World Cup squad to Rohit Sharma exclusion - former selector Paranjape opens up

Former India cricketer Jatin Paranjape recently finished his four-year tenure as a BCCI selector; picking the squad for the Australia series was the last assignment.

Jatin Paranjape recently finished his four-year tenure as BCCI selector.   -  FILE PHOTO/ VIVEK BENDRE

Having finished his four-year tenure as a national selector, including almost 18 months when he couldn’t be a part of the panel due to the administrative muddle in the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Jatin Paranjape opens up on various issues during his stint.

Excerpts.

Your colleague Devang Gandhi recently admitted that omitting Ambati Rayudu for the 2019 World Cup was a mistake. Do you agree?

I think we went with the best squad. The format of a 50-over game pushes you into a corner to have a sixth bowling option because 50 overs is a lot without a sixth bowler. I think may be the batting order could have been a little bit better in crucial games but I don’t think there was anything wrong with the squad that we picked for the World Cup.

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Your last meeting in October turned into quite an affair. Can you shed light over Rohit Sharma’s exclusion?

I think it’s a very simple process which is followed. The BCCI physio shares an Excel sheet of fitness status of players. Some players are available for selection, some are not. Once there’s an unavailable for selection remark against a player, you can’t do anything about it and move on to the next option. That was the prognosis on Rohit. I think he played the IPL because only two-three games had remained, so one can push himself with a few injections. The mindset is different, the circumstances are different but going to Australia and having to play 10 more games across formats in the next two months is a different cup of tea when you are evaluating an injury status.

Left to right: India head coach Ravi Shastri, captain Virat Kohli and Jatin Paranjape in conversation.   -  FILE PHOTO/ VIVEK BENDRE

 

So can the national selection panel tell a contracted player to play or not play franchise cricket?

They are mutually exclusive of each other.

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How would you respond to a jibe that you are perhaps the luckiest national selector so far since for half of your tenure, you were compensated without really working?

To be honest with you, these comments are pretty immature. You get paid but you’re not allowed to do anything else at that time and people who know me should understand it a little better that I am well-placed to do a few other things which others are perhaps not well-placed to do. I couldn’t do those also. It was a strange situation but you know the kind of lineage I come from. I know that these things happen. I am what I am is because of the BCCI. I spent a decade at Nike spotting talent and the first player I signed was a guy called Virat Kohli. The fact that I played cricket had a lot to do with that opportunity as well, so no hard feelings at all. People are entitled to their opinion but it’s lazy and immature thinking.

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