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Selectors let the team down: Chopra

A couple of days after Delhi ended their season of woes with a quarter-final exit from the Vijay Hazare Trophy,skipper Aakash Chopra launched a scathing attack at the selectors,accusing them of “letting the team down” at crucial junctures this season.

Written by Vinayak Padmadeo | New Delhi |
March 7, 2009 1:10:22 am

A couple of days after Delhi ended their season of woes with a quarter-final exit from the Vijay Hazare Trophy,skipper Aakash Chopra launched a scathing attack at the selectors,accusing them of “letting the team down” at crucial junctures this season.

Speaking to Sportline Chopra claimed that the selectors did not pay heed to the team management’s demands. “At times,they (selectors) did not give me the desired team. If I can cite an example,we had requested them to send us a fast bowler for the Ranji knock-out,but it did not happen. Nobody has explained to me till date why our request was turned down,” Chopra said on Friday.

For his part,selection committee chairman Chetan Chauhan confirmed the team management had requested the selectors to send a fast bowler in place of injured Shikhar Dhawan. “Yes,he did request me for a fast bowler but some selectors wanted to send a batsman to replace another. Since there was no consensus among us,nobody was sent,” he said.

But Chauhan added that Chopra was not right in singling out the selectors for the team’s failure. “I usually back the team management all the time but there always exists a difference of opinion among the selectors and we need to respect that,” Chauhan said.

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Another selector Rajkumar Sharma was also quick to deflate the criticism. “All of us have always backed the team 100 per cent. I don’t know why he is saying that,but as far as the selectors are concerned,we have always tried to back the management throughout.”

It is not the first time that there has been friction between the team management and the selectors. During the Ranji Trophy,the think-tank wanted left-arm orthodox spinner Manan Sharma,who can bat as well,but it didn’t happen.

Manan did decently in the three one-dayers that he played for Delhi,making 49 runs and picking up three wickets.

“He (Chopra) can’t blame us for everything. He had Narinder Singh,the off-spinner in the team,so where was the need to send an additional spinner. He didn’t play him as well,so how can he say these things,” Chauhan added.

Another grouse

The Delhi skipper has another grouse — the selectors’ penchant to hand out Delhi caps easily. Without directly referring to Vartik Tihara,who was picked because he is sports committee convener Vinod Tihara’s son,Chopra said that a wrong precedent was being set. “We took pride in getting our Delhi caps. I had to wait for a long time to get mine. Let people earn those caps rather them handing it to them easily. We are setting a wrong precedent,” Chopra added.

For once,a selector agrees. “I completely back his views on this. We can’t let these things happen,” said Sharma.

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