India skipper Virat Kohli (left) and head coach Ravi Shastri. @ AFP
India skipper Virat Kohli (left) and head coach Ravi Shastri. @ AFP

Former India wicketkeeper and ex-chief of selection committee Syed Kirmani felt the MSK Prasad-led selection panel is inexperienced and will not be able to challenge decisions of head coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli.

Kirmani was talking in the aftermath of the Karun Nair, Murali Vijay controversy. Both players were dropped from the Test squad without explanation. Prasad denied such reports and said that Nair and Vijay were informed about the decision.

“If you ask me, Ravi Shastri is the main selector, being the coach. He along with 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 Kirmani, 68, who was the chief of the India’s selection committee in early 2000s.

Kirmani’s comments has thrown light on the playing experience of the selection committee members. Prasad has played six Tests and 17 ODIs, while Sarandeep Singh (2 Tests, 5 ODIs), Dewang Gandhi (4 Tests, 3 ODIs), Jatin Paranjpe (4 ODIs) and Gagan Khoda (2 ODIs)  do not have much experience to back their credentials.

Meanwhile, Kirmani hailed Risbabh Pant’s batting prowess, but advised the wicketkeeper-batsman not to get his technique right.

“If you talk about collection of the throw. He has to go right behind the stumps, and not what Dhoni does [sometimes he takes it from ahead of stumps]. Pant is following him. It is not [the right] technique. You have to get behind, in line with the stumps, your eye level should be in line with the bails to see where the ball is pitching so that you can judge it better.

“Just by telling it is not right. It has to be shown in action. So far, I have not been invited by anyone to coach a wicketkeeper or talk to him. I feel very disappointed. My experience is going waste,” he said.

Kirmani also reckoned that a wicketkeeper was always a specialist’s job. “Wicket-keeper has to be born which I was not aware of when I started. I spoke to Alan Knott [former England wicketkeeper] for the first time in 1971. I asked him, ‘Why do they say a wicketkeeper has to be born? He said, ‘It is because right from the initial stages, you got to have a good vision, be nimble and agile’.

“How many are like that in this Indian team? Even in my time I can remember only the great Eknath Solkar.”