Kumble should be made chairman of selectors, says Sehwag

New Delhi: Never one to mince his words, former opener Virender Sehwag said BCCI needs to pay more for heading the selectors’ committee. The current selection panel, led by M S K Prasad, has faced a lot of flak for its being a lightweight with a cumulative experience of 13 Tests.

I think Anil Kumble could be the right candidate for the chairman of selectors post. He is someone who has interacted with Sachin (Tendulkar), Sourav (Ganguly) and Rahul (Dravid) as a player and with youngsters as a coach, Sehwag told reporters during launch of a new app ‘The Selector’.

When I made a comeback (Australia series 2007-08), captain Kumble came to my room and said you will not be dropped for the next two series. That’s the kind of confidence a player needs, said Sehwag.

However, Sehwag also said that he doesn’t think that Kumble will agree to do the job right now since the chairman gets only Rs 1 crore per annum.

BCCI needs to raise the bar as far as pay is concerned. Then a lot of players will be interested, said Sehwag. Asked if he would also be interested in this post, Sehwag said he doesn’t like too many restrictions.

“I write columns, appear on TV and being selector will mean a lot of restrictions. I don’t know whether I would like so many restrictions,” the Nawab of Najafgarh said.

Sehwag, who had lost the race to be India’s coach in 2017 to Ravi Shastri, said he did not apply this time.

In 2017, the BCCI secretary and (the late) Dr M V Sridhar (GM Cricket Operations) asked me to apply so I applied. This time no one asked me to, so I didn’t apply, said Sehwag when asked if he was amused by the manner Shastri was re-appointed coach.

Sehwag also said he finds it difficult to comprehend the conflict of interest rules. “I can understand that I can’t run an academy if I am a selector but if I am the national coach I don’t understand why I can’t run an academy,” he said.

As the talk veered towards playing XI for the first Test against West Indies, Sehwag’s vote went to Ajinkya Rahane if India played five bowlers.

“Ajinkya Rahane has been batting at No. 5, so if it is a case of five bowlers, then he should play. Rohit Sharma comes in only if you go with four bowlers,” Sehwag reasoned.

He also felt that Mahendra Singh Dhoni should have batted at No. 5 in the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand.