‘Playing international cricket is never easy’ – Former India selector Venkatapathy Raju reveals if he would select MS Dhoni now
Raju said that one has to keep playing to stay in contention.
Updated - Mar 22, 2020 2:22 pm
Venkatapathy Raju, the former India selector, hinted that he might not have selected MS Dhoni now. Dhoni hasn’t played international cricket since the 2019 World Cup in July 2019 and Raju feels that one has been in the scheme of things to pave way back into the national team. Raju, who’s also a former Indian cricketer, was the one who appointed MS Dhoni as the captain.
Dhoni has been on a sabbatical since the mega event and hasn’t played any competitive cricket since the event in England and Wales. Martin Guptill ran him out in the semi-final at the Old Trafford and that was the last time the fans got to witness the Jharkhand-born. Raju feels that one needs to understand whether he/she belongs there or not.
It demands a different level of fitness and skills
“Any player has to keep playing and performing to be in the contention. Be it domestic, India-A series or any other competitive cricket. You don’t have to prove to others, but prove to yourself that you belong there,” Raju was quoted as saying to Sportstar.
The Hyderabad-born Raju played 28 Tests and 53 ODIs for Team India from February 1990 to March 2001. The now 50-year-old revealed how he found it tough to stake his claim back into the national side after a three-year layoff. Raju reckons that representing India needs a great amount of fitness and one has to be on top of the skills.
“Playing international cricket is never easy. It demands a different level of fitness and skills. For that, you have to be in the thick of it. I remember how I struggled coming back into Indian team after a three-year gap because of the totally different kind of intensive training in the Indian team as compared to playing Ranji or other first-class tournaments,” he added.
Dhoni was expected to ply trade for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL). However, the start of the IPL has been postponed from March 29 to April 15 due to the coronavirus outbreak. Hence, it’s yet not known when Dhoni will next be seen on the pitch. It goes without saying that Dhoni is one of the greatest cricketers India have produced.