BCCI declared the 15-man lineup for the ICC Champions Trophy yesterday and selection committee chairman MSK Prasad announced the list of standbys for the tournament, which included young Rishabh Pant. A BCCI official revealed that it was MS Dhoni's idea to retain standbys for the mega ICC event.
Although MS Dhoni is agile and in great shape to continue in the blue jersey some critics have been calling out for his retirement. The retirement calls have led to the vehement anticipation of Dhoni naming his successor behind the stumps when he hangs his gloves.
"The standbys - Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Kuldeep Yadav, Suresh Raina and Shardul Thakur in this case - will be sent to the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore right after the IPL to stay in shape if and when the need arises to fly to England in
Although the BCCI has not released the list of standbys for the tournament officially MSK Prasad announced the names in the press conference to maintain transparency in the selection process. The visas and equipment of the players will be kept ready in case their services are required in the tournament.
Prasad justified Dhoni's selection on accounts of his spectacular wicketkeeping skills and concluded that there was no other viable option to replace Dhoni.
"Not many people realise that in last 10-12 years Dhoni has never had a bad day with the gloves. We always treat him as a batsman but not many people appreciate the phenomenal stuff he does behind the wickets. According to me, he is still the best wicketkeeper in world cricket. He is the best person to guide Virat."
He also hinted that Pant's inclusion in the national squad was just a matter of time.
"It's just the combination because of which he missed out. He is definitely a solution for our future. There is no need to worry as he has a long career ahead of him. We will groom him and back him. We will ensure that he is successful in the future.", he said.