A capable team

Sandeep Patil.-R, SGUVAHU RAO

Challenging times lie ahead for Patil and Company with two tough home series this winter against England and Australia. By Vijay Lokapally.

Within hours of their appointment, the new selectors were packing their bags to reach Rajkot for their first assignment — the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy. The quintet — Sandeep Patil, Roger Binny, Rajinder Singh Hans, Saba Karim and Vikram Rathour — will draw a vision for Indian cricket over the next few years.

Mohinder Amarnath, having been on the panel for one year, was expected to take over as chairman but probably some of his open statements had cost him the job even though he had been promised, reportedly, a four-year term when he had replaced Yashpal Sharma as the North Zone representative. Some of the State units in North had protested, saying that Mohinder did not live in Delhi and was out of touch with the developments of the zone. But then Hans (Central Zone) and Karim (East Zone) happen to be in the same boat — both are based in Delhi.

The committee, on paper, appears capable. Patil, the Chairman of Selectors, is well versed with the development programme, having served at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) as chairman. He has been a coach and a scout and brings rich cricketing acumen to the panel. Binny is at home when it comes to spotting talent and his impeccable record is an asset to the committee.

Few understand domestic cricket as Hans does. He has been a National junior selector and also held coaching stints with Uttar Pradesh and Tripura. Hans comes from an era when cricket facilities, especially in Central Zone, were not the priority. He is adept in recognising talent.

Chairman of Selectors, and his team (clockwise from left, above) Roger Binny, Saba Karim, Vikram Rathore and Rajinder Hans.-PTI

Rathour and Karim bring the ‘youth’ element to the committee. Rathour, with a superb record on the domestic circuit, is an excellent student of the game. What works in his favour is his passion to follow cricket at all levels and his unbiased approach is a plus point too. One can expect him to be as unflinching as he was while batting. Karim is studious in the literal sense and can’t be kept away from a book store or a cricket field.

Board Secretary Sanjay Jagdale observed, “They understand the modern game very well. I am sure they would have a look at every cricketer even though it is not possible to watch every match. We know they will be fair.”

Challenging times lie ahead for Patil and Company with two tough home series this winter against England and Australia.