Srikkanth: Viru tried his best in England

Chief selector Srikkanth defends Sehwag's performance on the disastrous England tour

Krishnamachari Srikkanth and his four colleagues have attracted a good deal of flak for their so-called faulty selections and illogical replacements.

Virender Sehwag, who was a disaster in the Edgbaston Test where he
failed to score a run

His committee's good work by selecting a World Cup-winning squad was somewhat diluted when Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team ended up losing 0-4 in England.


Then, came the one-day series loss to the hosts. The Indian board decided to retain the selection committee. North zone selector Yashpal Sharma was replaced (by Amarnath) because he ended his term.

Excerpts from an interview:
On long-time friend Mohinder Amarnath entering the selection committee ...
Mohinder will be of great value. Having played a lot of cricket together for years, we understand each other very well. And most importantly, he being such an accomplished cricketer himself, I am sure will be of great help in the selection process.

On whether he fears any personality clash with a man who is senior to him ...
I don't think it will be any problem in the senior selection committee with the fact that Jimmy is senior to me -- both in age and experience. He is such a wonderful guy. I don't believe anyone can have any issues with Mohinder.

On the flak the senior selection committee received during the disastrous England tour ...
We have to accept criticism gracefully and that is the problem with many of us. We sometimes cannot take it. But, constructive criticism always helps one to improve in all aspects though people can go to extremes at times. Anyway, I am willing to accept criticism. However, I would like to remind you that in the last three years we -- the team and the selection committee -- have done some excellent work.

On how he wants to counter extreme criticism ...
People tend to forget that winning the World Cup is an ultimate for any country and we have done that. In Tests too, we have been at the top for long. But I agree that this last tour to England has been a pretty disastrous one. I urge people not to forget the past. The past may be good or bad, but you cannot erase it from memory.

On Jaywant Lele's remark that a couple of selectors confessed to him about too much interference ...
How do I know? It would be better if we don't talk about it and talk more of cricket.

On the selection panel's plans for Indian cricket's resurrection ...
We cannot talk on our planning or selection process in a public forum, but I can tell you that we are working out something good, that will benefit Indian cricket. We are chalking out plans to take all corrective measures. I am sure after doing this, India will be back on track and surpass other nations.

On rumours that he wanted to quit the selection panel following the catastrophe in England recently ...
Strictly no comments.

On whether BCCI and the selectors learnt a lesson by rushing in Sehwag without any practice game ...
Poor fellow. He tried his best to get back into the groove, but unfortunately that didn't happen. Sehwag is a committed cricketer and he wanted to try and do the best for the country. Sometimes, the injury is so severe that you cannot do anything about it, so you have to accept it and carry on.

On his plans to inject new blood when the bench strength looks ordinary ...
Again, we cannot discuss our plans in public (laughs)!
Will you discuss your company's plan with me? I have already said that we are in the process of overcoming the disaster and I am sure we will be ready before the Australia tour. I was asked the same question one-and-a-half years ago and I kept on telling them that we definitely have a plan in place and then you all saw how our plans worked in the World Cup. This time too, I believe, if we complete our process, we will have some good news for Indian cricket.

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