MSK Prasad has revealed that the selection committee would need to sit and decide on the future course of things surrounding MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh in the run up to the 2019 World Cup. With both players on the latter side of 35 years old, many questions have been raised over their selection into the Indian team over and above bringing in youngsters to give them due experience before the extravaganza in England. Chief of national selection committee Prasad believes the call needs to be taken and it can’t be an immediate decision with both players forming pivotal part of the side.
“We will see, we need to talk on that. We will have to take a decision, let’s see how it goes. We all know who can add value. Again, we will go slot by slot. We should know when to take a call. It’s not that suddenly you take a call and you are nowhere. You can’t be totally unprepared, so we need to be balanced on that aspect,” he said in an interview to Wisden India.
For the team, selectors and management, the focus is firmly on the World Cup in two years time and having played the Champions Trophy there would only help the team, said Prasad. India had finished runners up losing by 180 runs in the final to Pakistan. “The best thing that happened from our point of view was that the Champions Trophy was in England. That has really opened our mind in many aspects. We know what our real strengths are. Frankly speaking, our team did really well. There are a few shortcomings that we have noticed and maybe we will fix those shortcomings in the next 18 to 20 months that we have leading up to the World Cup. Whomever we have in mind, we will start giving them more opportunities so that they are mature enough by the time the World Cup comes around. In case we are picking a youngster, then he should be given due chances by the time he plays the World Cup,” said Prasad.
Speaking about the controversial saga surrounding Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble and the differences between a coach and a captain on selection matters, including disagreements with the panel itself, Prasad said it is expected for such a thing to happen as long as the debate is in the best interest of the team. “At the end of the day, it is the selection committee’s decision that prevails. I know I will be lying if I said it (debates due to differing opinions) hasn’t happened at all because you should always have multitudes of opinion so that you can come up with a good solution. Fortunately, whatever the selection committee meetings that we have had, whether it is with Mahi or with Virat, finally when our discussions and arguments are in the right direction, both of them are very accommodative and they give real importance to the process. Not many people know that,” he said.
“They all think it is Mahi who selects the team, or it is Virat who selects the team. It doesn’t happen like that. Questions have been asked about whether we can impose our opinion on their superstar status. Frankly speaking, when they sit in the selection committee, they sit as a captain. They never come with any kind of baggage behind them. All the meetings we have had so far have been interesting meetings. They have always given importance and priority to the selection committee. The final call is always ours, the selectors take the final call. If that means that, at times, we have to overrule the points that are raised, then so be it,” he added.