BCCI President Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday confirmed that the new selection panel that will soon replace the MSK Prasad-led committee will pick the squad for the upcoming home ODI series against South Africa. India is set to battle the Proteas in ODIs from March 12 after having won the T20 series against them earlier in January.
In a meeting with the newly-appointed Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) on Tuesday, the candidates for the selection panel were shortlisted. The meeting was also attended by IPL chairman Brijesh Patel and BCCI Secretary Jay Shah.
The Karnataka duo of Venkatesh Prasad and Sunil Joshi were on Tuesday shortlisted along with three others for the national selectors' job, the interviews for which will be held in Mumbai on Wednesday. Former India spinners L S Sivaramakrishnan and Rajesh Chauhan have also been called for interviews and so has been former India medium-pacer Harvinder Singh. The interviews begin at 11 am local time.
The Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Madan Lal, R P Singh and Sulakshana Naik shortlisted five candidates to replace outgoing selection panel chief MSK Prasad and fellow member Gagan Khoda. As many as 44 applications were received for the two positions and among those who had applied were former India pacer Ajit Agarkar, considered a frontrunner for the job, and former wicketkeeper Nayan Mongia.
"Agarkar's name was very much considered but in the end, the CAC shortlisted Siva, Prasad, Chauhan, Joshi and Harvinder. He can be considered when the tenure of the other three selectors (Jatin Paranjpe, Sarandeep Singh and Dewan Gandhi) ends," a BCCI official told PTI. Agarkar not being shortlisted also is an indicator that the Board is likely to stick to the existing zonal policy for the national selectors.
In that case, Harvinder, who has played for Punjab and Railways, can represent Central Zone replacing Khoda while Sivaramakrishnan, Prasad or Joshi can take MSK's place from South Zone. "India is a huge country and zonal representation is needed," the official added. Venkatesh Prasad already has some experience in the job, having been part of the junior selection panel. The 50-year-old played 33 Tests and161 ODIS, taking 96 and 196 wickets respectively.