Former India opener Gautam Gambhir and ex-chairman of selectors MSK Prasad were involved in a battle of words on the selection process of Team India. Gambhir, who is very vocal about his views, pointed questions on Prasad's selection process during his tenure. He also raised a big point on snubbing Ambati Rayudu from 2019 World Cup squad. MSK defended his stance and the debate went on with former India captain Krishnamachari Srikanth also getting involved in the middle.
BCCI selectors are under a lot of scanners recently with veteran players like Yuvraj Singh, Irfan Pathan, and Suresh Raina, raising doubts on their selection process.
Gambhir put weight on the debate and said the time has come to give the captain and coach the responsibility of the selection process as well. (Also Read | Sachin Tendulkar vs Virat Kohli: Gautam Gambhir makes his choice between the two)
“The time has come when captain needs to be selectors as well. The captain and coach should be selectors. The selectors should have no say in the playing XI. The playing XI has to be captain’s responsibility. But at the same time the captain and the coach should be given the voting power because they cannot shrug off the responsibility of the selected team” Gambhir said in Star Sports show Cricket Connected.
MSK defended the stance and said that the skipper always has a say in the selection process but according to bylaws, he doesn't have a voting right.
“Captain has always had a say in selection process. There is no two ways about it. He does not have a vote, according to our bylaws,” said MSK Prasad.
Gambhir said some decisions of MSK's selection committee were shocking and pointed out Ambati Rayudu's 2019 World Cup snub case.
“Like it was with Vijay Shankar or whoever got picked in the World Cup. Some of the decisions were absolutely shocking. Probably not picking Ambati Rayudu in the World Cup. 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 said that India team needed a player who can bat at the top-order as well as bowl in English conditions, that's why they picked Shankar instead of Rayudu. (Also Read: Teams can have a different batting coach for T20 format, says Gautam Gambhir)
“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,” MSK said.
Krishnamachari Srikanth also gave his take on the debate and said there is a huge difference between international and domestic cricket.
“Not supporting Gautam or belittling you MSK but there is a huge difference between international cricket and domestic cricket,” said Srikanth.
To which, MSK replied that experience cannot be the only parameter all the time.
“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.
Gambhir claimed that a chairman of selectors needs to be an experienced player, who has seen the ups and downs of international cricket.
“Your chairman of selectors needs to be an experienced cricketer, who has played enough international cricket, who has seen the ups and downs of 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.