Mumbai: Former India all-rounder and a key figure in India's maiden World Cup glory 28 years ago, Mohinder Amarnath draws respect from all quarters. But that's thanks to his cricketing exploits as well as the guts and gumption he has showed by staging innumerable comebacks in his heydays.
How he fares as a selector of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is a question that is doing the rounds in the cricketing fraternity. As a matter of fact, Amarnath has never been a part of any selection committee since quitting the game.
Former India captain and chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar -- though having enough faith in his friend and contemporary -- is eagerly waiting to see how Jimmy tackles his reign as a talent spotter and mentor as well.
"Jimmy is a respected name and an experienced cricketer but the point is that he has never been a selector even for his zone. So in that sense, he will be in a completely new role," Vengsarkar told MiD DAY on Wednesday.
Vengsarkar, was however, more curious than skeptic about Amarnath's new role. "You cannot have any doubt on his (Amarnath's) cricketing abilities. The only thing that will be interesting to see is how he adapts to the new role he's been given," he added.
Since selecting an Indian team is not the only responsibility of the five wise men, Vengsarkar reckoned talent spotting is one of the integral parts of a selector's job. "The principal criteria to be a selector is to have vision and finesse in spotting talent by watching the domestic games; to be enable to groom them to take the baton from their predecessors is also an important role the selectors have to play," the former India captain said.
On the aspect of grooming cricketers to take up bigger challenges, the current selection panel headed by Krishnamachari Srikkanth has almost drawn a blank. And it proved costly for the Indian team when they toured England recently. Perhaps, a better bench strength would have saved India the blushes. "After a few casualties, our bench strength looked ordinary. They simply couldn't live up to the expectations, and as a result of which we had a disastrous tour there," Vengsarkar felt.
The Lord of Lord's (only Indian batsman to score three consecutive Test centuries at the historic venue) also believed that the current set of selectors were caught off-guard when it came to naming replacements. "They were found wanting when it came to planning and preparing for a tough tour. The replacements they named also defied logic though I agree that nobody can be ready for so many injuries. So, I wish Mohinder luck," he concluded.