Mixed reaction to team selection

Former cricketers were divided in their opinion on the exclusion of the senior trio of Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman from the Indian team.

updated: January 25, 2008 14:19 IST
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Former cricketers were divided in their opinion on the exclusion of the senior trio of Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman from the Indian team for the up coming triangular series in Australia.

While Ajit Wadekar and Deep Dasgupta expressed 'disappointment' over the decision, Erapalli Prasanna and Kiran More gave thumbs up to the selectors for the "bold" move.

Former captain Ajit Wadekar termed dropping of Ganguly and Dravid as "unfortunate".

"Ganguly has been among runs in recent times. He has a hang of the conditions in Australia, as he has played there earlier. Probably the selectors thought he would be a bit of a liability on the field," Wadekar said.

"Rahul's omission is more unfortunate. He was getting back among runs and he is also very good in the outfield. Though I think it is a good team, the selectors would have done better by including these seniors," he said.

Former Indian opener Deep Dasgupta said the selectors have made a double fault.

"First of all, it is very bad timing. The decision has come before the fourth Test when we have a chance of levelling the series. What is the point behind announcing the side at this point when three of the players are expected to play a key role in Adelaide Test," Deep said.

Secondly, both Rahul and Sourav have been doing well in Australia. To succeed in the triangular series, you need experience and technically sound players.

"So, I think it is not the best of ideas to keep these players out," said Dasgupta.

However, legendary off-spinner Prasanna said the selectors have picked the team with an eye on the future.

"Today or tomorrow, the seniors will retire so the juniors need to be given opportunities. It will help juniors to be ready to play well after veterans hang their boots," Prasanna said.

Moreover, Prasanna felt, the limited over game requires younger players.

"It's a fair deal. ODIs are played in the top gear and so youngsters like Suresh Raina, Praveen Kumar are suited to this form of the game," he said.

Perhaps, the selectors' decision to exclude Ganguly was influenced by the fact that he is not that agile on the field,
Prasanna said.

He also did not think that the omission of these players from the one-day side would tell upon India's performance in the fourth Test in Adelaide. "These are all senior players and why should this decision reflect on their performance in the fourth Test," Prasanna said.

Former Indian stumper Kiran More said the selectors had done the right thing by relying on the younger lot.

"It is a good team. The selection panel is looking at the future. They are building a team for the 2011 World Cup. So, I feel it is good move to leave out the seniors,"

Former national selector Sambaran Banerjee, however, did not agree with More.

"This is very unfortunate. Ganguly has been our most successful one-day batsman in the past one year and Dravid has got back to form in Australia. So the team needed these two players. Laxman's experience would have come handy," Banerjee said.

"Our team needs both seniors and juniors to succeed. The selectors have not done the right thing by opting for juniors only."

Banerjee felt that the right hand-left hand combination of Sachin Tendulkar and Ganguly would have been the best in the openers' slot.

"They have a good understanding and have been opening together for years but now the selectors have upset this combination," he said.