Selection committee chief Dilip Vengsarkar made it clear on Sunday that the policy of "resting" players would be carried forward and even skipper Rahul Dravid would be rested (as first reported by HT). Excerpts from an interview :
Did the BCCI give specific instructions to the selectors to rest Tendulkar and Ganguly?
The BCCI secretary sent me a letter with regards to the directions of the working committee to select a young team under an experienced captain. Apart fromthis, there were no specific instructions.In fact, BCCI president Sharad Pawar had asked me to select the best possible team.
You have said the two seniors were rested because of the number of games India are playing this season. Would this apply to other seniors too, including Dravid?
Considering the fact that this season is crammed, it will be humanly impossible to play all the matches. Hence we will have to rest some of the players and rotate them to get the best out of them all the time.
What does the future hold for Harbhajan, Pathan and Agarkar?
They are all fine cricketers and have proved themselves at the highest level. The only thing they have to prove consistently is form and I am positive they will be back where they belong.
Harbhajan recent performance has been dismal overseas…
He has been around long and can be considered a senior pro. He knows what is best for him but he will have to go for the wickets, especially in the ODIs in the middle overs, like Warne or Muraltharan do. I feel it is the job of spinners to get the wickets and not focus on containing the batsmen. Harbhajan is bowling too flat to be effective. He needs to change his trajectory.
What does Pathan need to do?
Irfan had done exceedingly well till the India-England Champions Trophy game. I really do not know what went wrongafter that. His bowling just fell apart. He has not only lost his pace but also the movement that got him a lot of wickets initially. He will have to get the experts' advice, work hard and get his rhythm back.
Has Agarkar been disappointing?
Ajit is an enigma. He has loads of talent but I feel he has underutilised it so far. By now he should have established himself as a frontline all-rounder but he hasn't. After playing so much international cricket, I am sure he knows the answer.
How difficult or easy will it be against Bangladesh?
Well, Bangladesh's performance in the World Cup was beyond anybody's imagination. They are playing their best cricket at present. Surely, they have the home advantage and I am sure they will try to exploit it at the earliest opportunity.
Don't you think we need a regular opener for England, where the ball will move a lot and on bouncypacey Aussie pitches? Will Dinesh Karthik be able to do this job?
Dinesh is a talented batsmanwicket keeper. I have been watching him since his under-19 days. He is not only a gritty customer but also very courageous. His innings at Cape Town was testimony to all these qualities. Besides Dinesh, there is Robin Uthappa, Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Aakash Chopra. Youngsters like Cheteshwar Pujara, Tanmay Srivatsav and Ajinkya Rahane could form the India A team and they are players for the future.
You said before that there's not enough talent in domestic cricket. Do you still hold that view?
There is a lot of talent in India but little exceptional talent that can be inducted into the Indian team straightaway. However, there are some players ready to do battle at the highest level. They just need the platform to showcase their talent.