The chairman of the selection committee, M. S. K. Prasad, said that he had communicated with Virat Kohli over Skype before handing him the captaincy of the Indian ODI and T20 squads, set to play against England.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who relinquished captaincy on Wednesday, has been named in both the ODI and T20 teams. He was also entrusted with the task of leading India ‘A’ side for the warm-up match against England.
Excerpts from a media interaction with Prasad:
On asking Dhoni to lead India A against England: He is the best guy to look after the youngsters. We know what Mahi does. It is not about him stepping down or anything like that. He is a captain by nature, leads from the front. Dhoni went to Zimbabwe also for the same reason and that is why he is named India ‘A’ captain.
On whether Virat Kohli was in the loop about captaincy and team selection:
Virat had spoken to us over Skype about the best possible combination and only after discussing this did we decide (on the teams).
On whether there was any communication with Dhoni prior to his decision to step down as India’s limited-overs skipper:
The last four days I was in Nagpur (for the Ranji Trophy semi-finals). He was very much part of Jharkhand (Dhoni is the mentor of Jharkhand). We chatted about things going on for him. On the last day, he informed the BCCI — and also me since I was there — that he is quitting captaincy and it is time to move on.
On the selectors’ faith in Yuvraj Singh for the limited-overs formats:
We should appreciate the way Yuvraj has played in domestic cricket. All these days, we felt he has not played those long innings. In fact, he played some fantastic knocks, scored a double hundred and then got runs on a tough wicket at Lahli. His impressive performances have been recognised.
On the selectors’ decision to include players with fitness issues (Hardik Pandya, Ajinkya Rahane, Ashish Nehra):
They have done thorough, extensive fitness tests at the NCA. They came through the tests and that is the reason we are making them play in practice games. Whoever is in this list, all were tested for fitness. We have gone through all the records, have gone through all the performances in domestic cricket, before deciding the teams. The selectors have done their best to pick the best possible squads.
Wicketkeeping is a thankless job, so is selection. But I feel the effort by this group of selectors should be appreciated.
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