Reacting to former selector Raja Venkat's claims that then Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president N Srinivasan did not approve of replacing Mahendra Singh Dhoni as captain after India's 0-4 Test series defeat in Australia during the 2011-12 season, erstwhile chairman of selectors Kishan Rungta felt that the selection panel which included Mohinder Amarnath should have opposed Srinivasan at the time.
Former chairman of selectors Kishan Rungta (left) and former selector Raja Venkat
Speaking from Jaipur, Rungta, who served as the national selector from Central Zone from 1994-95 to 1997-98 over two terms, said: "The selectors have every right to chose the captain and team of their choice and if there was an interference (as claimed now by Venkat), they should have shown guts and asked for an explanation from the BCCI president."
The 82-year-old Rungta added: "Yes, the BCCI president approves the team (as per the BCCI constitution) but it is a mere formality. The BCCI chief can only object to any name if the selected player has a poor record, or is black-listed for any reason. Why did the selectors agree to retain Dhoni if they felt Virat Kohli was a better choice? I think the selectors were weak. They are highly paid and didn't want to go against the BCCI's (read N. Srinivasan) wishes."
Rungta recalled a tough decision taken during his tenure. "During our time, we dropped a big name like Sachin Tendulkar as captain and the neither president (Raj Singh Dungarpur) nor secretary (J Y Lele) questioned us." Rungta still believes that selection meetings should be telecast live: "It will avoid controversies. The Board can earn through telecasts and the event can fetch lot of advertisements too."