Fitness and performance should be criteria for selection: Dilip Vengsarkar

Dilip Vengsarkar said the way India played, their bowling, batting, everything in Australia was not up to the mark AFP

Mumbai: Jan 17, 2012

Amid calls to replace senior Indian cricketers in the wake of the debacle in Australia, former skipper Dilip Vengsarkar said such decisions should not be based on age alone.

“It depends on the form and fitness of players. I won’t generalise the seniors. In cricket age is no criteria but those who are not doing well (must go),” he said on the sidelines of a function here.

The former Chairman of selectors said he was not surprised by the capitulation of Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side. “No, I was not surprised by what happened in Australia.

The way they are playing, their bowling, batting, everything in those conditions was not upto the mark.”

The former middle-order batsman, who played in 116 Tests, blamed the selectors for the situation, saying they had not created a good bench strength.

“This selection committee has not groomed anyone.

Ajinkya Rahane was in Australia for a month but did not play a match. How will you justify that? The itinerary is such Rohit Sharma has not played a match in a month. How would you expect them to do well in their first match (if they are played).”

Close on the heels of their 0-4 whitewash in England, India have lost the first three Tests matches of the ongoing four-match rubber against Australia.

Several former cricketers, including batting great Sunil Gavaskar, have said that it is time the seniors like VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid hang their boots so that youngsters can be blooded in the national team.

Vengsarkar, who was talking to reporters on sidelines of a function to felicitate Wasim Jaffer for becoming the highest run-getter in Ranji Trophy, felt the Mumbai skipper had it in him to make a comeback in the national side.

Meanwhile, Jaffer said despite the high expectations from Mumbai, he was happy that his team had made it to the semis of Ranji given the inexperienced squad he was leading.

Asked whether he was hopeful of a comeback in the national team, the 33-year-old said, “At this stage I am not even in the West Zone team for the Duleep Trophy. So I’m not thinking about that. But yes that is a motivation. This season has not been that good. I want to come back next season and do well.”(PTI)