Many former and out of favor cricketers like Yuvraj Singh, Irfan Pathan, and Suresh Raina have talked about the lack of communication between selectors and senior players. They mentioned that it was necessary for selectors to convey messages to seniors in a better way.
On Saturday, while discussing the matter, former India openers Gautam Gambhir, Krishnamachari Srikkanth, and former chairman of selectors MSK Prasad were involved in a debate on Star Sports show Cricket Connected.
“The time has come for the captain to be a selector as well. The captain and coach should be made the selectors, and the selectors should have no say in the playing XI. The captain and coach can’t shrug off the responsibility of the selected team,” Gambhir said.
“A captain always has a say in the selection process. There are no two ways about it. He may not have a vote. Our bylaws clearly state that the captain has a say but he doesn’t have a vote in the selection process.,” said MSK Prasad citing laws of Indian cricket.
Gautam Gambhir then touched the raw nerve of the 2019 World Cup fiasco when Ambati Rayudu was infamously not selected from the squad in favor of Vijay Shankar, for the no.4 batting position and took potshots at the selection committee.
Gambhir also mentioned the infamous 3D tweet that Rayudu made taking shots at chief selector MSK Prasad.
“They couldn’t find the no. 4. One position they had to identify and they could not do that. Look at what happened to Ambati Rayudu - you picked him for two years. Two years, he batted at no. 4. And just before the World Cup, you needed a 3-D? Is that the kind of statement you want to see from a chairman selector that we need a 3-D cricketer?” Gambhir added.
MSK Prasad had dubbed Shankar as a ‘3D’ cricketer with his ability to bat at no.4 and bowl medium pacers and this was the reason why he was picked over Rayudu. He replied: “Let me clarify, at the top, everyone was a batsman - Shikhar, Rohit, Virat. There was nobody who could bowl. And someone like Vijay Shankar, who bats at the top order, could be helpful with the ball in the English conditions.”
“Not supporting Gautam or belittling you MSK but there is a huge difference between international cricket and domestic cricket,” Srikkanth chimed in. K Srikkanth had been selector-in-chief until 2013.
“I agree with Chika that there is a difference but you also have to understand that experience cannot be the only parameter all the time. You may miss out on players in the process,” said Prasad, who has been replaced by Sunil Joshi as the chief selector recently.
Gambhir later pointed out the rationale behind why the chairman of cricketers needs to be an experienced cricketer with lots of exposure to international cricket.
“The more you play, the better you understand players. Chika has played a lot of international cricket, he has captained India, he knows what a player goes through. When I got selected there was someone else as the chairman when I got dropped there was someone else as the chairman. Then you came in, I could fight with you, I could walk up to you and discuss things, so that is the relationship you want between players and selectors,” Gambhir added.