MSK Prasad: 'Parthiv is a wholesome package'

BCCI's selection committee chairman, M.S.K. Prasad, said that the primary focus of the selectors is to develop bench strength capable of six or seven year sustenance.

M.S.K. Prasad said that it’s premature to talk about Rishabh Pant.   -  V.V. Subrahmanyam

M.S.K. Prasad, chairman of the BCCI senior team selection committee, is here in Chennai to watch the Ranji Trophy match between Delhi and Vidarbha. Sportstar caught up with him on Tuesday.

On Parthiv Patel getting the nod for the third Test against England

He has done well for the past couple of years both in terms of batting and wicketkeeping. His glovework is better than before. I wouldn’t say that he’s better than (Wriddhiman) Saha. Saha is still the No. 1 wicketkeeper for India. We also have Naman Ojha and Dinesh Karthik, but Parthiv’s a wholesome package. Also, it helped that he’s a left-hander. We thought, being a left-hander, he can handle Adil Rashid and Zafar Ansari better. He can bat at any position too.

Rahul to make speedy recovery:

The BCCI chairman of selectors M.S.K. Prasad said India opener K.L. Rahul will make a complete recovery from his forearm injury within the next four days. Prasad is in Chennai to watch the Ranji Trophy match between Delhi and Vidarbha.

"K.L. Rahul will be fit and fine to play in another three or four days, according to the report we received from the physio," he said.

He added that the selection committee's "open to consider options" for India's last two Tests versus England in Mumbai and Chennai.

On Rishabh Pant being discussed for the third Test

We believe that everybody has to come through the system. We need to identify players for different formats. If someone is fit for one-day, maybe from that format, he can improve and come into the Test side. Someone stable may come into the test side, and groom himself to become a one-day player. We don’t want to label anyone. But, we believe that we should know a player’s strength and groom him accordingly. Rishabh Pant is a good attacking bat. But, it’s premature to talk about him now. He’s just had his first good domestic season. We don’t want to jump the gun.

On the players he’s keeping an eye on in the Ranji Trophy match between Delhi and Vidarbha

Rishabh Pant, Akshay Wakhare, Shikhar Dhawan and Gautam Gambhir.

On R. Ashwin’s all-round skills

Ashwin times the ball really well and I wouldn’t be surprised if people mistake him for V.V.S. Laxman. He’s not just a bowler anymore. He’s also a dependable batsman. We see that he adds strength to the team’s batting. You can see that Kohli is relaxed when Ashwin bats. We believe the kind of stability he brings to batting will rub on to players like Ravindra Jadeja and Jayant Yadav. Ashwin is one person who doesn’t keep his knowledge just to himself. I’ve noticed that he has worked a lot with Jayant Yadav in the last couple of years. He himself said that Jayant is to be backed.

On Ajinkya Rahane’s dip in form

I’m not worried about Rahane. A few innings not so good, now and then, happens with any player. He’s a good fielder too. He’s an asset to the team.

On the committee’s prime focus areas

Our primary focus is to develop bench strength. There’s nothing much left to be done with the current Indian team. It’s well-set and in-form. If you look at the one-day series versus New Zealand, we actually played with the second XI, and the way the team performed was phenomenal. That shows we have good bench strength now.

And, I’m sure, by the end of our term, say three years from now, we will have ensured a bench strength capable of six or seven year sustenance. There’s focus on identifying spinners too. We’ve got an adequate group of pacemen who will last for at least the next two years. We’ve identified a few spinners. We’ll back them. Jayant Yadav, for instance.

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