Krishnamachari Srikkanth, the outgoing chairman of selectors, said that Sachin Tendulkar is someone who is special and he is the best person to know when he should retire, says a report in The Times Of India. “Someone who scores 100 centuries at the highest level... doubting his abilities is wrong judgment. The team needs Tendulkar to guide the youngsters in the next couple of Test series at home. He is the most experienced cricketer on the planet. He knows what he is doing,” said Srikkanth.
Speaking about the Big Four -- Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman – who retired during his tenure, Srikkanth clarified that he had no role to play in their calling it a day. “It's true that four senior cricketers retired during my tenure, but it's their decision. We can't force anyone to retire. I haven't forced anyone to retire. You have to respect their decisions. The process of rebuilding is never-ending and a particular group of selectors have nothing to do with these decisions,” said Srikkanth.
Talking about Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s captaincy, Srikkanth said, “Dhoni is a good captain. Under him, we do have losses, but overall he has done well. The team responds well to his captaincy and he gets the players to rally around him.”
Srikkanth also felt that the losses in Australia were the lowest point of his tenure., while winning the World Cup was the biggest high. “Undoubtedly, winning the 2011 World Cup. In 2008 when I took over, I didn't have enough experience as selector. In end-2009 when Sri Lanka were touring India, this committee started planning for the World Cup. I was a member of the 1983 World Cup-winning team and that helped. I consider myself fortunate to be a part of the planning process,” Srikkanth said.
Meanwhile according to a report in The Hindu, Srikkanth said that though replacing Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, V.V.S. Laxman and Sourav Ganguly will not be easy, the rebuilding process has already started. “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,” said Srikkanth.
Meanwhile John Wright writes in Hindustan Times that India's bowling options are more interesting and one of the features of these three warm-up matches will be the inevitable competition and comparison between Harbhajan and Ashwin. “From a distance, Ashwin looks a real competitor but Harbhajan is one too. This competition for places could be a huge bonus for India as both players will be pushing each other for a spot. Even if they bowl the same variety of deliveries, the two of them could actually force their way into the team. In tandem and at their best, they will be a handful for any opposition,” writes Wright.