Chetan Sharma’s selection committee set to go
With many selection calls falling flat, the BCCI is not very happy with Dravid too
As a fallout of India’s semi-final exit from the T20 World Cup, the Chetan Sharma-led selection committee is set to be removed. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has invited applicants for the post of five selectors, until November 28.
While Sharma and his fellow selectors Sunil Joshi, Debashish Mohanty and Harvinder Singh are eligible to reapply, people familiar with the issue have confirmed, they have decided to ‘move on’ from the current set of selectors. As reported earlier, much before the World Cup began, the board had begun to plan for new selectors, ones who have a better understanding of T20 cricket. During the course of the World Cup itself, the previous selection committee had been asked to pick teams for the upcoming series in New Zealand and Bangladesh. “The selectors knew it was coming,” a board official said.
Many of the decisions, starting from the rest and rotation policy for players in the lead-up to the World Cup had been devised by head coach Rahul Dravid, with the selectors acting on those plans. With many selection calls falling flat, the board, it is learned, is not very happy with Dravid too. The decision to go ahead with a one-dimensional top order – Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, giving up on Mohammed Shami too early, the call to rush Jasprit Bumrah back into action, trusting Dinesh Karthik to do the job on Australian pitches are all being debated amongst the BCCI top brass and the blame is being attributed to the selectors and the team management.
Many of the clauses such as the need for a selector to be below 60 years of age and to have played at least 7 Test matches or 30 first-class matches or 10 ODIs and 20 first-class matches continue to remain in place. Interestingly, amongst expected job duties include ‘picking captain for each format’.
Whether that’s BCCI formally saying, they are looking out for a new T20 captain will soon be known. Former head coach Ravi Shastri has backed Hardik Pandya for T2O captaincy. "The volume of cricket is such, that for one player to play all three formats of the game is never going to be easy. If Rohit is already leading in Tests and ODIs, there is no harm in identifying a new T20I captain and if his name is Hardik Pandya, so be it," he recently said.
When the selection committee was last reconstituted - Chetan Sharma replaced Sunil Joshi as Chairman in December 2020 - the BCCI had made it clear that the candidates would be reviewed after a one-year period.
Sharma’s was a unique bowlers’-all selection committee with Abey Kuruvilla as the fifth member from the West Zone. Kuruvilla has been moved as General Manager, Game development in February and the post has been lying vacant.
Sharma’s stint as Chief selector was eventful with the poor handling of the transfer of India captaincy from Virat Kohli to Rohit Sharma going against his name. Kohli after a long stint as captain declared before the 2021 T20 World Cup that he would give up T20 captainship after the world event. While he wanted to stay as ODI captain, his wish was not granted. Soon, Kohli gave up Test captainship on his own. Conflicting public statements from Kohli, ex-BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and Chetan Sharma on those events painted a dire picture.
After the 2021 T20 World Cup disappointment, for a variety of reasons, the selectors could never settle on a stable captain, with everyone from KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya filling in when Rohit Sharma was missing in action.