Former India opener and ex-chairman of the selection committee, Krishnamachari Srikkanth, expressed his displeasure over the Indian team’s selection in the recently-concluded first T20I against West Indies in Trinidad.
Srikkanth observed that India should have gone with all-rounder Deepak Hooda over Shreyas Iyer in the playing XI. Notably, the opening T20I saw the return of captain Rohit Sharma along with seven other players in the unit, all of whom were rested for the three-match ODI series, which India won 3-0 under the leadership of Shikhar Dhawan.
Srikkanth pointed out that Hooda has been exceptional in his last few appearances in both the white-ball formats. Citing Hooda’s ability to bowl, the Chennai-born reckoned a team needs more all-rounders than specialised batters.
“Where is Hooda? He did well in T20Is, He did well in ODIs as well. He is the guy who should be there. In T20 cricket, you need to understand that you need all-rounders. Batting all-rounders, bowling all-rounders, so more the all-rounders better for you,” said Srikkanth during his conversation with Fan Code.
Former India spinner Pragyan Ojha, who was also part of the conversation, came up with a different view stating head coach Rahul Dravid believes in backing the players who performed first.
But Ojha’s opinion didn’t go down well with Srikkanth, as he stopped the ex-spinner midway and said: “Rahul Dravid ka soch humko nahi chahiye. Aapka soch chahiye. Abhi chahiye. Abhi do (I don’t want Rahul Dravid’s gameplan. I want your take, right now).”
Ojha then smiled and supported Srikkanth’s views, stating: “Hooda toh hona chaiye (Hooda should have been there). Obviously, Hooda.”
“Bas. Khatam (it’s over),” replied Srikkanth to end the conversation.
Speaking about the contest, India, after posting a massive 190/6 on the board, restricted the West Indies at 122/8 to win the game by 68 runs. Captain Rohit (64 off 44) and Dinesh Karthik (41 off 19) shined with the bat before Ravichandran Ashwin (2/22), Ravi Bishnoi (2/26), and Arshdeep Singh (2/24) sizzled with the ball.