Former India captains Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Gundappa Viswanath and Sachin Tendulkar feel that selectors must look beyond statistics, especially on skills and ability to absorb pressure, when they pick fresh talents. “It’s about vision. When it comes to selection, one has to analyze a player.
Even if he fails in a few matches, one needs to see if he has the ability to withstand pressure and execute at the international level. I have seen players who are exceptionally good at the domestic level not being able to perform as well in international cricket,” said Tendulkar here Saturday night during the platinum jubilee celebrations of the Karnataka State Cricket Association.
Dravid said watching seniors and a desire to learn could help a youngster bridge the gap between domestic and international cricket. “Hitting it off the middle in the nets is well and good, but it’s different out in the field and under pressure,” he said. “Watching the seniors helps. Sachin and Laxman and Sourav, the way they approach the game, the kind of shots they play, the kind of shots they don’t play, the way they build an innings…” Dravid, however, feels that youngsters should not lose their individuality.
“Individuality is important. Everyone has unique skills. You need to build on your game and keep improving. I was never going to succeed if I batted like (Virender) Sehwag,” he said. Viswanath said hard work is an ally to talent. “When you look at four or five players, there will be somebody a little better (than the others). But you can’t just sit on your talent. You have to practice. You have to learn from your seniors. You have to keep working hard. Even Sachin did not become who he is overnight and I’m sure he is still working hard to stay on top of his game,” he said.