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Kapil Dev bounces national selectors

18 December 1996

Former Indian skipper and star all-rounder Kapil Dev has joined the chorus of protest and criticism of the Indian team selected for the tour of South Africa which commences on December 19.

Kapil, the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket history, said, ``The Indian team selected for the forthcoming tour is not a balanced one.

``For one thing, I don't under why three wicketkeepers have been chosen. If Pankaj Dharmani was a better batsman than say Navjot Singh Sidhu, then why wasn't he played as a batsman in India during these Tests?

``I also don't understand why a player like Ajay Jadeja, a fighter through and through, has been kept out. I don't agree with this thing that he is good only in one-dayers - if a player is good at that level, then he would surely have been able to adjust at the Test level, if he had been given a chance to get his confidence.''

Kapil mentioned South African Gary Kirsten as an example. ``They used to say he was not suitable for Test matches but the South Africans kept their confidence in him, and now he is one of the best in the world in both Tests and one-dayers,'' Kapil pointed out.

Blasting the process of selection, Kapil said, ``I am very unhappy about the whole thing. The results will not be good if the regional interests are placed before the national interests. We have had enough of this, we need people in the selection committee who can think of the country's interests and not that of their own regions.''

Having said this, Kapil said he did not think the Indians would cut a sorry figure in course of the coming tour. ``Our players have done well against South Africa here, why should we assume that we won't do well there? We should not have this negative thinking,'' the Indian ace said.

Asked to rate Madan Lal as team coach and Sachin Tendulkar as captain, Kapil said, ``This is only the beginning, it is very unfair to judge anyone after a single series.''

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Date-stamped : 25 Feb1998 - 14:55