April 16, 2001

Bedi's comments unwarranted: Chandu Borde

The Indian cricket selection committee chairman, Chandu Borde on Monday termed as "unwarranted" comments by former India captain Bishen Singh Bedi, questioning whether the Indian team members were congratulated by Borde after winning the Test series 2-1 against Australia recently.

"Bedi's comments, in a section of the press, were unwarranted as I and my selector colleagues went to the Indians' dressing room and congratulated the boys after their 2-1 win at Chennai and I am sure hundreds of TV viewers too will have seen it", Borde told PTI over phone from Pune.

"I don't like to show my emotions in public as I am basically a shy person and I don't indulge in that kind of publicity", he added. "It hurts all the more because Bedi has played under me and I have done whatever I could as a senior and I really do not know what he has got against me as this is not the first time he has passed a nasty comment against me and I am sure this will not be the last time as well", Borde said.

Bedi in an interview to an Mumbai based English tabloid had queried "has Chandu Borde said well done to the boys or did anybody hear him congratulate the team after the Test series win against the Aussies". Meanwhile, Borde said the key to the recent success against the Aussies was that after a long time the Indians played with "fire in the belly".

"I think the Test series win against the Aussies had come at the right time as it is a tremendous boost for the game in the country especially after the general public had lost faith following the betting and match-fixing controversies all over the world", Borde said.

"The emergence of young talent like off spinner Harbhajan Singh, the first Indian to take a hat-trick in a Test match, and middle order batsmen V V S Laxman and Hemang Badani, new ball bowler Zaheer Khan will also keep the senior members on their toes and this is a big push to the team", he added.

Praising the contributions by Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid in both the Test as well as the one-day series which India lost 2-3, Borde said "I think the 281 runs by Laxman at Kolkata turned the match around and then Harbhajan dealt telling blows which put doubts in the (Aussie) batsmen's minds not only for that match but also for the next at Chennai".

"Though Saurav (Ganguly) was not in the best of form with the bat, I think he captained the side very well with a positive approach", he added. "I think the form shown by youngsters has taken the pressure off Sachin to a great extent, though he can do his magic at any time", Borde said.