The tenure of M.S.K. Prasad, the chairman of selectors, is set to end next month. He was here to watch the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament and spoke about his time at the helm for the past three years, a period in which India became the No. 1 Test side in the world.
“I think we have a complete Test team. Every generation throws up one or two good teams, but this is a complete team,” said Prasad, summing up Team India's stint. “Being at the top of the ICC Test rankings for the last few years is a fantastic thing, but it is not just about numbers. We have built a team for all formats. "We have a set team in Tests and ODIs. In T20Is, we haven’t played that much and now that we are playing a lot more, I am sure three to four months before the next World T20, our team will be fully set.”
On what the long-term vision of the committee was at the start of his tenure, the 44-year-old said, “We wanted to build a team that can win across formats and the world. To some extent, we could do that in Australia. The results in South Africa and England didn’t go in our favour but the way we fought, it could have been anybody's game.
"We have built a winning culture and today no team - England, New Zealand or Australia - will give seaming tracks to us. That is the scare we have given to the world. What is more heartening is we have a healthy bench-strength with the likes of Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj waiting in the wings.
“The bench-strength that we have developed will be our legacy. I am sure the bench-strength we have will last the next six to seven years. We have enough ammunition across formats to take Indian cricket to the top.”
The former India wicket-keeper also backed Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant to bounce back strongly. While Shaw was suspended for a doping violation and is back to playing First-Class cricket, Pant was overlooked for the Tests and has been under fire for his efforts with constant comparisons to M.S. Dhoni not helping things.
“Everyone knows what he (Shaw) is capable of doing. We have been following him and he has done well since his comeback. With lots of First-Class cricket coming up now, we will keep a close look and by the time the New Zealand series comes up, I am sure he will be in good shape to stake a claim.
"With Rishabh, we keep talking to him regularly and we are making sure he is in a good space. Unfortunately, he is going through a rough phase but he is full of talent and he will only go up the ladder from this low period."
While the team has done well, the committee has faced a lot of flak for some of its decisions, and lack of communication, especially when R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were dropped after the 2017 Champions Trophy. Prasad shot back, saying, “Why do you think we have not communicated? I ensured that all the selectors go and meet Ashwin and Jadeja while taking some of the calls. Post CT in 2017, the entire selection team spoke to Ashwin and Jadeja before taking the call.”
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