Devang Gandhi, the former India batsman and selector in a conversation with Times of India, talked about how hard it is to select national squads which will be liked by all experts, fans and cricketers, especially after the exclusion of Suryakumar Yadav from India’s squad for Australia was severely criticized.
Selectors role have been under constant criticism as the likes of Ambati Rayudu was ignored despite his performances before 2019 World Cup and more recently, exclusion of Suryakumar Yadav for Australian T20Is despite his consistent performances in last 3 seasons in IPL and domestic circuit.
Devang Gandhi: Too Much Importance Is Given To Experience In India
He mentioned that Ed Smith and Trevor Hohns, the selectors of England and Australia haven’t played much or no international cricket unlike Indian selectors but managed to build World Cup-winning sides.
“Too much importance is given to experience in India. All you should have is an eye for talent and the willingness to work hard. We have unearthed a lot of talent over the past four years. Our focus has been to not just give India a good squad, but back it up with a strong bench. I think we have managed to do that quite well,” he said.
The 35-year-old Ambati Rayudu announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in July 2019 after the selectors dropped him from the World Cup squad in favour of Vijay Shankar and he wasn’t selected even as a replacement for injured players Shikhar Dhawan and Vijay Shankar.
“Yes, that was a mistake, but then we are humans too. At that time we seemed to have hit the right combination, but later we realised Rayudu’s presence might have helped. Actually, India had one bad day in office during the World Cup and that’s why Rayudu’s absence became such a big talking point. Apart from that one match, India had an excellent tournament. I can understand Rayudu’s angst and his reactions were justified,” he said responding to a question of ignoring Ambati Rayudu.
However, on 29 August 2019, Ambati Rayudu said that he was willing to play all formats of cricket again. He played 55 ODIs and has an average of 47.
The 49-year-old Devang Gandhi was an opener who played for Bengal and featured in 4 tests and 3 ODIs for India. Devang Gandhi announced his retirement in 2006.
Devang Gandhi: Suryakumar Yadav Among India’s Huge Bench Strength As He Will Have To Be Patient And Keep On Performing
Suryakumar Yadav scored 480 runs in 16 games averaging 40 after amassing 512 and 424 runs too in the previous two seasons. With his help, Mumbai Indians successfully defended their title in 2020.
“I would request the experts that while they are talking about Suryakumar’s exclusion, they should also tell us who should have been kept out. India has a huge bench strength and the selection process is often about exclusion. There can be four equally good players for one slot. Obviously, you have to keep some talented players out. Suryakumar is a brilliant player, but he will have to be patient. He must keep performing. Mayank Agarwal is one batsman who barged into the squad, consistently performing well,” he said in regards to Suryakumar Yadav’s exclusion.
“Yes, we had differences and we would debate, discus and come to a consensus. There have been times when Kohli has asked us what we have seen in a particular player. We had to convince him that the concerned player has the skills to play for India,” Devang Gandhi commented on differences and debates between selectors and Virat Kohli.
Suryakumar Yadav ages 30 and has performed outstandingly well in domestic circuit averaging 44 in first class and 35 in List A as well as IPL.