There are challenges of being a national selector but Devang Gandhi feels that the existing structure of the senior team will make it easier for the new committee to seamlessly integrate into the system.
“With Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli as captains along with Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid as chief coaches of senior and A team, the BCCI has put a fantastic structure in place. These are the main guys who are taking Indian cricket forward. As a selector our job will be to complement this core team. At least that’s how I look at it,” the 45-year-old former India opener told PTI.
“It is indeed a big honour for any cricketer if you again get to work in the Indian cricket system, which is such a robust one. Selecting a national team is a big responsibility. I have been a cricketer from Bengal but now I have to look at the bigger picture. It is not about the zones or the states. It’s about who are the best players to represent India,” said the former Bengal captain, who had played 4 Tests and 95 first-class matches.
Gandhi said that his time as chief selector of Bengal and subsequently as a commentator in BCCI’s domestic panel has helped him over the years.
“One needs to be diligent with his homework and for that you have to have a fair knowledge about domestic cricket. When I was the chairman of Bengal’s senior selection committee, I have watched a lot of domestic matches. It helped me keep a tab on who are the performers in national circuit.
“Then I was doing commentary for the past few seasons during domestic tournaments like Ranji, Duleep, Deodhar and Irani Cup. This has helped me get a first-hand knowledge about the scenario in domestic cricket. It should surely help me,” said Devang.
So doesn’t it make the job of a national selector easy, when at least 10 Indian players select themselves, Devang differed.
“I don’t think it is that simple. It’s not always about selecting the 12, 13 14th or 15th member of the squad. Often one needs to take call on senior players who are out of form, be adept in man management. At the end of the day, our job is to help the captain, who will devise a strategy to win matches.”
Another factor that can be helpful is that all the five members are in the same age-group having played against each other.
“Myself and MSK (Prasad) have played for India together against New Zealand and Australia. I have played a lot of cricket against Gagan (Khoda) and Sarandeep (Singh). Jatin (Paranjpe) is the only guy I haven’t had much opportunity to play against. But we all played cricket at the same time. So it’s easier when people of same age group are communicating,” said Gandhi.