Ambiguity lingers over selection panel strength

The question for now is whether the squad for the latter half of the Test series between India and England will be decided by three or five wise men.

Jatin Paranjape and Gagan Khoda have not been notified officially by the BCCI since the last week’s court ruling.   -  Facebook

With India having begun the five-Test series with successive three-day losses, drastic changes, especially in the opening combination, are being sought for the last two Tests. The bigger question for now is whether the squad for the latter half of the series will be decided by three or five wise men.

The Supreme Court order on August 9 clarified that the strength of the selection committee – which had clipped to three members by the Lodha Committee two years ago – should be reversed to five. With the Test team, especially batting line-up, appearing to be the one in transition, calls for recalling Jatin Paranjape and Gagan Khoda to the selection panel for the next meeting are getting louder.

However, the BCCI brass and the Committee of Administrators (CoA) is understood to be confused over the immediate course of action. It is understood that the CoA has sought legal opinion over expansion of the selection committee and whether Paranjape and Khode can be re-inducted into the panel straight-away.

However, seasoned administrators cited lack of consistency in delaying addition of the two selectors. Days after the Supreme Court had delivered the verdict in July 2016, the Lodha Committee had forced the BCCI to crunch the selection panel's strength despite the then BCCI constitution not having been amended. If the same yardstick has to be applied, then Paranjape and Khoda’s place in the selection committee should be restored ahead of the next selection committee meeting.

Sportstar also understands that neither of the two selectors have been notified officially by the BCCI since the last week’s court ruling. The ambiguity may well last till the next CoA meeting, likely to be held on August 20 and 21.