Chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar is impressed with Sourav Ganguly's performance in the IPL, holding out hope for the seniors who have been left out of the one-day team.
But he is quick to add that one cannot judge the seniors by their T20 performances.
Excerpts from an interview:
You must be following the matches. How has the performance of the Indians appealed to you?
I am quite impressed the way Dhaval Kulkarni and Rohan Raje have shaped up with the ball and Abhishek Nayar, Yogesh Takawale with the bat. They have an excellent opportunity to interact with the likes of Shaun Pollock and Sachin Tendulkar in the Mumbai team.
Does it surprise you that foreigners, especially the Australians, have outscored the Indians?
The Indians too have done exceedingly well. The likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa and Rohit Sharma have been consistent. Even Ganguly has excelled as an all-rounder.
Are you surprised that the icons are not really topping the charts?
I agree but it's unfair to judge their class in T20, for they have proved themselves in Tests and ODIs consistently.
Is there hope for players who have not figured in ODIs of late but have done well in the IPL?
T20 matches can't be compared with Tests or ODIs. However, the selectors would be watching the remaining matches and the form and fitness of players who are emerging to play for the country.
How do you react to Ganguly's performance in the IPL?
He has done extremely well. Yes, we have been watching him (Ganguly had remarked at the presentation at Eden Gardens ‘I hope the selectors are watching’), especially his brilliant fielding, with great interest.
The IPL has seen some players come back from injury and do well. Zaheer Khan, L. Balaji and Ashish Nehra to name a few.
It's always good to see quality bowlers coming back from injury and giving off their best.
Do their performances mean they are fit for ODIs and Tests?
A bowler has to bowl only four overs here whereas in a Test he has to bowl 20 in a day's play.
Can IPL be a yardstick for national selection?
I feel it's a great platform for the under-22 and under-19 players to show their talent. The exposure they are getting is phenomenal.
We have seen some electrifying performances from lesser-known players like Ashok Dinda, Manpreet Gony, Swapnil Asnodkar and Wriddhiman Saha. What hopes do they have in other forms of the game?
At the highest level, it is consistency that matters. I hope they continue the good work in the first-class matches too.
The tournament has also seen M.S. Dhoni grow as captain and Yuvraj Singh learn the nuances of leadership. How do you rate them?
Both are fine cricketers and have been around for sometime now. They are consistently doing well and that augurs well for Indian cricket.
The back-to-back matches involve hectic travelling. Does this lead to fatigue among the players?
The travelling part is always very tough and it is not the ideal time to spend on a cricket field. But in T20, the players get enough time to recover mentally and physically.
Can poor performances here affect the players when they get ready for national duty? Rahul Dravid, for example, has not been having a good run.
These things happen in cricket. Rahul is a great player. He doesn't need to prove anything to anybody.