Former Indian selector Dilip Vengsarkar has asserted that every India player should play all the formats and believes there is nothing like white-ball and red-ball concept. He also added that it's a good thing that Rahul Dravid is coaching India, given he has worked a lot with these youngsters.
Over the years, the concept of fielding different players in different formats has taken far more significance. At times, there are players who only represent their country in a specific format and play as specialists. However, when it comes to the Indian team, there have been several instances where the selectors have mixed up formats. For instance, KL Rahul was rewarded for his great IPL run last year with a Test call-up even when he hadn't done anything of note in red-ball cricket, post his axing from the senior team.
Reflecting on the same, former Indian chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar stated that he simply doesn't believe in this concept of having varied players for different formats and feels every player must feature in all the formats.
"I don't believe in this red-ball and white-ball concept. Whatever is there, you just have to play. I don't think anybody is good in red-ball cricket and bad in white-ball or vice-versa. When it comes to India, every player must and needs to play all three formats," Vengsarkar told HT.
He also feels that Test cricket is the ultimate form of the game, though asserting that white-ball cricket is also important.
"You can't say I'm good only in one format and that's what I'll be playing. No cricketer would like to have a stamp on him that he is good only in one format. Also, the longer format is the ultimate form of the game. And of course, ODIs and T20Is are equally important but it's important that the ICC or the BCCI must see to it that the longer format is healthy."
The ongoing series between India and Sri Lanka has Rahul Dravid coaching the senior Indian team for the first time in international cricket. Vengsarkar stated that it's good to see the former Indian captain on the Lanka tour, given he has trained most of these young players.
"Rahul has been part of the NCA for a long time and he knows all the players because so many players have trained under him. He's well-versed with the players who have gone through the NCA. It's a good thing that he is on the Sri Lanka tour with the boys and he can see and witness their performance first-hand," he pointed out.
The first ODI between both sides also marked the return of Hardik Pandya, the bowler in the 50-overs format, after a long time. He delivered five overs in Colombo on Sunday and even took a solitary wicket. The former Indian middle-order batsman also added when Hardik bowls for India, it adds to the team's balance immensely.
"When any team that has a very good all-rounder at No. 6, what happens is that they can play an additional batsman, and also be a third or fourth bowling change. Hardik is a good all-rounder, and if he can hold on to his place in the team, it'll be beneficial because they can afford to play two spinners and two fast bowlers and have him as a medium-pacer option. Effectively three fast bowlers, which would add so much balance to the team," he said.