MSK Prasad said, "More or less we have fixed up our mind till the World Cup and after that at later stages, we will start grooming some of those (other) wicketkeepers in India A tours”.
The ODI World Cup is still over a year away and in cricketing circles, the raging discussion has been whether to allow former skipper MS Dhoni to be a part of the team. He is past his prime but offers much in terms of experience and during bad times he is still a bulwark. But there are other, better, options on the table. But far from hinting at dropping the stalwart, on Saturday, authorities made some powerful statements. Former Indian cricket team captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has completed 13 glorious years while playing cricket. Dhoni made his ODI debut on December 23, 2004. Over the years, along with his fans, his critics too grew and the latter has been extremely critical of his cricketing style. But it was his unfathomable and undying spirit which held him as an anchor in the Indian squad. Keeping his contribution in mind, the chairman of selectors MSK Prasad on Saturday revealed that his committee had “fixed their mind” about Dhoni. The committee would love to see MS Dhoni in the team at least until the 2019 World Cup. MSK Prasad talked about Dhoni while announcing the 17-member squad for the six-match ODI series in South Africa.
“We are grooming some wicketkeepers during India A tours. But more or less, we have fixed up (our) minds till the World Cup (on continuing with Dhoni) and after that at later stages, we will start grooming some of those (wicket-keepers),” Prasad is quoted as saying.
Prasad also talked about the committee’s view that Dhoni’s spot in the team was safe and that he had no competition for his spot and went on to say that that there is no one who can even be compared to the veteran.
Prasad continued, “I think Dhoni remains as the number one wicketkeeper in the world, and day in and day out we have been seeing, even in the current T20 series the stumpings that he does, the caught-behinds that he takes are phenomenal, there is no comparison. I don’t see any wicketkeeper who is even close to him in world cricket, forget Indian cricket,” he said.
Notably, current skipper Virat Kohli has been grooming youngsters in Team India and those who are past their best are increasingly finding it difficlt to get back in team.
Meanwhile, for the tour to South Africa, two players have been rested from the current Indian squad. The Test spin duo of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have not been picked for the tour. Both the players have not played an international game since the series in West Indies. In place of the duo, spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav along with them the left-arm spinner Axar Patel, have more ensured that Jadeja-Ashwin isn’t that missed by the crowd. However, Prasad wasn’t prepared to rule out India’s top two Test bowlers from contention for the World Cup yet and instead lauded India’s burgeoning spin arsenal.