Former India chairman of selectors Kris Srikkanth has slammed Sanjay Manjrekar for questioning KL Rahul's inclusion in the Test squad, saying the Mumbaikar cannot 'think beyond Bombay'.
Following the announcement of the squads for India's tour of Australia, Manjrekar took to twitter and wrote, 'You set a bad precedent when you recall a player for Tests on IPL performance', criticising Rahul's selection into the Test squad.
You set a bad precedent when you recall a player for Tests on IPL performance. Especially if the player has been an abject failure in his last few Tests. Whether that player succeeds or fails is irrelevant, such selections massively demotivate Ranji players. #INDvsAUS— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) October 27, 2020
Srikkanth, the chairman of selectors when India won the World Cup 2011, disagreed with Manjrekar terming his views 'rubbish'.
"Leave Sanjay Manjrekar alone, he doesn't have any other job," Srikkanth said in his YouTube channel Cheeky Cheeka.
"Questioning KL Rahul's selection in Tests? He has played well in Tests. I won't agree at all. Just because Sanjay wants to question something, I don't think I'll agree. You shouldn't question something just to create a controversy. KL Rahul has done brilliantly in all formats. Go through his Test record. What Sanjay Manjrekar is talking is all rubbish. I'll not agree."
In Manjrekar's defense, Rahul had not hit a Test half-century in 12 innings. Barring a 149 in the dead-rubber fifth Test at The Oval against England in 2018, Rahul has had a poor run in the format since the start of the South Africa tour in January 2018. Since then, he has averaged a mere 22.23 in 27 Test innings. Rahul was dropped from the format after his last Test against West Indies last year.
"He might have been inconsistent but the same KL Rahul made his debut in Australia and made a century. He's a good player of fast bowling. Let's understand, he's a very good player of fast bowling," Cheeka pointed out.
Adding that Rohit Sharma too was selected in the Test squad as an opener last year based on his white-ball success, Srikkanth added that it's important to be neutral.
"Sanjay Manjrekar cannot think beyond Bombay. That's the problem. We are talking neutral. Manjrekar cannot think beyond Bombay. For people like Manjrekar, everything is Bombay, Bombay and Bombay. They have to think beyond Bombay.
"I've seen a lot of people, Harsha Bhogle doesn't know anything except Bombay. Problem is that they're not neutral. We are talking about Suryakumar Yadav's inclusion (in the limited-overs squads), am I talking about DK (Dinesh Karthik) and Ashwin (players from Srikkanth's home state Tamil Nadu)? We're not fighting for DK and Ashwin," added Srikkanth.
India are set to tour Australia for three ODIs, three T20Is and four Test matches to be played between November 27, 2020 and January 19, 2021.