Chief selector MSK Prasad has clarified that the selection committee is well aware that it will have to take a call on MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh and knows the appropriate time for doing so. Prasad also suggested that the committee's calls have always prevailed over the Indian skippers' preferences.
The Indian cricket team has already started ticking boxes in a bid to prepare for the 2019 World Cup. However, the one question that still remains unanswered is the role of veterans MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh in the team. Many cricket experts including India A coach Rahul Dravid and former cricketer Ajit Agarkar have pressed for taking a call on the duo at the earliest possible.
Both Dhoni and Yuvraj have struggled with form but have performed well on occasions to keep their place in the Indian team intact. However, cricket pundits believe their age and fitness will become a factor that will weigh upon their form and have insisted on youngsters being given a chance so that they can gain experience, which will come in handy during the World Cup.
MSK Prasad clarified that the selector's committee has all the bases covered and are well aware of the appropriate time when the call needs to be taken.
“We will see, we need to talk on that. We will have to take a decision, let’s see how it goes. We all know who can add value. Again, we will go slot by slot. We should know when to take a call. It’s not that suddenly you take a call and you are nowhere. You can’t be totally unprepared, so we need to be balanced on that aspect,” Prasad told Wisden India.
The 2019 World Cup will be played in England and Wales, the same venue where the 2017 Champions Trophy was held. And Prasad believes it was a big advantage for the selection committee who would be able to make a better decision on the players who could be beneficial in those conditions.
“The best thing that happened from our point of view was that the Champions Trophy was in England. That has really opened our mind in many aspects. We know what our real strengths are. Frankly speaking, our team did really well. There are a few shortcomings that we have noticed and maybe we will fix those shortcomings in the next 18 to 20 months that we have leading up to the World Cup. Whomever we have in mind, we will start giving them more opportunities so that they are mature enough by the time the World Cup comes around. In case we are picking a youngster, then he should be given due chances by the time he plays the World Cup,” he said.
Indian cricket has always been dominated by the captains in the past but Prasad suggested that it was the selector committee's decision that prevails over the captain's and credited Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni for maintaining an understanding with the committee.
“At the end of the day, it is the selection committee’s decision that prevails. I know I will be lying if I said it (debates due to differing opinions) hasn’t happened at all because you should always have multitudes of opinion so that you can come up with a good solution. Fortunately, whatever the selection committee meetings that we have had, whether it is with Mahi or with Virat, finally when our discussions and arguments are in the right direction, both of them are very accommodative and they give real importance to the process. Not many people know that. They all think it is Mahi who selects the team, or it is Virat who selects the team. It doesn’t happen like that. Questions have been asked about whether we can impose our opinion on their superstar status. Frankly speaking, when they sit