x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Kiran More: Rahul Dravid one-day recall smacks of poor planning

Former India wicketkeeper and chief selector says India have not gone about things correctly in naming their ODI squad.

Rahul Dravid has not donned India's one-day colours for nearly two years.
Rahul Dravid has not donned India's one-day colours for nearly two years.

MUMBAI // Rahul Dravid has said his return to India's one-day international (ODI) squad is a temporary one and he is retiring from the shorter forms of the game after the upcoming series against England, but his surprise recall is being viewed by some as a step in the wrong direction.

Kiran More, India's former selection committee chief, said yesterday's decision showed a lack of proper planning by the current selection panel, which is led by the former opener Krishnamachari Srikkanth.

"I think they have made a lot of changes recently. And the changes they have done are not looking ahead," former chairman of the national selection panel More said.

"I don't know what their thinking is but I know things have not gone very correctly."

The 38-year-old Dravid was recalled to India's squad for a lone Twenty20 international and the five ODIs against England. He last played an ODI in September 2009 against the West Indies during the Champions Trophy in South Africa.

The second-highest run-scorer in Test cricket, Dravid has also notched 10,765 runs from 339 ODIs but he too was taken aback by the shock recall and promptly announced his retirement from the shorter forms after the England series.

"Since I had not been picked for one-day cricket for the last two years, I was obviously a little surprised and to be honest, because I had not been picked, I had not informed the selectors or the board of my desire to solely focus on Test cricket," Dravid said yesterday.

"At the end of this one-day series, I would like to announce my retirement from one-day and Twenty20 cricket and concentrate only on Test cricket. I am committed, as always to give my best to India in this one-day series and obviously the Test series that follows."

More, the former India wicketkeeper who played 49 Test matches, said the decision to leave out the paceman Shantakumaran Sreesanth was also bizarre and it would confuse the players.

Sreesanth failed to find a spot as the selectors went with Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel and R Vinay Kumar as the five pacemen in the 16-man squad.

"Yusuf Pathan could have played a few games ... He's not a bad player. They are not sending proper signals to the players," he said.

"The players are also confused. Now Sreesanth is not part of the one-day team though he is bowling well.

"I don't know what confidence you are giving to Sreesanth. He was part of the World Cup team but he is not part of the [current] one-day team."

More suggested Dravid's solid technique and spirited batting in England in an otherwise disappointing Test series for India forced the selectors to bring him back to bolster the fragile batting line-up.

India are struggling in the seaming conditions in England and the world's top-ranked Test side trail 2-0 with two matches remaining in the four-match series.

"We don't have Yuvraj Singh at the moment. Dravid is in form and he is the guy who is playing so well," More said.

"They needed an experienced batsman looking at some of the players who have been exposed on this tour.

"In English conditions you need to have a batsman who can carry the innings and that's the reason why he has been picked," he said, adding that Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag or Gautam Gambhir would have to bat lower down the order to accommodate him at No 3.

Planning must be more solid if the World Cup winners India are to continue their domination, he said.

"After the World Cup they [selectors] should have taken a call and thought about building a team for the next World Cup also," he said.

"To win another World Cup or dominate world cricket, there needs to be proper planning but that's not happening. It's been a little haywire."