Former India chief selector MSK Prasad has responded to veteran batsman Suresh Raina’s comments that selectors should take more responsibility when dealing with senior players. While explaining the reason behind Raina’s failure to make a comeback in the Indian team, Prasad said the southpaw was not picked due to his poor form in the 2018-19 domestic season.
Raina, who has appeared in 226 ODIs and 78 T20Is apart from 18 Tests, last played for India in July 2018 in England after which he was dropped for good.
Last year, he had undergone knee surgery in The Netherlands and was eyeing a comeback with his favourite team Chennai Super Kings in the currently postponed Indian Premier League (IPL).
“See VVS Laxman, when he was dropped from the Indian Test squad in 1999, he forced himself back by scoring over 1400 runs in domestic cricket. This is what is expected from senior players when they are dropped. Unfortunately, we didn’t see that form here in Raina’s case in domestic cricket while other youngsters emerged at the big stage with their brilliant performances in domestic cricket and India A,” Prasad, who was India’s chief selector when Raina was dropped, was quoted as saying by PTI.
After being dropped from the Indian side, Raina played five Ranji games in 2018-19 season where he notched up 243 runs with the help of two fifties. In IPL 2019, he scored 383 runs in 17 games for CSK and did not have a great season with the willow, dashing his World Cup hopes.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t see that form here in Raina’s case in domestic cricket while other youngsters emerged at the big stage with their brilliant performances in domestic cricket and India A,” Prasad, who had an eventful four-year tenure, said.
In an interview, Raina had accused selector of not communicating with him properly; however, Prasad contradicted his remarks and said he had personally had a chat with the Muradnagar-born cricketer about the roadmap for his comeback in the Indian team.
“I had personally spoken to Raina calling him to my room and explained him the roadmap for his future comebacks. He had, back then, appreciated my efforts. I am really surprised when I have heard things which are exactly contrary to what had happened,” said Prasad, who also rubbished claims that selectors don’t watch Ranji games.
“I gave postings to my selectors [BCCI] looking at those matches where the consistent players, fringe players, probables or comeback players are playing.
“Personally, I watched four UP games in Lucknow and Kanpur in the last four years apart from the other many UP matches my colleagues have seen.
“I take pride in saying that our selection committee has watched more than 200 Ranji matches in the last four years,” Prasad added.