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MS Dhoni & Virat Kohli Respect Me Irrespective of What’s Written: MSK Prasad

For a while, the sight of MSK Prasad travelling with the Indian team was not uncommon as Chief of the Selection Committee, and his inputs were often taken into account. But with a new management led by Sourav Ganguly at the helm, the former India wicket-keeper expects massive changes to the working structure and lesser travel for the selectors in the future.

Cricketnext Staff |November 27, 2019, 12:04 PM IST
MS Dhoni & Virat Kohli Respect Me Irrespective of What’s Written: MSK Prasad

For a while, the sight of MSK Prasad travelling with the Indian team was not uncommon as Chief of the Selection Committee, and his inputs were often taken into account. But with a new management led by Sourav Ganguly at the helm, the former India wicket-keeper expects massive changes to the working structure and lesser travel for the selectors in the future.

Prasad and the selectors have copped flak, and he describes it as part and parcel of the job. Explaining further Prasad said that the problems he dealt with at the Andhra cricket association were far bigger.

"I am a management student and at Andhra Cricket Association, I dealt with much bigger issues than here," Prasad told Mumbai Mirror. "We built Andhra association from scratch where people were not motivated to work.

"During this tenure (with BCCI), I used to take advice from legendary cricketers which helped. My relationship with MSD (MS Dhoni) and [Virat] Kohli is intact. People might write anything but when I speak to them, I know how much they respect me."

When asked about the dropping of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara during the tours of South Africa and England respectively, Prasad hinted that all they could do was "show faith" in the decisions made by team management.

Rahane and Pujara had been left out for three Tests in those two tours, and India lost both.

"I don't want to talk too much about those two things but all I can say is that there were some constitutional changes that were made at that time with regards to selectors playing a role in picking the playing XI on tour," Prasad said.

"But we had to show faith in the decisions that the team management took at that point of time."

Among other things, the inability to solve the number 4 conundrum and the Ambati Rayudu episode will remain as blotches for Prasad, but he however thinks the former isn’t the reason for the World Cup semi-final defeat.

"Tell me, did we have a problem till the semi-final with No. 4?", he said. "We went into the World Cup with Shikhar Dhawan opening and KL Rahul at No. 4. They did the job until unfortunately Dhawan got injured and that is when we flew in Rishabh Pant. I don't think we lost because of the No. 4 issue."

Prasad's selection committee has also often been lauded for creating and maintaining healthy bench strength through domestic, age-group and A-teams cricket.

"Myself, the India A management and the Indian management sit down and discuss the progress of a player," he explained of the process. "We look at the requirements of the senior team and groom a player based on that.

"Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal are a few examples. They knew which series they may be needed for, which is why they weren't overawed by the bigger stage. The ease with which Shaw got a ton on debut, ease with which Agarwal made 75 on debut or the ease with which [Hanuma] Vihari batted in England. Barring one or two, whichever youngster has got in has been backed. For example, Shreyas Iyer. He didn't have the best of A tours, but we kept backing him and now you see the results.

"In the spin department, we have [R] Ashwin, [Ravindra] Jadeja and Kuldeep [Yadav]. There's [Shahbaz] Nadeem waiting outside with lots of wickets, we have Axar and [K] Gowtham too. Similarly, if we want openers, apart from our regulars, we have Shaw. KL has started to do well again. Then there are Priyank Panchal and Abhimanyu Easwaran. So we have about seven openers now."

And that is what Prasad wants his committee to be remembered for.

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