Brijesh hopes to cajole Srinath back into Tests
Published: Friday, September 20, 2002, 21:51 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Dalmiya elected unopposed; Nair is new secy
Brijesh Patel elected chairman of selection committee
New Delhi: India's new chairman of selectors Brijesh Patel said on Friday he hoped to persuade retired pace spearhead Javagal Srinath to play in the upcoming home series against the West Indies."I will definitely be speaking to Srinath about playing Test matches again," Patel said a day after taking over as head of a revamped five-member selection panel.Srinath, 33, retired from Test cricket after the West Indies tour in June, saying he wanted to concentrate on next year's Limited Overs World Cup in South Africa.He spurned repeated requests by captain Saurav Ganguly to make himself available for the recent tour of England where his experience could have helped India win its first Test series outside the sub-continent since 1986.The four-match series instead ended at 1-1 as the rookie pace attack of Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar and Ashish Nehra struggled to make an impact even in seamer-friendly English conditions."The new ball attack is a bit of a worry," said Patel, who hails from the same southern state of Karnataka as Srinath and is also the secretary of the state cricket association.Srinath, with 232 wickets from 64 Tests, is India's second most successful fast bowler behind former world record holder Kapil Dev's tally of 434.Patel's appeal came a day after Srinath, playing English county cricket for Leicestershire, grabbed four wickets in seven balls, including a hat-trick, against champions Surrey.Srinath may be encouraged to reconsider his retirement by the fact that two of the three Tests against the West Indies will be played on newly-laid wickets at Mumbai and Kolkata that promise to be conducive to fast bowling.Chennai, where the other Test is scheduled, is already regarded as the most sporting Test venue in India with a wicket that aids fast bowlers willing to bend their backs.The Board of Control for Cricket in India, worried by the slow tracks at home, hired experts from the New Zealand Turf Sports Institute (TSI) in May to relay wickets at major international venues across the country.Patel is one of the four new faces in India's selection committee along with former Test players Kiran More, Kirti Azad and Pranab Roy.Sanjay Jagdale, a former first-class cricketer, is the lone survivor of the previous panel, which was headed by Chandu Borde.The West Indies will play three Tests and seven One-day Internationals on the seven-week tour starting on October 4.
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