Rahul Dravid has urged the Indian selectors to take a call regarding the future of the team – especially MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh – by keeping an eye on the 2019 World Cup. Both of them were part of the squad that featured in the ICC Champions Trophy that culminated on Sunday. Dhoni scored 67 runs in two innings while Yuvraj scored 105 runs during the tournament in four innings. But their inclusion in the squad for future tours need to be carefully assessed as both Yuvraj and Dhoni are now 35.
“It is a call that is got to be taken by the selectors and the management,” Dravid told ESPNCricinfo when asked about future of Yuvraj and Dhoni, who were the team’s number four and five in the Champions Trophy. “And what they see as the road map for Indian cricket, and where they see the role of both these cricketers going ahead for the next couple of years. Is there a place for both of them? Is there a place for only one of them? Do you want to reassess it in a year’s time, six months’ time? Do you want to look at the available talent and see what they have to offer before going back to these two players,” he said.
He urged selectors and team management push youngsters in the team. Dravid believes that will be good to build players of tomorrow and even if the young guns don’t perform, Dhoni and Yuvraj remain strong fallback options. “They have taken a decision to go to the West Indies with a full-strength squad. I really hope they are willing to experiment at least in the playing XI and give more opportunities to people. If you don’t do that, suddenly you don’t want to come to a situation and, say, in a year’s time, where you say, ‘We haven’t given people chances so these are the only guys we have got.’
“Better position to be in: ‘We have tried everything else, but we still feel that Yuvi and Dhoni are fit, they are playing very well, and they are the guys to see us through.’ And no one will complain about that,” he said.
Dravid pushed for more mystery spinners, such as Kuldeep Yadav, and wrist spinners to come into the side after the duopoly of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja didn’t get much help from the flat surfaces in England. “We are playing on really flat wickets. It is tough on them, and … it is not happening. If you want wickets in the middle, wrist-spinners and mystery spinners are the ones who look like taking wickets on some of these flat wickets with the fielding restrictions.
“It is nice to have Kuldeep Yadav coming in. He needs to be given a lot more game time. He has got ability, he has got a bit of mystery about him,” he added.
India’s series against West Indies begins on June 23 where they play five ODIs and a T20I. Kuldeep has been drawn into the squad alongside Rishabh Pant in place of Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah who have been rested.