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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Report

Pick youngsters for Bangladesh tour: More

April 20, 2007 02:33 IST

The national selectors have an unenviable task on Friday when they sit down to select the Indian squad for the upcoming tour of Bangladesh.

Indian cricket is in turmoil following the team's dismal performance in the World Cup and subsequent unceremonious exit of coach Greg Chappell, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India is hoping for a reversal in fortunes in Bangladesh.

The selectors will hold discussions with captain Rahul Dravid and newly-appointed cricket manager Ravi Shastri before deciding the squads for the tour from May 7 to 29.

Chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar has indicated that around 20 players would be chosen for the two teams, but it is unlikely that many seniors would make way for young blood.

Former chief selector and wicketkeeper Kiran More though feels talented youngsters should be picked for the tour.

'The selectors will need to get some more youngsters in the team and give them more chances,' he says.

'I hope they make the right decisions keeping in mind the future of Indian cricket,' he told Special Correspondent Harish Kotian in an exclusive chat.


How important is this selection meeting in terms of India's cricketing future?

I think its going to be difficult for the selectors to make a decision regarding the future of Indian cricket. Their real test will come on Friday and they will have to make some calls. It will be interesting to see what decisions Dilip Vengsarkar will take and it will be regarding future of Indian cricket. This was discussed in the Working Committee meeting and the order has also been given to them to look for the youngsters, to look for the future.

They have to select two teams tomorrow -- the Test and the ODI team. I hope they make the right decisions keeping in mind the future of Indian cricket.

We have had this committee led by Vengsarkar for some months now. Based on what they have done so far, what are your expectations?

I think looking back at the South Africa and World Cup we had a poor performance in both the tournaments. Looking at South Africa tour, the players who got dropped after that were mostly youngsters. So when we went to West Indies [for the World Cup] we went with lot of seniors and we didn't have a great World Cup.

So, it will be an interesting selection meeting tomorrow. The selectors will have to take some tough decisions. This team has been for seven months now and they know what his team has done at the World Cup and in South Africa before that.

Considering that aspect, they will need to get some more youngsters in the team and give them more chances. In Test matches, I agree that we should have more seniors in the side because after this series we have Test matches in England so there we will need experienced players. But in the Test side also they can look for a couple of youngsters in the middle order, take them to tours and try to groom them.

There are reports that a few seniors like players Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Irfan Pathan and Ajit Agarkar could be dropped from the ODI side. Do you think this is the right time to drop the non-performers and pick the team for the future?

Of course! All these players have been given good opportunities. There are youngsters waiting in line and have been performing well at the domestic level. Some of the youngsters did not get a chance to go the World Cup because the selectors wanted experienced players in the team, who they felt could be very handy in the World Cup.

We went there and we didn't do well, so we are back on zero now. Now we are looking for the youngsters for the one-day team. And why not, we should try more youngsters, especially in Bangladesh. We need to improve our fielding, batting and looking to give more support to our bowlers.

All the young emerging players, who have come from the National Cricket Academy, India Under-19 and India 'A' tour, have been very dynamic in their fielding. I would like to mention some of the outstanding fielders like Manoj Tiwary, Rohit Sharma, Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif.

If these guys are there in the team our fielding looks very solid and the bowlers also feel more confident. So there is a good chance for some of the youngsters to make it to the one-day side. I hope the selectors do justice for these youngsters as we need to groom them.

Bengal's Manoj Tiwary and Rohit Sharma of Mumbai look the most likely young players to be picked for the Bangladesh tour. You have seen them play, so what is your take on these two players?

I have seen Manoj and Rohit from the age of 15-16. We had been following their cricket and had picked Manoj for the Challenger Series two years back.

He was India Under-19 captain because we knew he has the potential. He had not played Ranji Trophy, but still we picked him for the Challengers so that he could get a chance to rub shoulders with some of the senior players. He has been performing well for Bengal and now he has got a good chance to make it to the Indian team.

Rohit has been playing well in the junior cricket. I have seen him getting a hundred for the Under-16 team against Hyderabad. It was a brilliant knock and we picked him for the Deodhar Trophy last year, where he scored 151. He is young, very talented and he should be nurtured well. He should be taken for tours, but we should not expect big miracles from him.

Groom him, carry him with the team for the next one or two years because he has great potential to make it to the top level. We need to groom these players because I feel they are great talents. We must have patience and should not put pressure on these guys. That is how you groom a player. Try to create some opportunities for these players to play some matches. If you take them for a tour, make them play in side matches.

In the same way, shouldn't we groom a captain too? Considering that appointment of a vice-captain for the Bangladesh tour becomes important. So who would you pick as vice-captain for the tour?

We have couple of players like M S Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh, but these guys need to perform consistently.

The Board has taken a good decision to retain Rahul Dravid as the captain. Before the World Cup, people were talking that somebody else should take over from Dravid, which was not on at all.

Dravid is our best player at the moment so the Board has taken a correct decision. I was really happy when he was named as the captain for the Bangladesh tour and also for the Ireland and Bangladesh tours.

He is a good enough player and he must carry on for another 2-3 years. He can carry these youngsters and make a good team out of it.

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