The chairman of BCCI’s senior selection committee, M.S.K. Prasad, insists M.S. Dhoni will decide on when to call time on his career.
“The panel members, if we take away our professional responsibilities, are as big a fan of Dhoni as anyone. He has achieved everything under the sun, winning two World Cups, the Champions Trophy, No. 1 Test status,” said Prasad in a chat with Sportstar here.
“Mahi has not announced any retirement plans. The options are wide open and Mahi will take a call,” he said. “But, no body can question him about his career or contribution to Indian cricket.”
Prasad said, it was the selectors’ duty to, meanwhile, move on and identify the next generation of players.
Prasad was immensely pleased with Rohit Sharma’s transformation into an all-format player.
“We all know his unbelievable talent in white-ball cricket. And, in the last four to five months, as opener in Tests, he has shown his skills. I wish he gets one good away series, that will change his mindset completely,” Prasad said.
On Ambati Rayudu, Prasad said the selectors had stood by him, urging him to focus on Test cricket, too. They helped him work on his fitness for one month at the NCA. Rayudu had delivered to an extent, and then the “unfortunate turn of events”, Prasad said.
On Karun Nair, Prasad felt it was a case of missed opportunities after the Test triple century against England in 2016. “Even this season he has a string failures, but I sincerely hope he comes back strongly.”
The Indian pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammad Shami had developed into a combination “better than the famed Windies bowling attack of the ’70s and ’80s”. This was because of the workload management insisted upon by the selectors, he said.
The real skills
Looking back at his four-year tenure on the “lightweight panel” (as dubbed by detractors), a smiling Prasad reiterated that it was not important how many matches you had played but about man management skills.
“It is all about winning the confidence of the team management by keeping an unbiased and open mind when coming up with names of players, backed by facts and figures,” he concluded.
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