Happy to see MS Dhoni among the runs: MSK Prasad
"We are very clear about our core group of players."
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The way MS Dhoni was performing in 2018 and 2017 as well, it would have taken MSK Prasad, chief of India’s selection panel, and his colleague quite some courage to persist with the underperforming veteran. Dhoni could manage only 275 runs in 20 innings last year and in the process, he recorded his worst average and strike rate in a calendar year since his debut in 2004. That Dhoni was even booed during his ODI knock at Lord’s last year pretty much tells the story.
What made things tough for the selectors was the emergence of Rishabh Pant and the form of Dinesh Karthik. While Pant was taking the world by storm, Karthik was showing remarkable consistency and his credentials as a finisher. Dhoni, on the other hand, was losing his mojo and was struggling to put up performances expected from him.
However, the selectors and the team-management kept on backing the wicketkeeper-batsman and the latter finally justified the faith shown in him in 2019. He began the year with a bang, scoring three consecutive fifties in the ODI series against Australia to help India win their first-ever bilateral series on Australian soil. He finished the series as India’s top run-getter and became the oldest Indian player to bag the Man of the Series award.
Dhoni’s form would have been a big relief for the selectors and Prasad’s latest comments very much prove that. In a recent interview with Sportstar, he said he is happy to see Dhoni scoring runs before reiterating that the latter is the best wicketkeeper in the world.
“I am absolutely happy to see Mahi among the runs and winning the Man of the Series award for his batting performance in Australia. I have also always said that he is still the best wicketkeeper in the world. Apart from that, he is hugely experienced and brings a sense of calmness to the team in crunch situations.
The chemistry between Virat and Mahi is only going to help the team in a major event and I can openly say that they have huge respect for each other,” he was quoted as saying.
World Cup squad clear:
Prasad also said that India’s core team is very much confirmed for the upcoming World Cup. He admitted that the team management might make some experiments against Australia but the selectors are unlikely to spring a surprise in the World Cup squad.
“We are very clear about our core group of players. We might only look at certain permutations and combinations against the Aussies at home. Otherwise, we are very clear about our team for the World Cup,” he added.