Kolkata: Indian selectors' decision to pick four openers in the squad for the first two Tests against touring England has surprised Bengal coach WV Raman. "I'm surprised to see four openers in the side. I'm not sure whether Ajinkya Rahane has been picked as a reserve middle-order batsman," Raman told reporters here on Monday.
Indian squad for the Ahmedabad and Mumbai Test boasts of four opening batsmen in Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane. Talented middle-order batsman Manoj Tiwary, who was seen as a candidate for number six slot, was ignored. There was also no place for wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha and pacer Ashok Dinda.
Raman said there was no place for a fourth seamer in the side as India would be looking to exploit the turning tracks. "In a likely scenario where India would be looking for turners, I don't see place for a fourth seamer," he said.
About Tiwary being ignored, Raman said, "It's a tough one but that's the way it is. You have to keep going and stay focussed."
Meanwhile, Raman felt happy for his wards who snatched three points from defending champions Rajasthan in their Ranji group A league opener that ended in a draw. "This is the way we wanted to start with. It's decent and now we have to keep it up. With the matches played over 8 to 10 weeks, we have to stay focussed, showing respect to every team," Raman said.
The match was affected by bad weather and poor light had curtailed the proceedings on the first three days. "The match would have been interesting if the full overs were bowled. It could have gone either way," said Raman.