Players airing views a healthy sign: Kirmani

Published: Sunday, June 20, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Chennai :The chairman of the national senior cricket selection committee, Syed Kirmani, sees no controversy in the statements made by captain Sourav Ganguly and others on the opener's slot in the team and says that Aakash Chopra and Yuvraj Singh could be fitted in both versions of the game.

"The comments of Ganguly, Sehwag and Tendulkar, I am sure, have been made in a positive way. As long as there are no controversial remarks, I look at them from the committee's point of view as a sporting one and not injuring the feelings of others. It is a good and healthy sign that players are airing their views," he said.

Obviously, the statements had been made in the interest of the game and the team's positive performance and result. "We will not disturb the composition of the present well-knit team," said Kirmani.

Kirmani, popularly known as 'Kiri', who has played 88 Tests and 49 One-day Internationals, said such comments are not to be viewed seriously. "I see them as a point in reality and genuine (comments)," he said.

Speaking on behalf of the other four selectors in the committee, as he is empowered to talk to the media, Kirmani said that adaptability is the key to any situation and both Chopra and Singh were capable of rising to the occasion.

On the need to have specialists in every department of the game, he said he preferred one or more defensive batsmen for the opener's slot. "Even if both are picked, they have the wherewithal to adapt themselves to the situation. We have to look into their usefulness to the team."

On Ganguly's decision for Rahul Dravid to keep wickets, Kirmani said the captain has always been asking for him.

Dravid has also stated many a time that he would abide by the team management decision.

Pointing out that Ganguly had chosen Dravid so that the team would get an additional batsman or a bowler, he said it would mean overlooking a specialist wicketkeeper (Parthiv Patel). "It is a genuine suggestion made in the team's interest. The selectors will have no inhibitions about it. If the captain and the team feel Rahul is the best bet, it should be regarded by the committee too."

The former wicketkeeper also said Parthiv Patel's potential could not be overlooked. "Just in case the regular (Patel) fails to perform, we will give a chance to youngsters like Dinesh Karthik, Vinay Uthappa or Tony, who are knocking at the doors of selection."

On frequent injuries to fast bowlers like Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra, Kirmani said it was not a cause of worry to him or others in the committee. "There is enough talent available in India today. We have solid bench strength as back up."

Kirmani, who was made happy by the team's performance during the last two seasons, said, "Most were picked on their credentials and performance in the recent past. It makes our job rather easy. But we will debate on the players for the remaining slots, who can fit in as an all-rounder or a bowler," he added.

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