When Hindustan Times invited five former stalwarts to form the selection committee, the request was for them to give shape to the Test and ODI squads of the future, containing players who will dispel all uncertainties and be the agents of change.
Their credentials are such that
the entire process was peppered with forceful debates, strong logic and had the stamp of each individual. Bishan Singh Bedi, the former skipper and member of the famed spin quartet, had also been part of the national selection panel that had the courage to drop Kapil Dev for a Test against England in the mid 1980s.
Both Madan Lal, a member of the 1983 World Cup winning side, and former batsman Ashok Malhotra, were both part of the committee that named Sourav Ganguly as India skipper in 2000.
Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Kiran More, the other two panelists, had both been chief selectors. The former India opener, who completed his term last year, was the head of the panel that shortlisted the players who helped India regain the World Cup after a gap of 28 years. More's tenure coincided with that of Greg Chappell as coach and also saw Ganguly's removal as skipper.
While Srikkanth linked up via video from Chennai, the other four met at the HT media house for a marathon two-and-half hour debate before coming up with the squads that will take Indian cricket forward.
There was elaborate discussion on each department - openers, No. 3 and middle order batsmen, wicketkeeper-batsmen, fast bowlers and spinners - before the exhaustive process, the heated debates on certain players, and the quick consensus over others, drew to a conclusion.
Starting today, HT will publish lists of players for specific slots, forming a wide pool comprising the tried and tested as well as those who hold immense promise going forward.
We invite our readers to make their choices as we publish the names of the potential candidates for over a week and vote for the best 15 they feel should make India's Test and ODI squads for the future.