Tamil Nadu chairman of selectors: State cap will have to be earned

M. Senthilnathan, Tamil Nadu cricket's chairman of selectors, spoke on the task at hand and the season ahead and stated it will be ‘horses for courses’.

M. Senthilnathan at the MRF Pace Foundation with former Australia pacer Glenn McGrath. (Photo: R. Ragu)

Tamil Nadu has started off the new season positively with three comprehensive wins in the Vijay Hazare tournament here.

Though bigger challenges are waiting ahead including matches against some tough teams in the coming days, it is a good start for a team that has had a forgetful run in domestic cricket in the last two years.

This year saw a new selection committee and coaching staff take charge alongside Dinesh Karthik, returning to lead the side in this competition.

READ | Vijay Shankar: 'It is frustrating to be out with freak injuries'

While TN can boast of giving its players the best facilities and resources, the talent pool in the feeder system has not exactly been brimming with hopefuls.

Speaking to Sportstar in Jaipur, M. Senthilnathan, chairman of the selection panel, spoke on the task at hand and the season ahead and stated it will be ‘horses for courses’.

B. Indrajith is bowled in a match against Punjab in the Ranji Trophy last season. Photo: Akhilesh Kumar

 

“We have a good talent pool but where we have been lacking is the discipline both on and off the field. What we are going to do is to ensure no player takes his place for granted. At the same time, we will give enough chances if we see someone as talented and don't want to just throw away.”

Not only has the main team not done well in the last two years, but there are also hardly any cricketers in the u-19 level that are pushing for a place in the national side and Senthilnathan conceded it is an area of concern.

Update on Vijay and Washington

M. Vijay, who has returned from his county stint with Somerset, is expected to join the TN squad on Tuesday, though he is unlikely to play the match against Bengal. He is likely to available from the next match against Jammu and Kashmir on October 4. Washington Sundar, who was supposed to join the squad, will take some more time as he battles a niggle in his hand and is at the NCA undergoing rehab.

 

“Yes, I think feeding pool is getting lesser. We have to accept the truth. We are lacking in that. People are working on that and I wouldn’t like to comment since I have not been involved in that. But we are looking for more youngsters to push seniors.”

Senthilnathan, who is also the chief coach at the MRF Pace Foundation, said that fast bowling stock is an area of concern and that the panel is keeping an eye on some promising cricketers while at the same time added that young batsmen in age group level need to step up.

The selector also added that the panel will be bold in going for format specialists, especially in T20s. “Yes, fast bowling is an area we are focussing on and we have a few promising ones like Trilok Nath and D. Rahul. Then, there is G. Periyasamy, who was the find of the TNPL, and could be considered for T20s.”

He stressed, "At the same time the State cap will have to be earned and it won’t be just awarded. We will see their performances in u-19 and u-23 levels. We are not here to try and see if players belong because reaching there is one thing but sustaining is far more important.”