A day after legendary Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar questioned the selection committee for retaining Virat Kohli as the captain following the Men in Blue's semi-final exit from the 2019 ICC World Cup, cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar has 'respectfully disagreed' with the former's views.
Taking to his official Twitter handle, Manjrekar argued that India's performance at the showpiece event was not at all "below par" as stated by Gavaskar. The commentator further pointed out that India had won seven of their nine group stage clashes and had narrowly missed out on a final spot.
"Respectfully disagree with Gavaskar Sir with his views on Indian selectors & Virat being retained as capt. No, Ind did not put in a ‘much below par WC performance’, they won 7 lost two. Last one very narrowly. And integrity a far more important quality as selector than stature," he wrote.
Respectfully disagree with Gavaskar Sir with his views on Indian selectors & Virat being retained as capt. No, Ind did not put in a ‘much below par WC performance’, they won 7 lost two. Last one very narrowly. And integrity a far more important quality as selector than stature.
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) July 29, 2019
On Monday, Gavaskar questioned as to why Kohli was automatically continued as the Indian skipper even though his appointment in the role was till this year's marquee event. He argued that the MSK Prasad-led national selection committee should have held a former meeting before retaining Kohli as captain of the team across all the three formats for the side's tour to West Indies, beginning August 3.
"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.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," Gavaskar has written in his column for an English daily.
Gavaskar further lashed out at the selection committee by describing them as "lame ducks" who continues to go ahead with Kohli as a skipper despite much below-par performance in the ICC World Cup.
“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," he had further written.
Gavaskar did not stop there and further went on to say that the lack of stature in the selection committee which also consists of former players Sarandeep Singh, Devang Gandhi, Jatin Paranjape and Gagan Khoda is a hindrance in the smooth functioning.
“This is probably one of the last selections for this committee as a new one will get appointed soon. 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," he further wrote.
Despite reports that Kohli could be rested for the limited-overs' matches against West Indies, the MSK Prasad-led selection panel chosen him to lead the national side in all three formats of the game in the upcoming tour to West Indies.
While Rohit Sharma will continue to serve as his deputy in the ODIs and T20Is, Ajinkya Rahane has been appointed as vice-captain for the Test series against the Carribean side.
The Men in Blue is slated to play two-match Test series, three ODIs and as many Twenty20Is, beginning August 3 in Florida.