After India’s humiliating loss to Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy final on Sunday, former Indian captain and current U-19 coach, Rahul Dravid has asked selectors to take some harsh decisions which included a call on the role of MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh in the current team. “It is a call that is got to be taken by the selectors and the management,” Dravid told ‘ESPNCricinfo’ when asked about future of Yuvraj and Dhoni, who were the team’s number four and five in the Champions Trophy. “And what they see as the road map for Indian cricket, and where they see the role of both these cricketers going ahead for the next couple of years. Is there a place for both of them? Is there a place for only one of them?” he asked.
Dravid urged the Indian selectors to plan for the 2019 ODI World Cup and give more opportunities to youngsters in the coming days. “Do you want to reassess it in a year’s time, six months’ time? Do you want to look at the available talent and see what they have to offer before going back to these two players. They have taken a decision to go to the West Indies with a full-strength squad. I really hope they are willing to experiment at least in the playing XI and give more opportunities to people,” he said.
The former Indian captain underlined the fact that if youngsters are given enough opportunities now, India might end up in a position when they won’t have replacements for these players. “If you don’t do that, suddenly you don’t want to come to a situation and, say, in a year’s time, where you say, ‘We haven’t given people chances so these are the only guys we have got.’ Better position to be in: ‘We have tried everything else, but we still feel that Yuvi and Dhoni are fit, they are playing very well, and they are the guys to see us through.’ And no one will complain about that,” he said.
We are neither intimidated nor are we too arrogant. I am sure it will be a well-contested final: @imVkohli #CT17 #INDvPAK pic.twitter.com/DRXRzrwqNA
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 17, 2017
Dravid’s critical take wasn’t limited to Yuvraj and Dhoni. He also took on Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja and asked the selectors to come up with replacements for them. “We are playing on really flat wickets. It is tough on them, and … it is not happening. If you want wickets in the middle, wrist-spinners and mystery spinners are the ones who look like taking wickets on some of these flat wickets with the fielding restrictions. It is nice to have Kuldeep Yadav coming in. He needs to be given a lot more game time. He has got ability, he has got a bit of mystery about him,” he added.
Kuldeep has been picked in the squad for the West Indies tour comprising five ODIS and a T20 International. The tour starts on June 23.