Ignoring Rhodes while keeping Ramprakash in shortlist surprising

New Delhi, Aug 27 (IANS) The appointment of the support staff by the nation selectors -- led by M.S.K. Prasad -- has left certain questions unanswered and one among them is the decision to ignore former South Africa international Jonty Rhodes for the fielding coachs role. While it is no secret that R. Sridhar deserved to be retained for his quality job with the Indian team, Abhay Sharma and T. Dilip getting the second and third slot over Rhodes came as a shocker.

Speaking after all the nominations, Prasad did give a bizarre reasoning as he said that the nominations of Abhay and Dilip in the second and third slot was more for roles with the ‘A' team and at the National Cricket Academy (NCA).

"Sridhar is one of the best fielding coaches. Unfortunately in the World Cup, maybe he wouldn't have got... there were 2-3 wicketkeepers in the side, we all know that. Otherwise, he has transformed this team into a wonderful fielding unit. There are no second thoughts about Sridhar.

"With regards to the 2nd and 3rd position, we don't see Jonty Rhodes fitting in there because those roles are more for India A levels and the NCA," Prasad said.

But the question on everyone's mind is that if former England batting coach Mark Ramprakash can be considered as the third option in candidates nominated for the batting coach's slot, then why not have Rhodes come in and work with youngsters at the NCA and improve the foundation of Indian fielding.

Rhodes on his part has been very cordial and praised Sridhar for bagging the role. "I am sure my interview was not as good as the one with the incumbent coach because he has been there for the last couple of years. Players have definitely worked with a plan. And you can see the progress as it just doesn't happen. I am expecting that from an interview point of view - he kicked my butt," Rhodes said.

"As a fielding coach, I did a couple of years of coaching with the South African team till the 2007 World Cup. Since then, I have only worked in India. I am way more familiar with the cricketing set up in India than I am in South Africa."

The decision to ignore someone who changed the concept of fielding in modern-day cricket will surely keep raising question marks on the parameters set while taking the calls.

--IANS

bbh/akk/in

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