A miffed chairman of selectors MSK Prasad on Thursday expressed his surprise after discarded senior India opener Murali Vijay spoke about “lack of communication” from the national selection committee. The three-member selection committee, led by Prasad, has been under the scanner after Karun Nair revealed that neither the team management (chief coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli) nor the selectors communicated with him about being dropped after six straight Test matches.
With veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh also criticising the “parameters of selection”, the under-fire Prasad has been on a clarification spree of late. “All these are baseless reports,” Prasad told PTI. “With regard to the non-communication with Murali Vijay after dropping him, I am equally surprised why he has said this while my colleague and selector on call Devang Gandhi had clearly informed him about the reasons why he was dropped,” Prasad said.
In England, Vijay scored 20 and 6 in the opening Test in Birmingham, a pair at the Lord’s. Prasad, on his part, also made it clear that Shikhar Dhawan was dropped as he failed to replicate his white ball form in the red ball format.
“Shikhar is a prolific run getter in white ball cricket which unfortunately he couldn’t replicate in red ball cricket. We have given him considerable opportunities before taking the decision on him in the longer format and give opportunity to the youngsters like Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal who were prolific run getters in domestic cricket and India A,” said Prasad.
A senior BCCI official said that Vijay is probably not providing the cricket loving nation a clear picture of what has transpired. “It is very convenient that MSK has been made the whipping boy with some of these players not giving the correct picture. How did Vijay land a contract with Essex? Would he care to tell us? The arrangement was done by BCCI after speaking to national selectors,” a senior BCCI official said.
“Within a week of getting dropped, he was playing County cricket for Essex. He, in fact, missed early part of Vijay Hazare Trophy as he was playing county cricket. So didn’t Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) know that he was playing county cricket. Vijay would do well not to speak about communication,” the official said.