Selection panel unable to challenge Kohli: Kirmani

Selection panel unable to challenge Kohli: Kirmani

Syed Kirmani

Former chief selector Syed Kirmani has said that the MSK Prasad-led selection panel is not experienced enough to challenge the decisions of head coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli.

The ex-India wicketkeeper's comments come in the wake of the controversy over the exclusion of Karun Nair and Murali Vijay from the Test squad.

Both Nair and Vijay claimed that they were not spoken to by the selectors before or after being dropped, a claim that Prasad has dismissed by stating that both the batsmen were duly informed.

When asked about the selection row, Kirmani told PTI: "If you ask me Ravi Shastri is the main selector, being the coach. He along with the captain and senior members will discuss and put it (what they want) across to the selection committee.

"The current selection committee, with due respect, is inexperienced to these guys (Shastri and Kohli). And they better listen to what the team management wants because they cannot debate with Shastri and Kohli, who have much more experience," said the 68-year-old, who headed the selection panel in the early 2000s.

The five-member panel is low on international playing experience with chief selector Prasad having played just six Tests and 17 ODIs. The other four -- Sarandeep Singh (2 Tests, 5 ODIs), Dewang Gandhi (4 Tests, 3 ODIs), Jatin Paranjpe (4 ODIs) and Gagan Khoda (2 ODIs) -- too do not have enough top-flight experience.

"Luck also plays a role in selection. Take my example. I was sidelined at the peak of my career," said Kirmani, who played the last of his 88 Tests in 1986, on the sidelines of the first Test against the West Indies in Rajkot.

Among India's finest wicket-keepers, Kirmani also has a lot to say about Rishabh Pant, who has broken into the Test mainly on the basis of his batting and not his glove work. The World Cup winner thinks Pant has a long way to go as he is yet to learn the basics of wicket-keeping.

"He is in the cradle of wicket-keeping. He is in the cradle of international cricket also. What is unfortunate is no coach is talking about technique anymore. The performance is what matters and MS Dhoni has proved that. The youngsters are following the likes of Dhoni from the point of batting as well as keeping.

"Having said that, basic technique is required. In batting, he (Pant) can manage but in wicket-keeping you have to follow a certain technique to have a good collection and anticipation. You got to have the agility, you got to have a good vision.

"Unfortunately there is a trend of wearing glasses these days. When you have a good natural vision why bring a glass in front. Because of that you may lose sight of the ball and your anticipation can also go haywire. You might miss a catch or stumping."