Chairman of selectors MSK Prasad came out in total defence of the selection committee after facing an outrage from the fans. The squad announced for the Champions trophy has not been welcomed with appreciation. Many feel the decision to avoid any gamble was very conservative and robbed the opportunity of playing in the multi-nation tournament from young rising names like Rishabh Pant.

Prasad, however, has clarified that Pant is definitely in the eyes of the selectors and will be used for a long run in the future.

“We are completely impressed by how Rishabh Pant is playing. It’s just combination because of which he missed out. He is one cricketer we are looking at for our future. He is definitely a solution for our future.”

“There is no need to worry as he has a long career ahead of him. We will groom him and back him. We will ensure that he is successful in future,” the chairman explained.

A few also debated about the place for MS Dhoni in the team. His batting form has caused some worries but Prasad reminded every one of Dhoni’s importance.

“How many of us still believe that MSD is still the best wicketkeeper in the world? We all believe he is still the best wicketkeeper in the world. We are only talking and focussing on his batting form,” Prasad said. “He is an invaluable asset to the team and his inputs in crunch situations, he has got one of the best brains. He is the best person to guide Virat,” Prasad said about the two- time World Champion skipper.

He pointed out at the ignorance people show towards MS Dhoni by judging him only on the basis of his batting while neglecting his contributions behind the stumps is very unfair.

“Not many people realise, that in last 10-12 years, Dhoni has never had a bad day with the gloves. We always treat him as a batsman but the phenomenal stuff he does behind the wickets, not many people appreciate that. According to me, he is still the best wicketkeeper in world cricket.”

Convener Amitabh Chaudhary also had a sarcastic reply when a question about the inclusion of youngsters popped up. He began with naming some young players in the side just to make thing clearer.

“Isn’t Bumrah a youngster? Isn’t Hardik Pandya a youngster? They came to the Indian team during 2016 Australia series prior to Asia Cup. When the same scribe asked whether veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was considered. On one side, you asked about youngsters and now you are asking about Harbhajan Singh.”

Prasad also assured that the likes of Sanju Samson, Basil Thampi and Rahul Tripathi have no reason to worry. He states that when these individuals gain enough experience with the ‘A’ team, they will automatically stand in the contender’s line.

“We have seen their performances in the IPL. They need good A tour before the next level.”

The selection panel chief also made it clear that IPL hype and public opinion are never enough to sway selectors picking a one-day side. “In 50 overs tournament, we have to check all-round capabilities. We are happy that the likes of Rahul Tripathi or Thampi are shaping up.”


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