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A snub for Greg Chappell? Discuss

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December 01, 2006 11:18 IST

Under coach Greg Chappell, the mantra has been youth at the expense of age -- or, if you will, experience.

His philosophy has been simple: If the team must lose anyway, it is better to lose with young players, who will learn as they go.

The Rahul Dravid-Chappell combined have stuck to their guns on this issue; they have backed young players despite repeated failures, while consistently ignoring the claims of seniors.

The national selectors have, for the duration of his tenure till date, indulged Chappell's mindset.

A series of devastating defeats has spared calls for change; the climate has been helped along by some external factors. There is, thus, the change of guard in the selection committee with Dilip Vengsarkar taking over as chairman.

Simutaneously, the national Parliament has got into the act, unleashing virulent criticism of the coach. Though this has at least in part been political -- an attempt to embarass Union Minister and BCCI head Sharad Pawar -- the effect has been to pile the pressure on Pawar and, through him, the selection committee.

The result has been a U-turn: favored juniors find themselves out of the squad or, as in the case of Irfan Pathan, put on notice; even non-performing seniors such as Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh have been put on notice, with the former even losing his vice-captaincy.

Against that, the seniors are back. Anil Kumble returned to the one day squad as did Zaheer Khan; Sourav Ganguly is back in the Test side and VVS Laxman has been elevated to the vice captaincy, which in fact means he will likely lead India out in the first Test, December 15-19, at Johannesburg.

So total is the disenchantment with the captain and coach, that the selectors also ignored their request for Aakash Chopra to be reinstated as opener, to perform the role he played to perfection in Australia, and have preferred Gautam Gambhir.

Knee-jerk reaction or a course correction that was long overdue? Tell us what you think.