M S Dhoni
Sports Desk

MSK Prasad: Dhoni is no more in process of automatic selection

After axe on Yuvraj Singh now is it the time for Dhoni? Chief Selector MSK Prasad said if M S Dhoni want deliver than we will definitely look other alternatives because we are preparing team for ICC World Cup 2019.

Asked on M S Dhoni Future; he said that you never what is the future and predictions are not right always so we can’t predict things. Yes it’s true that one need to perform to cement his place in the team and it applies on every member of the team not Dhoni only. We are all stakeholders. We all want the Indian team to do well. If Dhoni is performing than he is definitely play but on the other hand  If he is not, we will have to look at alternatives,” Prasad answered in a pragmatic manner.

Prasad then illustrated the Andre Agassi analogy about how some players get better with age.

“I was just reading Andre Agassi’s autobiography ‘Open’, his life actually started after 30 years. Till then, he won two or three. His actual life started after that. He lived under the media pressure with the question “When are you going to retire?” But he played till 36 and he won so many Grand Slams.”

Dhoni will be 38 by the next World Cup.

Fielding needs more improvement:

On this MSK Prasad added, that fitness levels and fielding standards needs lot more improvements.

“We have two to three phases in those parameters leading up to the 2019 World Cup and if someone fails to match to those parameters, then he will not be considered irrespective of whoever it is,” he asserted.

Prasad stressed that his panel hadn’t “closed the door” on the likes of Yuvraj and Suresh Raina yet. “The doors are never closed on anybody. Everybody has a right to play cricket. It’s their passion, and they’re chasing it,” he said.

The selection committee chairman said that the Indian ODI team will experiment with opener KL Rahul in the middle order, where he’ll bat at No 4, a slot previously occupied by Yuvraj. “We’re going to try out Rahul at No. 4. He’s too good to sit out. Because Dhawan and Rohit are in good form, we will start with ‘KL’ in that particular order,” said Prasad.

The five-match ODI series will begin on Sunday at Dambulla. India’s tour of Sri Lanka will conclude with second Twenty20 in Colombo on September 6.

Full Squad 

Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma (vice captain), KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wicket keeper), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur.


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