India news September 21, 2011

Rotate seniors to grow young players - Kapil

ESPNcricinfo staff

Kapil Dev, the former India captain, has said the selectors need to rotate the seniors - Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman - in the Test team so that the younger players can be given opportunities without weakening the side too much.

"All three seniors - Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman - should not play together in a single Test," Kapil told Indian news channel Aaj Tak. "Two of them can play and one can be rested so that a youngster can be tested in his place. In this manner, we can give a chance to a talented youngster without taking too much risk and making too many changes all of a sudden."

Kapil also said the selectors needed to take tough calls and wanted an orderly phasing out of the senior players. "It is the selectors who will have to take a call on their retirement," he said. "A player never likes to retire. Selectors should see the bigger picture and take a tough decision. But, they [selectors] should do this while giving full respect to these seniors."

Tendulkar and Dravid are both 38, while Laxman is 37. Dravid was Man of the Series during the recent Tests in England, scoring 461 runs at an average of 76.83. Tendulkar and Laxman, though, had poor tours, averaging 34.12 and 22.75.

Sourav Ganguly, however, said retirement should not be forced on the senior players because India did not have the talent to replace them at the moment. "Players like Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman should decide on their own when it comes to taking a call on quitting the game," Ganguly said. "The day their performance drops, they will leave on their own."

Ganguly had retired from international cricket after the Test series against Australia at home in 2008, at a time when there was pressure on the seniors and an influx of youth in the Indian limited-overs sides. No batsman, however, has been able to fill the gap Ganguly left in Test middle-order, with neither Yuvraj Singh nor Suresh Raina cementing their spots.

"It is good to see youngsters perform so well in the shorter format but I am more worried about Tests," Ganguly said. "We haven't seen anyone who can challenge these seniors. Definitely, the time hasn't come to phase out seniors in Tests."

Kapil, however, disagreed with Ganguly's view. "Everyone knows that it is not going to be easy to find replacements for the likes of Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman. It is going to be extremely difficult. But youngsters, even though they might have failed in whatever chances they've got till now, have to be given another go.

"Actually the problem is not with their [youngsters'] talent. It is their poor fitness level that is letting them down," Kapil said. "Coach and selectors will have to play a big role in coming times. Youngsters should also learn to take pride in their cricket."

Former India allrounder Madan Lal seconded Kapil's view, saying the youngsters in the team lacked proper work ethic. He also said Suresh Raina, who averaged 13.12 in the four Tests in England, should not be persisted with.

"They [the youngsters] have to up their fitness levels. Players like [Virat] Kohli, [Cheteshwar] Pujara and Rohit [Sharma] will have to be given chances. I will not give another chance to Raina, though, as he has already wasted too many. Instead, Yuvraj [Singh], who hasn't got much opportunity in Tests, should be tested again."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Pritthijit on September 23, 2011, 17:51 GMT

    India needs to urgently find a quality fast bowler who can support Z.Khan. England consistently scored over 400 runs in the test innings down to ordinary bowling. A committee is needed to spot potential talent and set up academies to nurture talent through world class mentoring and training facilities. It is time for selectors to drop bowlers like Kumar, R.Singh and M.Patel as they are well below the benchmark. India batmen struggled against quality English swing bowling. The batting did fire in one day internationals, but their bowling struggled to contain a powerful English batting line. India needs tracks to support and build fast bowlers. India batting will return to its best in the forthcoming series. Kapil is right to point out about adding youngsters as seniors over 35 will not hang around for forever. Seniors should decide when they want to retire as Ganguly correctly pointed out. India needs to direct emphasise on adding new blood and finding good bowlers.

  • Manoj on September 23, 2011, 14:35 GMT

    One thing is very crystal clear that we need one geniune Fastbowler Allrounder and One very Good Fast bowler. I think there should be committe form to search the talent in India. As batting I don't think we need to panic beacuse we have very good batsman like : Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma etc. So guys Instead giving chance to Vinay Kumar and Munaf Patel please invest in IRFAN PATHAN. If his confidence is retrieved than India will have good chance to retain their no 1 in near future.

