‘Kohli’s team can dominate next five years’, says selection chairman M.S.K. Prasad

Kudos: Chairman of selectors M.S.K. Prasad, seen with stand-in India captain Rohit Sharma during the the third one-dayer at Visakhapatnam, has reiterated that his panel’s decision to reward performers has been appreciated.  

National cricket selection committee chairman M.S.K. Prasad says that the doors were never closed for off-spinner R. Ashwin and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in one-dayers.

“The idea of giving chances to the others is to widen the base of players who can rise up to the expectations at the highest level,” said MSK in an interaction with The Hindu.

“The fact that world-class players like K.L. Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane are not getting a chance in the playing eleven reflects the quality of the bench strength we have,” he said.

“We take pride in having given youngsters, like Shreyas Iyer, big opportunities in the last two years based on their domestic performances. The same principle holds good even for Parthiv (Patel) and Karthik (Dinesh). Or else, what is the use of domestic cricket,” he explained.

‘Kohli’s team can dominate next five years’, says selection chairman M.S.K. Prasad

“Let me remind you that since we put in process a system that recognises performers, we (selection panel) have been respected a lot,” MSK said.

“The best part is that we always kept the channels of communication open with the players and the Indian team management as we feel we are extended family-members; this is why the Indian team is showing great sense of unity and collective responsibility,” he said to a query.

MSK said that 2019 World Cup was the next big target for them. “Even as the middle-order needs to be strengthened, we are looking for talented players slot-wise — opening, middle-order, pacers and spinners. We are determined to have a pool of quality players,” he said.

MSK said that he was extremely happy with the performances of Indian team. “At the start of the year, we had targeted the top status in all the three formats. I am glad we got that in Tests and ODIs. We missed out in the T20 rankings because we played far lesser number of games.”

“The most impressive facet of this Indian team is its commitment and high fitness levels despite such a gruelling season featuring 13 Tests and so many ODIs.”

Speaking on the Yo Yo fitness tests, he felt that high fitness levels were important nowadays and that one can imagine the kind of results if someone combined fitness and skills. “Virat Kohli leads by example by setting new benchmarks or else how can he score consistently at the highest level,” elaborated MSK.

“The batting failure in the Dharamshala ODI can be looked as a one-off thing for different reasons. This team is capable of producing much better performances under even more trying conditions and not just at home,” said a confident MSK. “What is forgotten is that we are playing more at home because of the FTP and not by choice.”

Asked about the biggest challenge for the panel now, MSK said “We are eagerly awaiting the away series in South Africa, England and Australia next year. The Kohli-led team has the right balance to dominate the scene for the next five years. The confidence and consistency in 2016 and 2017 should help the team’s cause in a big way.”

On whether there were plans to have separate teams for the three formats, MSK insisted the core team would remain the same even as there is a conscious effort to have specialists to ensure longevity of the players and also maintain the winning streak.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 2:57:32 PM |

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