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Gavaskar Questions Kohli's Undisputed Position as Captain, Calls Selectors ‘Lame Ducks’

Former India Captain Sunil Gavaskar has lashed out at the national selection committee for not questioning Virat Kohli’s undisputed position as captain despite the “much below par” performance at the World Cup that saw India losing a tightly contested semi-final to New Zealand. Describing the panel led by former India wicket-keeper MSK Prasad as “lame ducks” in his column for Mid-day, Gavaskar said that by not following established procedure by reappointing Kohli as captain, the selectors have sent the message that he can retain the job for as long as he wishes to.

Cricketnext Staff |July 29, 2019, 3:36 PM IST
Gavaskar Questions Kohli's Undisputed Position as Captain, Calls Selectors ‘Lame Ducks’

Former India Captain Sunil Gavaskar has lashed out at the national selection committee for not questioning Virat Kohli’s undisputed position as captain despite the “much below par” performance at the World Cup that saw India losing a tightly contested semi-final to New Zealand. Describing the panel led by former India wicket-keeper MSK Prasad as “lame ducks” in his column for Mid-day, Gavaskar said that by not following established procedure by reappointing Kohli as captain, the selectors have sent the message that he can retain the job for as long as he wishes to.

"That they selected the team for West Indies without first having a meeting to select the captain brings up the question of whether Virat Kohli is the captain of the team at his or the selection committee's pleasure,” wrote Gavaskar.

“To the best of our knowledge his (Kohli’s) appointment was till the World Cup. After that, it was incumbent on the selectors to meet even if it was for five minutes for his reappointment.

“Speaking of lame ducks, the Indian selection committee appears to be one. After the reappointment, he (captain) gets invited to the meeting for his views on the selecting the players for the team. By bypassing the procedure, the message that goes out is that while the players like Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik get dropped after below expectations performance, the captain continues despite much below par expectations where the team did not even reach the finals.”

Continuing his attack against the selection committee which consists of former players Sarandeep Singh, Devang Gandhi, Jatin Paranjape and Gagan Khoda besides Prasad, Gavaskar said that the lack of “stature” in the group was an impediment in their smooth functioning. None of the current selectors had long careers in India colours and in fact two – Paranjape and Khoda – didn’t play a single Test, featuring only in a few ODIs. Gavaskar, one of the greats of Indian cricket himself, believes players of stature will be able to avoid getting “bullied” by the team management into making decisions.

“This is probably one of the last selections for this committee as a new one will get appointed soon,” he wrote. “Hopefully that will have players of stature who will not get bullied and be able to tell the team management that their job is to play with the team chosen by the selectors.”

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