Chief selector MSK Prasad has backed the inclusion of Yuvraj Singh in the squad for the limited-over series against England starting on June 15, saying people need to respect Yuvraj’s sublime batting in the Ranji Trophy. Prasad also supported MS Dhoni’s decision to relinquish captaincy.
The selection panel continued with its formula of injecting young blood but made a major departure by bringing back old warhorse Yuvraj.
“We should appreciate the way Yuvi has played in domestic cricket. He played some fantastic innings, he got a double hundred, he got 180 in the Lahli wicket. We appreciate it and have given him a chance."
Prasad also backed Dhoni's decision to relinquish limited-overs captaincy, saying that it was perfectly timed.
“Had Mahi taken the decision one year or even six months earlier, I would have been a bit worried. But I salute him for his sense of perfect timing,” Prasad was quoted as saying by PTI news agency.
“He knew that Virat is now a proven customer who has done exceptionally well as a leader in Tests. So it is a correct decision by Dhoni. It showed that he had the best interest of Indian cricket in his mind.
“I believe his match reading was brilliant. That's why he was quick on his feet and could assess any situation with a lot of clarity. For a captain, foresight is an important aspect and he had that in abundance.
“What else was left for him to achieve as a captain? He has achieved everything under the sun in his tenure as India captain… He has won World T20, 50-over World Cup, Champions Trophy, all three global trophies. Apart from that, he has won IPL, Champions League T20. He has nothing to prove to anybody. He has been a great leader.”
Prasad said Dhoni still has plenty to offer to the limited-overs sides as a wicketkeeper-batsman.
“I still feel he has a couple of years of cricket left in him and as a wicketkeeper-batsman, he can still make an invaluable contribution to the team's cause.”
Although it appears that Dhoni's finishing prowess has diminished over the past 15 months, Prasad insisted that it was not because of the burden of captaincy.
“I don't think it would be fair on anybody's part to equate his batting with