MSK Prasad: Don't think we need to discuss more on MS Dhoni's World Cup performance
No need to discuss anything in MSD'S World Cup performance, says chairman of selectors MSK Prasad
It's now official that Mahendra Singh Dhoni will not be part of Team India for their forthcoming West Indies tour. The former India captain will be on a two-month break, said chief selector MSK Prasad, who also informed the media that star all-rounder Hardik Pandya and ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah were rested. Bumrah, however, will figure in the two-Test series.
Dinesh Karthik, who played three games in the World Cup with modest returns (14 runs), was dropped. So was Karnataka's Mayank Agarwal, who came in as a replacement for injured all-rounder Vijay Shankar, but didn't play a game. Agarwal made it to the Test side, though.
Batsmen Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey and pacers Khaleel Ahmed along with Navdeep Saini earned the opportunity to showcase their limited overs skills for the Caribbean tour which starts on August 3 with the first T20I in Florida. Interestingly, Team India's playing XI during the World Cup a few weeks ago, had three ODI wicketkeepers (Dhoni, Karthik, and Rishabh Pant). However, Virat Kohli & Co now have only Pant, who is the lone stumper in the side for three ODIs and as many T20I games against West Indies.
While talking in the midst of speculation over Dhoni's future, Prasad told the media: "Retirement is purely (an) individual (choice). A legendary cricketer like MS Dhoni knows when to retire. When asked about Dhoni's recent form, the chief selector said: "I don't think we need to discuss anything more on it, because first of all, he is not available. Secondly, we have already started grooming youngsters."
Meanwhile, Shikhar Dhawan, who broke his thumb while scoring 117 against Australia at The Oval on June 9, has recovered fully and is back in the ODI and T20I sides. Leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, who is currently in the West Indies representing India 'A', got rewarded with a T20I call-up for his consistent show (18 wickets in his last four games).
Fit-again wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha was included in the side for the two-Test series starting in Antigua on August 22. The Bengal wicketkeeper last played a Test in January 2018 (v SA at Cape Town). India's white-ball team vice-captain Rohit Sharma, who played his last Test against Australia at Melbourne in December 2018, but is in good form with five centuries in the World Cup, also earned a Test call-up. And Bumrah will be ready to fire again in the Test series after being rested for the limited overs series along with Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav.
"We have taken the India 'A' performances into consideration. Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer have been phenomenal, so even Navdeep Saini. KS Bharat (wicketkeeper-batsman), was very close to getting selected. We have an unwritten norm — when an established cricketer gets injured, an opportunity should be given to him (when he gets fit). That's how we have given an opportunity to Wriddhiman Saha," Prasad said. The chairman pointed to the "stellar performances" of Bharat for India 'A'. "In the last three series he got three centuries and picked up about 50 dismissals (behind the sticks), which is fantastic. Rishabh, KS and Saha are the guys whom we will be looking at in Test cricket for some time," he stressed.
T20I: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (VC), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (WK), Krunal Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed Deepak Chahar and Navdeep Saini
ODI: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (VC), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kedar Jadhav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed and Navdeep Saini
Test: Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, C Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (WK) Wriddhiman Saha (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav
No. of runs Dhoni scored in the nine World Cup matches in England recently
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