Prasad said that the selection committee’s primary focus is to develop bench strength. “If you look at the one-day series versus New Zealand, we actually played with the second XI, and the way the team performed was phenomenal. That shows we have good bench strength now,” he was quoted as saying by The Hindu.
Praise for Ashwin
When asked to comment on Ashwin’s all-round skills, Prasad was all praises for the best all-rounder in the team.
“Ashwin times the ball really well and I wouldn’t be surprised if people mistake him for V.V.S. Laxman. He’s not just a bowler anymore. He’s also a dependable batsman. You can see that Kohli’s relaxed when Ashwin bats. We believe that the stability he brings to batting will rub on players like Ravindra Jadeja and Jayant,” he acknowledged.
Backs Rahane to come good
The former cricketer from Andhra Pradesh also backed an out-of-form Rahane, dismissing his lacklustre performances as a rough phase in every cricketer’s career.
“I’m not worried about Rahane. A few innings not so good, now and then, happens with any player. He’s a good fielder too. He’s an asset to the team.”
Saha still No.1
The selector then directed talks towards Parthiv Patel’s come back to the national team. While he feels W. Saha is still the best wicket-keeper in the longest format of the game, Parthiv Patel as a whole is a better package.
“He has done well for the past couple of years both in terms of batting and wicketkeeping. His glovework is better than before. I wouldn’t say that he’s better than Saha. Saha is still the No. 1 wicketkeeper for India. We also have Naman Ojha and Dinesh Karthik, but Parthiv’s a wholesome package,” Prasad affirmed.
“Also, it helped that he’s a left-hander. We thought, being a left-hander, he can handle Adil Rashid and Zafar Ansari better. He can bat at any position too,” he continued.
Update on KL Rahul’s injury
Prasad also gave an update on KL Rahul’s injury, confirming that he will be fit to play in another two to three days and is likely to be seen in the last two Tests.
The chairman concluded with a mention of the players he is keeping an eye on in the Ranji Trophy match between Delhi and Vidarbha. The names he revealed were Rishabh Pant, Akshay Wakhare, Shikhar Dhawan, and Gautam Gambhir.
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