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July 30, 2006
John Wright's tenure as India coach may have ended more than a year ago, and though he was credited with the team's turnaround in partnership with Sourav Ganguly, in his words, the picture wasn't as rosy as we are given to believe. His book John Wright's Indian Summer has revelations about team selection which has elicited reactions from former selectors. Here are a few extracts (published in Mumbai-based Mid-Day) followed by the reactions
Team selection and the zonal selection policy
The first six or seven selections were straight forward. But when it got down to the marginal selections, those last three or four spots that determine the balance of the team and your ability to develop new players, the zonal factor kicked in and things would get interesting. It was easy to tell when selectors had come to a meeting with an agenda i.e. to their damnedest to get one or two players for their zones into the team. If their boys weren't picked, they tended to cross their arms, clam up and take no further part in the meeting.
Double-standards in selection
VVS Laxman and Kaif are examples of outstanding performers who always seemed to be only one or two failures away from having their places questioned. The exceptions are the super stars. There's still reluctance to give an under performing or unfocussed big name a blunt message by having him sit out a tour or a few one-dayers.
Sunil Gavaskar's appointment as batting consultant
"Two days before the first Test (in Bangalore, against Australia 2004), I was notified that the legendary Sunil Gavaskar would be joining us as a batting consultant. I couldn't work out how it had happened. Gavaskar solved the mystery by revealing in a team meeting that he had a text message from Ganguly. I was far from happy because as the head coach I should have had the final say on support staff issues."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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