What’s the story?
The 2019 World Cup is less than two years away, and most teams will be starting to identify a group of players who will form the core set for the tournament. For India, the emergence and evolution of a number of youngsters under Virat Kohli has been a positive sign, but the future of veterans like MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh still remains under question.
Chief selector MSK Prasad has conceded that the management will be making a decision after consultation with the captain and coach Ravi Shastri.
“We will see, we need to talk on that. We will have to take a decision, let’s see how it goes. We all know who can add value. Again, we will go slot by slot. We should know when to take a call. It’s not that suddenly you take a call and you are nowhere. You can’t be totally unprepared, so we need to be balanced on that aspect”, he told Wisden India.
In case you didn’t know…
Having captained the Indian side continuously from 2007 to the end of 2016, Dhoni stepped down from limited-overs captaincy in January this year to continue as a wicketkeeper batsman. Critics have pointed out that his finishing abilities are on the wane, taking instances from his recent inability to end games with the bat like he used to before.
Yuvraj Singh, on the other hand, made a comeback to the Indian ODI team for the first time since 2013, but ever since his career best 150 against England, hasn’t been able to recreate the same magic.
The heart of the matter
Stating that the Champions Trophy last month helped the management gauge the strengths of the team, Prasad said that all shortcoming will be fixed in the next 18-20 months, in the lead-up to the World Cup. He also said that whoever players that they have in mind will be given ample opportunities to prove themselves, so that they ‘mature’ by the time the event arrives.
He also said that given the rapport that they share with Virat Kohli, the selection committee’s decisions prevail when choosing a particular player for the team. Prasad said that both MS Dhoni and Kohli have been very ‘accommodative’ and have given importance to the process of selection.
Given that MS Dhoni doesn’t play Tests anymore and Yuvraj Singh isn’t in the scheme of things for the longest format, the duo will have to perform like they did in their heydays for every limited-over series that comes their way. After the three-Test series ends, India play Sri Lanka for five ODIs and and a T20I.
Dhoni and Yuvraj, modern legends of the Indian team, have proved themselves how invaluable they have been for the team in the past. However, going forward, every series will be a test for them, given that several youngsters are breathing down their neck.
If the management does decide to let go of Dhoni or Yuvraj, it will have to be now, so that the youngster who fills in has enough time to learn the ropes of his role and cement his spot in the side.Published 31 Jul 2017, 13:37 IST