XI, has become an automatic choice for Bangladesh in both forms of the game.

I have been told that the same player is also tipped to be the opener for the Test matches. Enough mistakes have been made in the past to create slots for too many makeshift openers. These makeshift openers get completely exposed on seaming wickets and against better attacks. The idea that a player who doesn't even open for his state is asked to face top bowlers under seaming English conditions seems ridiculous.