Team Indian chief selector MSK Prasad has hailed MS Dhoni yet again and went onto the extent to say that he still remains the best wicket-keeper batsman and a finisher in the shorter formats of the game. A former wicket-keeper himself, MSK Prasad insisted on the fact that Dhoni was a huge asset as a batsman and a World Cup in the 2019 World Cup.
The former Indian skipper came under severe criticism after his underwhelming strike rates during the World Cup. He messed up chases against England and was also criticized for his slow innings in the semi-final loss against New Zealand. However,If Prasad didn’t agree to this and stated that had Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja taken Indian to a win in the semi-final it would have been hailed as the best ever.
“Had we won the (World Cup) semi-final (against New Zealand), especially after the collapse we had at the top of the order, then the knocks that Jadeja and MS played would have been hailed as one of the best knocks ever,” Prasad was quoted as saying during an interview with the PTI.
“I can clearly say this that till today MS is the best glovemen and finisher in India in the shorter formats. The others are still work in progress. MS was a big strength to this team in the World Cup both as a batsman and keeper, apart from sharing his vast experience with the team and captain while taking on-field decisions.”
Prasad was reluctant in speaking on the future of MS Dhoni or whether he will be included in the Indian squad post the Windies tour. However, he admitted t the fact that the selection committee was looking to groom Rishabh Pant in the presence of MS Dhoni which will enable Pant for a smooth transition in the shorter formats of the game.
“I have very clearly told post the selection of the Indian team against West Indies, that we have a plan post World Cup to give as many opportunities as possible to Rishabh and groom him so that he can grow in confidence and perform as per the requirements of the team,” Prasad said.
The Indian selection committee came under severe scrutiny in the recent past as former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar lashed out at them for lack of vision. However Prasad was quick to respond and stated had they liked vision then Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant would have never played Test cricket.
“If this committee lacked vision, then how did Jasprit Bumrah, who is predominantly considered a white-ball bowler, has been eased into Test cricket and he becomes No.1 Test bowler in ICC rankings?” Prasad retorted.
“If we lacked vision, how on earth did Hardik Pandya, who again was initially thought of being a T20 player, was prepared for all-round duties across formats?”
“And so much for our “lack of vision”, Rishabh Pant, whom nobody ever thought that could be cut out for longer formats, has been groomed and inducted into Test squad in such a short span of time. We all saw the results in England and Australia — both with bat and behind the stumps,” Prasad said.
“Now let’s come to the feeder line. See how much progress a Mayank (Agarwal) or a (Hanuma) Vihari has made. Look at our fast bowling strength. Khaleel Ahmed and Navdeep Saini are two of the fastest in India right now.
“If this committee lacked vision and blue-print, how are the shadow tours being planned for the senior team through India A? Are these not the results of coordinated efforts by the selection committee along with coaches Ravi Shastri and Rahul Dravid.”