Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has once again shown his bold approach while reacting to a topic. He has fired shots on former chief selector MSK Prasad for his ‘3D’ comment after the exclusion of Ambati Rayudu from 2019 World Cup squad.
The cricketer-turned-politician was in conversation on Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’ alongside Prasad and Krishnamachari Srikkanth. They were discussing the selection criteria in Team India.
Gambhir opined that selectors don’t confabulate with the players properly and they don’t get to know what happened with their careers all of a sudden. In fact, Gambhir brought forward his own example and claimed nobody talked to him after he was dropped in 2016 during the England Test series. The 38-year-old also gave examples of Karun Nair, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina stating they also witnessed lack of communication from the selectors.
“When I was dropped after the 1st Test against England in 2016, there was no communication. You look at Karun Nair who has said there is no clarity given to him. You look at Yuvraj Singh… you look at Suresh Raina,” said Gambhir.
The former Delhi batsman raised the issue of Rayudu during the chat. The Hyderabad batsman was considered as India’s number 4 batsman in the World Cup, but surprisingly he was dropped from the squad right before the selection and all-rounder Vijay Shankar was included in his place. Prasad had given the reason behind Rayudu’s omission saying Shankar brings the ‘3D’ aspect in the team with his batting, bowling and fielding.
“Look at what happened to Ambati Rayudu — you picked him for two years. Two years he batted at number four. And just before the World Cup, you needed a 3-D? Is that the kind of statement you want to see from a chairman of selectors that we need a 3-D cricketer?” Gambhir asked Prasad.
After that, Prasad defended himself and stated that the team lacked a seam-bowling all-rounder, especially in the English condition. That’s the major reason Shankar was picked in the India squad.
“At the top (of the line-up), everyone was a batsman — Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli; there was nobody who could bowl. And someone like Vijay Shankar, who bats at the top-order, could be helpful with the ball in the English conditions,” said Prasad.
Prasad further said that Shankar’s domestic records were remarkable which helped the 29-year-old to get picked in the India squad. However, former chairman of selectors Srikkanth, who was also the part of the discussion didn’t agree with Prasad’s statement. He said that there is a difference between international and domestic cricket.
“Not supporting Gautam or belittling you MSK, but there is a huge difference between international cricket and domestic cricket,” said Srikkanth.
After Srikkanth’s comment, Prasad responded and said only experience can’t be taken as a parameter for selection.
“I agree with Chika that there is a difference, but you also have to understand that experience cannot be the only parameter all the time (for selecting players). You may miss out on many players in the process,” added Prasad.