Despite newly-elected BCCI President Sourav Ganguly stating that he will speak to the national selectors as well as MS Dhoni before a decision is taken concerning his future in International Cricket, chief selector MSK Prasad has made it very clear that he is looking beyond MS Dhoni post the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in which New Zealand brought an end to India’s campaign in the semi-finals.
“We are moving on, we are very clear. Post World Cup we have been clear. We started backing (Rishabh) Pant and wanted to see him do well. He may not have had the best of matches but we are clear, we are focusing on him only,” Prasad said in a press conference in which he announced the Indian squads for the Bangladesh series.
“We’re looking at younger options after the World Cup, so you can understand our thought process. We definitely had a chat with Dhoni and he also endorses our view of backing youngsters,” he said.
On the contrary, Ganguly had stated that whatever decision Dhoni takes will be respected.
“I don’t know what’s in his mind. India is very proud to have MS Dhoni. Till I am around everybody will be respected. Dhoni’s achievements make India proud,” Ganguly said of his former teammate. Interestingly, Ganguly had backed Dhoni during the latter’s initial days in International career before he came to his own and became an integral part of the Indian cricket team.
“I am yet to talk to him. I will have a word soon with one of the greats of the Indian game,” he added.
Speaking on Sanju Samson’s inclusion in the T20I squad for Bangladesh series, Prasad stated that the selectors are looking at him purely as a batsman and not as a back-up wicketkeeper.
“Sanju Samson has been included as a proper batsman, Pant will continue as wicketkeeper. Sanju’s problem 3-4 years back was inconsistency. Now he has improved. He had a fantastic A series and wonderful Vijay Hazare. We consider him as a top-order batsman,” he said.
India’s squad for Bangladesh T20I series: Rohit Sharma(Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Washington Sundar, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Shivam Dube, Shardul Thakur.