New Delhi: Team India's interim manager Lalchand Rajput on Tuesday questioned Rahul Dravid's omission for the upcoming one-dayers against Pakistan, saying the veteran batsman will be missed.
Dravid, who turns 35 in January, was left out for the first two matches in Guwahati and Mohali next week with the selectors saying the former captain was being "rested".
Rajput, who is serving as cricket manager-cum-coach till a replacement for Greg Chappell is found, said he was surprised a player of Dravid's class was not picked for the squad.
"I am surprised at his omission," Rajput told reporters. "He is such a class player, a virtual wall against the opposition. We will definitely miss him."
India's five-man selection committee, headed by former Test captain Dilip Vengsarkar, was criticised by former players and the media for ignoring Dravid for the opening contests against arch-rivals Pakistan.
Dravid, with 10,585 runs from 333 matches, is one of only seven players in the world to have scored more than 10,000 one-day runs.
Nicknamed the "Wall" for his immaculate defence, Dravid is regarded alongside fellow senior pros Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly as the "big three" of Indian cricket.
Dravid stepped down as Indian Test and one-day captain last month to concentrate on his batting, but only managed scores of 31, 0, 13, 0 and 7 in the recent home one-dayers against Australia.
Shastri backs selectors decision to drop 'Wall': The selectors' decision to "rest" Dravid was, however, backed by respected commentator and former India captain Ravi Shastri.
"The fact that Dravid has been dropped for two one-dayers does not mean the end of his one-day career," Shastri told local media.
"We would need his experience for the Australian tour. For the amount of cricket that is being played, we will need about 20 to 25 players who are fit all the time.
"One of the seniors should be rested after six games on the trot if we need to preserve them for another two years as Test players," said Shastri.
The Indian team have been on the road since the World Cup in the Caribbean in March-April, playing Test, one-day and Twenty20 cricket in Bangladesh, Ireland, England, South Africa and at home.
The tour by Pakistan for five one-dayers and three Tests will be followed by India's visit to Australia in December for four Tests and the tri-series also featuring Sri Lanka.
On returning from Australia in March, India will host South Africa for three Test matches.