Is it time for Srikkanth and Co to go? MiD DAY asks experts

Though Srikkanth & Co picked a World Cup-winning team, the thrashing in England cannot be ignored

Till the World Cup that concluded in April this year, the Indian selectors were having a smooth ride and were all set to get extensions (barring North Zone's Yashpal Sharma who has completed all four years of his term).
But suddenly they found themselves in the eye of storm during the ongoing England series where the dressing room virtually turned into a hospital ward with as many as nine cricketers being casualties, leaving the squad in tatters.

What's happening boss? Chairman of selectors Kris Srikkanth (left)
with Indian skipper MS Dhoni. Pic/Suresh KK

Is it the selectors' short sightedness or the toll of excessive cricket is the burning issue in the cricket fraternity these days. Former India captain and coach Ajit Wadekar though didn't blame it entirely on the selectors and pointed to a few other factors that led to India's downfall in the current tour of England. "Till the World Cup, India played well and then the selectors were getting accolades, but as soon as the team started to fail, they found themselves at the receiving end. Kris Srikkanth and his colleagues are not at fault as far as India's performance is concerned � injuries played a big role here," Wadekar told MiD DAY. On whether the selectors erred while naming the replacements, Wadekar backed the five wise men. "For naming an apt replacement you need to have players of same calibre back home, but that isn't the scenario in India.

"I feel our bench strength is not as solid as the English side and so it happened," Wadekar opined. "Also players look jaded and their body language is not right," he claimed.But another former India captain -- Bishan Singh Bedi -- was as vociferous as ever regarding the current scenario and spewed venom against the current set of selectors. "Why should they be retained for another year?" he counter questioned.  "We need fresh people and fresh thinking. For that, we need to have a different set of selectors this time who can bring in new ideas and chalk out plans for a smooth future," said Bedi.

Even reminding him about India's World Cup triumph, the legendary Bedi was in no mood to douse the fire. "We have won the World Cup in April and that is past for me. Now we should dwell on the present and future and so fresh minds are required to guide Team India in the right direction so that we don't commit such mistakes in the future," Bedi felt. Former chief selector Kiran More was more balanced in his views regarding the issue. "I don't think the entire panel needs to be chopped... some changes may also be good for the Indian team," he said.

Tough job
"Till the World Cup they did a good job and but somehow they lost it after that. They were trying to please everyone which one cannot do. It's a tough job and you have to take tough calls as and when required.
"They actually failed to deliver as far the process is concerned. They should have been more methodical while picking the squad and when it came to replacements they did a very shoddy job," he added.

Another former selector Sambaran Banerjee, however, corroborated Wadekar's views. "Whether the selectors would be retained that is BCCI's prerogative, but in my view they shouldn't be put to the sword immediately after one bad series. No team would have done any better with so many injuries happening at the same time. Selectors can't foresee players' injuries," Banerjee felt.

So going by the experts, the fraternity seems to be divided over the selectors' extension issue. Reason: Their fabulous record till the England tour -- victories against superpowers like Sri Lanka, Australia and South Africa, besides the World Cup, may have earned them some brownie points. Now it's up to BCCI to take a call. Will they react?

Highs and Lows of Srikkanth's panel
>> The 2011 World Cup win
>> No 1 Test ranking
>> Test series wins in New Zealand and West Indies
>> Two home Test series wins against Australia (2008 and 2010)
>> ICC World Twenty20 - 2009 (England) and 2010 (West Indies)
>> ICC Champions Trophy 2009 (South Africa)
>> Test series whitewash in England

MiD DAY poll result:
Should the selectors be retained?
Total voters: 50
Yes: 17
No: 33

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