Perform or perish, Vengsarkar to seniors
Chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar on Saturday issued a stern warning to India's senior players, saying that performance alone will grant them a place in the team.
Conveying a strong message to non-performers, Vengsarkar said that many young players were waiting in the wings and no body could take their place for granted.
"Definitely, the thresh-hold has reduced. No question about it. There are many players like S Badrinath and Suresh Raina who are performing with the India 'A' side. These guys are waiting for their chance and you cannot ignore them," Vengsarkar said.
"It's a professional set-up and nobody can take their place for granted," he was quoted as saying by Mumbai's 'Mid Day' newspaper on Saturday.
Although Vengsarkar did not take name of any senior player, he was apparently referring to the Big Three -- Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly -- who have not contributed much with the bat in the ongoing one-day series against Australia.
While Tendulkar has scores of 0, 16 and 43, former captain Dravid has managed only 31 and 0. Ganguly, who suffered a hamstring injury in the rain-marred first match in Bangalore, had to sit out for subsequent two games.
Vengsarkar also came down heavily on Mumbai off-spinner Ramesh Powar, who has been below-par in the series.
"If you get picked as a frontline bowler, then you have to bowl 10 overs," Vengsarkar said.
"Plus, if your fielding is found wanting and you do not contribute with the bat, the team is obviously at a disadvantage. Ramesh has to get fitter and field better. He also has to improve his bowling," he said.
"We are not a great fielding side anyway. In the Hyderabad match, Australia saved about 25 runs on the field. If we had fielded that way, the match would have been much closer," he added.
On preferring left-arm spinner Murali Kartik ahead of Prgyan Ojha, he said "Ojha is very young... Just 21. It is not fair to unleash him against a side like Australia. We need to groom youngsters. Kartik is experienced and offers us better variation than two off-spinners."