Fresh 1983 World Cup flavour in new-look national selection panel

Sandeep Patil (above) and Roger Binny, two members of the victorious 1983 World Cup team, replace two men – Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Mohinder Amarnath – from that champion Indian side in the new selection panel © PTI

There was never a dull moment when Krishnamachari Srikkanth was at the batting crease – be it flamboyantly hoisting bowlers on the rise and over the infield or making comical facial gestures between deliveries. Nothing changed with passage of time and he was still copious entertainment when he faced the media.

 


Srikkanth will look at his tenure with mixed feelings. Under his chairmanship of the National selection committee, Team India saw unparalleled highs and also some ignominious lows. While the 2011 World Cup victory was the biggest of all highs, the defeats in Australia and England were unprecedented nadirs. He leaves at a stage when India are eying redemption in the Test arena and grooming youngsters for the future.
Sandeep Patil, another flamboyant player of the team that won the 1983 World Cup and Srikkanth’s India team-mate in the days bygone, chairs the new-look panel – one that would continue the task of rebuilding.

 

The new selection panel was announced amidst some drama on Thursday. At first, Mohinder Amarnath – another 1983 World Cupper and the man touted to succeed Srikkanth – was apparently given the boot. Then there was intense speculation that Roger Binny, also a member of the 1983 World Cup side, would be the chairman of selectors with Vikram Rathore, Abey Kuruvilla, Devang Gandhi, and Sunil Chaturvedi forming the rest of the order. However it later emerged that Patil would be the man at the helm and Binny would represent the South Zone in the panel. Saba Karim, Rathore and Rajinder Singh Hans were also named to complete the panel.

 

 

Let us have a look at the members of the new selection panel.

 

1. Sandeep Patil (Chairman, West Zone): A flamboyant batsman of his time, Patil was one of the stars of the 1983 World Cup victory. A colourful character off the field – he also featured in a Bollywood movie. He played his last international game at the age of 29 and many felt it was a premature end to his career having played 29 Tests and 45 One-Day internationals (ODIs). Since then, he has gone on to coach several teams, including India and India A. His most memorable moment as a coach came during the 2003 World Cup when the minnows Kenya remarkably qualified for the semi-finals. His experience as coach may hold him in good stead for one of the most thankless jobs in Indian cricket.

 

M

 

Runs

 

Avg

 

100s

 

Highest

 

Tests 29 1588 36.93 4 174
ODIs 45 1005 24.51 0 84

 

 

2. Roger Binny (South Zone): Another star of the 1983 World Cup – Binny was a key performer in that successful side. Although an all-rounder, it was Binny’s bowling that played a crucial role in India’s amazing triumph. When compared to Patil, Binny had a relatively longer international career having played 27 Tests and 72 ODIs. Like the new chairman, Binny too has coaching experience. He guided the Mohammad Kaif-led side to the title at the Under-19 World Cup in 2000. On a personal front, his appointment comes at an interesting time as his son Stuart had a good season last year and was picked for the Rest of India squad for the recently concluded Irani Trophy.

 

 

Runs

 

Bat.Avg

 

Wkts

 

Bowl.Avg

 

Tests 27 830 23.05 47 32.63
ODIs 72 629 16.12 77 29.35

 

3. Saba Karim (East Zone): With a solitary Test and 34 ODIs to his name, Karim was one of the many wicket-keepers India tried in the late 1990s. A tragic eye injury in a game against Bangladesh in 2000 vastly affected his chances of building an international career. In his retirement, he has been seen in a number of cricket talk-shows and has been an expert on many television channels. Karim’s career span at the domestic level was long as he made his debut in 1982 and retired in early 2000s.

 

M

 

Runs

 

Bat.Avg

 

Catches

 

Stumpings

 

Tests 1 15 15.00 1 0
ODIs 34 362 15.73 27 3

 

4. Vikram Rathour (North Zone): The run-machine at the domestic level wasn’t able to convert his potential into results at the highest level. In the limited opportunities he got at the international stage (six Tests and seven ODIs), Rathour wasn’t able to establish himself in the Indian team – one that searched for a stable opener in that era. He played his last official game in 2003, but was a part of the India Masters squad that played the Cricket Legends of Barbados Cup in 2010. It was due to his efforts that the Indian Masters secured a third place finish at that competition. He was the coach of the Punjab cricket team and an assistant coach at the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kings XI Punjab.

 

M

 

Runs

 

Avg

 

50s

 

Highest

 

Tests 6 131 13.10 0 44
ODIs 7 193 27.57 2 54

 

 

5. Rajinder Singh Hans (Central Zone): He is the only member of the new panel without international experience – Hans was a consistent performer at the domestic level. The early years of his career coincided with Dilip Doshi’s time at the highest level and he never donned the India cap. The slow left-armer played 78 First-class matches and scalped 340 wickets at a remarkable average of 22.13. He was nicknamed “WG Grace” because of his long bushy beard.

 

M

 

Wkts

 

Avg

 

5WI

 

10WM

 

First-class 78 340 22.13 27 5

 

 

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a correspondent with CricketCountry and an analyst for the site’s YouTube Channel. He shot to fame by spotting a wrong replay during IPL4 which resulted in Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal. His insights on the game have come in for high praise from cerebral former cricketers. He can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nishad_44)