Even as the Indian cricket board (BCCI) tries to justify the new panel of selectors with very little experience of international cricket, Sandeep Patil, chairman of the preceding committee, created a stir when he revealed that MS Dhoni’s captaincy had come under the scanner during his tenure.
Phasing out the stalwarts, namely Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan and Gautam Gambhir, was one of the toughest challenges faced by the previous committee. Likewise, phasing out Dhoni is likely to pose the same challenge for the new committee, keeping the World Cup 2019 in mind.
However, two selectors from the last panel reiterated that Dhoni’s captaincy had nothing to do with his place in the team. “I don’t know why and how this perception has come up that Dhoni can’t be a part of the team if he doesn’t have his captaincy . His fitness levels have certainly gone up. However, it’s up to the present selectors now to decide if they want him in their scheme of things looking at the World Cup in 2019. The current selectors need to have a vision,“ Saba Karim, who was the selector from the East Zone for four years. Was the issue discussed with Dhoni in person? “You should ask this to Patil. He is the one making statements these days,“ Vikram Rathore, Karim’s colleague from North Zone, said while adding that the decision to continue with Dhoni rests with Dhoni himself as much as it does with the national selectors.
The underlining concern is the lack of wicketkeeping resources in the country , which is why Karim feels KL Rahul looks to be the best bet at the moment for the shorter formats of the game. “There is a problem with the resources, especially in wicketkeeping. Wriddhiman Saha is just growing into his job in Tests. But in limi ted-overs, Rahul looks good to don the gloves. His glovework has potential but a lot of work has to be done with wicketkeepers. At the moment, Dhoni is doing pretty well,“ Karim reckoned.
“One generation of wicketkeepers was lost with Dhoni playing for so long,“ Rathore stated. “These days the youngsters like Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant are better batsmen than wicketkeepers.As far as Dhoni is concerned, age shouldn’t be a factor. We brought back Ashish Nehra too. Again, it’s up to the selectors to take the call,“ the former India opener added. With the new panel copping criticism for not having the stature worthy of being national selectors, it could be a very tough call for them. “The key is to not get intimidated in front of someone who has played 100 Tests. The present lot has played enough to judge,“ Karim said.
`Patil has been unethical’
Rathore and Karim expressed their disappointment with Patil revealing discussions about Tendulkar and Dhoni. “This is disturbing. 10 days ago, he said in a press conference that certain things should remain confidential. I feel what he did was not needed and unethical,“ Karim said.
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