  • david on September 23, 2011, 12:59 GMT

    guys u must remember at 37 and 39 they may be able to bat. but they also have to field. that means either slip or as ST does the outfield. we saw in the england series dravid and laxman dropping sitters. and tendulkar misfielding and some cases not even not seeing a catch which nearly hitting him. you guys on here who are in their 40s think what you cannot do now which you could in your 20s. dpk

  • david on September 23, 2011, 10:52 GMT

    great players they are but 2 are 38 and 1 is 37 get them out and introduce the young guys, it seems as the only way you will get rid of them is kicking and screaming. great players they were, but they are to old. you keep to accept that from the next test series play may get beat without them for a few years so what, you were just hammered with them. from a billion+ people you must beable to find 3 to take their places. dpk

  • Arul on September 22, 2011, 10:24 GMT

    If the selectors did that, Indian team will see themselves at the bottom of the ranking. You dont need to fail in the present by thinking too far ahead. India are lucky to have two all time greats at the same time, they should make sure they used their full potential before they go out. Cross the bridge when it comes your way.

  • Naresh on September 22, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    Kapil's suggestion is good in that it will not compromise our already bad feilding. We know Laxman, Sachin and Dravid are great and can continue to be great, however some dropped catches e.g Dravid played a hand in our defeats in England. The "donkey" remark and the "miltary" medium remark still hurts me as a fan. I can only dream of another "Kapil" harrying the opposition. Please we need one or two fast pacey bowlers - this will give us vairiety - these days its more of a batsman's game and hence English fans will continue to taunt us cause they know our bowling lacks bite.

  • Dummy4 on September 22, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    All new Indan batsmen are coming to the international arena with a confidence.But bowlers are just opposit Good examples are Sudeep Tyagi & Umesh Yaadav.Umesh's attitude itself having a problem his body language is very poor I fealt,Sudeep Tyagi poor guy he not get that much opprtunities he got one in a flat pitch in SL. We should look to a bowler having good work ethic and body language that is Pradeep Sangwan,he was the hights wicket taker in the recently concluded BCCI Cop. Tournament still not included in the 15 of KKR,I fealt same with Abu Nechim Ahmad good bowler,not inluded in the MI team.Another one is YO mahesh he is the top Wicket taker in Buchi babu toyrnament still not included in the chennai SK 15 ..Infact no indian pacer is included in the CSK 15...!

  • Baba on September 22, 2011, 3:31 GMT

    Kapil Dev who continued to extend his career (bowling at half the pace) just to reach a record has no locusstandi whatsoever to comment on how players like Sachin, Rahul and Laxman should be rotated. All three of them are highly responsible cricketers who are well aware of the needs of Indian Cricket and Iam sure they will play only if they are confident that they would contribute to their potential. The Selectors, Team Management and Captain are the right combination to decide on such matters.

  • Dummy4 on September 21, 2011, 23:39 GMT

    The comments expressed by Nadan Nadkarni is quite apt. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the 3 seniors mentioned. They can rise to any occassion and it has been proved time and again in the last two decades. The problem that we have on hand now is the "lack of quality bowlers"and the inability of the Indian team to take 20 wickets. This is the root of the problem. Ganguly's comments are absolutely correct. Dravid, Sachin and VVS are not only great cricketers but also wonderful human beings. When they realise their inability to add value to the team they will leave. They are not here for money!!

  • Ashok on September 21, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    Despite expert POV from Kapil, Ganguly & Madan, nothing is wrong with seniors playing as long as they perform & are physically fit. If Indian team had arrived in England 4 weeks ahead of the first game + camp & practice facilities set up, the results of the Tests & the ODI series would have shown India as winners. The Indian team is stiil good enough to beat England, provided the key players are physically fit.The team itself should have included guys like Ojha, Rahul Sharma instead of RP Singh & Vinay Kumar in ODI's and Rahana & Parthiv instead of Mukund & Saha in tests.When there are as many as 10 injured players, the physical fitness program has gone awry. If England had 10 of their Key players missing,the results would have been reversed.India will beat England next month, if the injured guys are fit & ready.I suspect Gambhir, Sehwag, Zaheer,Yuvraj Will Not be ready with no physical condition monitoring in place- urgent need. India alsoneed to develop bowlers urgently for future

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