CoA chairman to convene panel meeting; MS Dhoni future in suspense

Updated: Jul 19, 2019, 11:33 IST | PTI

The meeting was scheduled to be held today but was postponed following Committee of Administrators' (CoA) directive that the chairman of the panel, instead of BCCI secretary, will convene it

CoA chairman to convene panel meeting; MS Dhoni future in suspense
Chairman of selectors MSK Prasad. Pic /AFP

The national selection panel's meeting to pick squads for the West Indies tour has been pushed to Sunday amid intense focus on skipper Virat Kohli's availability and veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni's future.

The meeting was scheduled to be held today but was postponed following Committee of Administrators' (CoA) directive that the chairman of the panel, instead of BCCI secretary, will convene it.

"There are some legal modalities that need to be followed due to the rule change and it took some time. Also the BCCI's cricket operations team needs to apprise the chairman of the availability of the captain for the meeting. The fitness reports of the players will be available on Saturday evening," a senior BCCI functionary told PTI.

Earlier, the CoA issued a four-point directive, rendering secretary Amitabh Chaudhary virtually redundant as he will now neither sit in selection meetings nor his approval will be needed for any cricket-related decisions.

The move is in consonance with the spirit of Lodha reforms where it has been mandated that selection and cricketing matters be handled by specialists.

During overseas tours, the administrative manager will convene the meetings, in case required, to announce teams.

Dhoni, 38, whose finishing abilities with the bat have been on the wane, would be the centre of discussion amid speculation that the Jharkhand player is contemplating retirement even though he hasn't spoken about it till now.

Dhoni's selection or omission would be an indicator of things to come in the future. India are set to play three T20Is, three ODIs and two Tests in a full-fledged tour to the Caribbean Islands, starting August 3. Considering next year's World T20 to be held in Australia, the selectors might opt for the young Rishabh Pant, who is seen as heir apparent to Dhoni.

Dhoni was dropped from the T20 series against West Indies and Australia last October and there is a strong chance that he won't be included this time too.

Pant was recently called up as replacement for an injured opener Shikhar Dhawan in the World Cup, from where India were ousted in the semi-final.

Another issue that would surely be debated is the availability of Kohli, who has been on the road for a while.

There is a school of thought that the skipper could be rested considering the long domestic season ahead, which begins in September.

The MSK Prasad-led panel would also work on restructuring the middle-order as it was one of the primary reasons for India's exit from the World Cup semi-final.

Stabilising the No. 4 spot is the need of the hour going ahead.

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