More tight-lipped on Ganguly's selection
Selection Committee Chairman said it was up to 'individuals' to prove their form and fitness ahead of the England series.india Updated: Feb 21, 2006 18:59 IST
Selection Committee Chairman Kiran More on Sunday refused to confirm whether former captain Sourav Ganguly would be considered for the first Test against England starting in Nagpur on March 1.
More, however, denied that the Bengal left-hander's career was over saying "if Sourav continues to perform, no one can stop him from playing for India."
"But it is still early to comment on the team for the first Test and we will see how things go," More told PTI.
The squad for that match will be announced in Baroda on February 23.
"It would be unjustified to say that only Sourav has a challenge on his hands in the presence of the youngsters who have excelled on this tour. I think it is a challenge for everyone. The best thing about this team is that there is a lot of competition which is a healthy sign," the former wicketkeeper said.
More said that doors had not been shut on any player.
"In one-day cricket, even VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble, besides Sourav, remain in contention. The important thing is that they are playing cricket and can be called if and when required. The selectors have not shut the doors on any cricketer playing domestic cricket at present."
The three players were omitted from the one-day series against Pakistan.
More took a swipe at some former cricketers who have accused him of being a "rubber stamp" and a "toothless" chief selector.
"They are sitting on various television channels and need to speak something different. They have no clue what they are talking and what damage they are causing to the team.
"Besides, they are highly paid and need to speak things that are controversial, have spice and can glue the viewers on the television screens," the former stumper said.
"Prior to the start of the series, they were questioning the credentials of Rahul Dravid as captain, the form of Sachin Tendulkar and emphasising on the negative effects Sourav Ganguly's presence would have on the team. These proved to be nothing but rubbish."
"I agree that when the team is winning, the job of the selectors becomes easy. But we take decisions which we think are in the best interest of the country and the team," More said.
Turning to the performance of the team on the Pakistan tour, More expressed satisfaction but added that India needed more quality fast bowlers and safer fielders.
"Generally, fielding has been good and there has been a marked improvement. But still, we did not field well in the Tests and need to certainly improve in that area.
"We have a few good fast bowlers but we need more as today teams require quality fast bowlers to pressurise the opponents. Of course, when we talk of quality, there are several things included and pace is certainly very high on that list," More added.