In a country full of opinions about cricket, it is very tough being a selector, and is probably the most scrutnised job. Billion people, billion views and a billion justifications for selecting a particular player in the side. Who would want to be a selector?
But when you can chose just 15, you will have to leave a few ‘deserving’ players out, and they could be major fan favourites mind you, but someone has to do the dirty work. BCCI selection committee head MSK Prasad has come out and defended the rather tough decision of leaving out Gambhir(and Pant) and has given his reasons for doing it.
MSK Prasad addressed the media after the 15 member squad for the Champions Trophy was announced and went onto say that the selection committee had opted for a very balanced side. IPL performances were not the primary criteria and the entire domestic season along with the IPL was taken into consideration to arrive at the 15 member squad.
“IPL is our one of the most important domestic tournament, we respect IPL, but when it comes to longer format like Champions Trophy we consider IPL performance and performance in one year,” Prasad said.
Ravichandran Ashwin’s selection has also received a little slack, as the off spinner hasn’t really performed well overseas and his limited overs form has been a concern for sometime now. He didn’t even feature in India’s last limited overs assignment against England and was ruled out of the IPL. But MSK Prasad has come out and defended Ashwin, saying that he was always in the scheme of things for CT and is one of the most integral players of the Indian side. Ashwin picked up 8 wickets in the last Champions Trophy campaign in England.
“Ashwin’s selection was not a difficult decision. He’s had rest, isn’t out of form. We’ve been preparing him for the Champions Trophy” he said.
Prasad also revealed that Dhawan and Rohit would be the first choice openers for India, with Rahane slotting in as the 3rd choice opener.
“Rohit Sharma and Dhawan will be India’s first choice opener pair while Rahane will play the role of the backup opener.”
Rishab Pant’s exclusion has come as a huge shock for many fans, as he has had a stellar Ranji season and played one of the best IPL innings of all time, making a mockery of a 200+ score.
“We are completely impressed with Rishabh Pant. But he missed out because of squad combination. We will groom him for the future”
He also said that Kuldeep missed out narrowly, owing to the team combination that they opted for.
Prasad also went on to defend Dhoni’s selection, saying that he is the best wicketkeeper batsman in the world, and has been so for some years.
“He is still the best wicketkeeper in the world. Not many people realize that in the last 10 to 15 years that he has been playing for the country, he has never had a bad day with the wicketkeeping gloves.”
India will be taking on Pakistan in the first game on 4th June.