Winning the ICC World Cup 2011 was the high point of our committee, said Krishnamachari Srikkanth, the outgoing Chairman of the BCCI senior national selection committee at the Cricket Centre here on Monday. After a four-year term his committee met for the last time and chose the Rest of India team for the Zal Irani Cup and also the India ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams for the N.K.P. Challenger series.
Excerpts of the media interaction:
On his committee: It was very cooperative. We all had a good time in the sense that we had a dream and a goal. The dream and goal was India winning the 2011 World Cup. India played brilliantly and won the World Cup and that was the high point of this selection committee.
India won after 28 years; for me personally it was a little bit more satisfying because I was part of the 1983 World Cup-winning team and I was chairman of the selection committee which picked the 2011 team.
Appreciation: I thank my co-selectors in the first three years (Raja Venkat, Surendra Bhave, Narendra Hirwani and Yashpal Sharma) for their great cooperation.
I also had the opportunity this year of having alongside a great cricketer like Jimmy Amarnath whose inputs have been valuable. I also thank Mr. N. Srinivasan, former secretary and now BCCI president and also the BCCI.
It was a challenging task and a great experience.
Other events: The other high point was for 20 long months India was the No. 1 in Test cricket and for a few months No. 1 in one-day cricket. Cricket is a game of ups and downs. We had some tough time in Australia and England and now we are rebuilding. We have had greats like Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, V.V.S. Laxman and Sourav Ganguly retiring during this committee’s tenure. It’s not going to be easy to replace them, but I am sure Indian cricket has got enough talent to start partially and then hope to completely replace them.
On Kohli, Pujara, Ashwin and Yadav: We have started that already with players like Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara who are doing the job very well.
There are so many youngsters like them. We have seen R. Ashwin taking the Man-of-the-series award. We saw Umesh Yadav coming in as a fast bowler. It is not easy to fill their shoes (those who have retired); it is a process. Rebuilding does not happen overnight. All of us have to be patient.
India would be back in the No. 1 slot in all forms shortly. I can assure you that much because there is enough talent.
BCCI’s excellent domestic structure: The biggest advantage of Indian cricket is the BCCI’s cricket structure; it is excellent with the format, number of matches, four-day, limited-over cricket and Twenty20 cricket.
It gives tremendous opportunities for youngsters to showcase their talent and go up the ladder. You can rest assured the future selection committee will continue the process of rebuilding and we will be back on top in all formats.
India XI, difficult to pick: In about eight days the ICC Twenty20 World Cup will start and I will be still the chairman, but when India wins I will be the ex-chairman.
The Indian team is one of the strongest on paper. To pick the eleven itself is going to be difficult. This team has the potential to win the ICC World Twenty20. I am pretty confident. The positive energy of one billion Indians will rise strongly again like in 2011 to help the team win the Twenty20 World Cup. I am very confident of it. You may say I am overconfident.