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The Rediff Cricket Interview / Pravin Amre
'Manoj Tewary has a very good future'
May 02, 2007
Pravin Kalyan Amre is regarded as one of the unluckiest Indian cricketers. He made a grand Test debut, scoring a super 103 against South Africa, which boasted of a solid four-pronged pace attack comprising Allan Donald, Brett Schultz, Meyrick Pringle and Brian McMillan, at Kingsmead, Durban, in 1992.
He continued his good run in the three-Test home series against England that followed, but after that the selectors started playing with his fast-flourishing international career for apparently no particular reason. Some said he lacked proper technique, others detected the absence of elegance in his batting, though together they preferred to overlook the fact that he was still scoring runs, and prolifically at that.
An out-and-out team-man, Amre, just like Vinod Kambli, often sacrificed his wicket in order to add quick runs to the team's total, as he was usually sent in at No 5 or 6 in both versions of the game.
A simple, unassuming man, he still wonders what wrong he did to deserve reward of only a handful of Tests and ODIs.
In the following interview with Haresh Pandya, Amre, who became chairman of the national junior selection committee after retirement and is now coach of Mumbai's Ranji Trophy team, expresses his views on the selection of India's Test and ODIs teams for the Bangladesh tour, and sheds light on the country's junior cricket scenario.
Are you happy with the selection of the Indian Test and ODIs teams for the Bangladesh tour?
Well, it's a good selection, more or less. I think the selection of most of the players was on expected lines.
Don't you think the selectors should have picked full-fledged squads for the Tests as well as one-dayers?
Well, yes and no! After all, Bangladesh is still not that strong a side regardless of its impressive performance in the World Cup. Maybe, the selectors want to give an opportunity to some exceptionally talented youngsters.
Do you agree with their decision to "rest" Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar from the ODIs against Bangladesh?
It's not a question of whether I agree with their decision or not. As I said, the selectors probably want to encourage the youngsters. And they can always take chances and experiment against a weaker side like Bangladesh. I'm sure they must have thought a lot and taken into account many factors before deciding to "rest" Ganguly and Tendulkar.
But a senior and totally out-of-form player like Virender Sehwag has found favour irrespective of his woefully poor run with the willow lately. What do you think?
Yes, Sehwag's selection is a bit surprising after his glaring failure for quite some time now. Maybe, the selectors want to give him yet another chance to regain his touch and prove his worth. He is still young, capable and has plenty of good cricket left in him.
You were chairman of the national junior selection committee not long ago. How is the junior cricket scenario in the country?
Junior cricket is very good and healthy. We've many promising cricketers in the country. India's different junior teams have been performing well at the international level. The good thing is these junior cricketers get enough opportunities to parade their talents. Quite a few of them have already made it to Team India, too.
Some of the younger players for the Bangladesh tour were probably selected on the basis of their performance in the recent national Twenty20 tournament. Considering that both Test and one-day cricket are completely different from Twenty20, which is designed to entertain the spectators only, is it a right thing to do?
I don't think the players have been selected on the strength of their performance in Twenty20. If you're referring to Manoj Tewary, don't forget that he had an outstanding Ranji Trophy season as well.
How do you rate Tewary, by the way?
Oh, he has tremendous potential. There is no doubt about his skills. He is one of the most exciting talents in the country today. He has a very good future.
Rohit Sharma, an equally talented -- probably more -- youngster, not making the Bangladesh tour has come as a surprise to many. Has it to you as well?
Yes. I feel that he should have been in the team for the Bangladesh tour. It isn't necessary to include him in the playing eleven if there is no room for him. But to be a part of the team, he can learn a lot by moving and interacting with the experienced Indian cricketers, something he may never have learnt in his whole life.