The national selector of the BCCI, MSK Prasad’s journey has come to an end. He had to oversee a transition in Indian cricket while BCCI was going through tough times as a sports body. But at the end of the day, Prasad has expressed his delight for able to achieve the goal of developing India’s bench strength.
“To have horses for courses. We had this goal of developing bench strength across all formats and we take pride in having achieved our goal. We need to have horses for courses, especially with so much talent (available). We are keen to do well and win the first-ever Test championship and we are aware of the points system too. That is why we have rotated players and got the right players ready for the Tests,” he said.
Prasad had to make some tough decisions during his stint including dropping two of the biggest Indian players MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh from the side. The former Indian captain last played for India in the 2019 World Cup and since then, he has been away from the side and the selectors didn’t call him once. Prasad and co gave the young wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant all the priority and they are still on process to groom him.
However, the former selector explained the reason behind dropping them and claimed that it will be never possible for India to replace these two players.
“Dhoni and Yuvraj (Singh) are legends and I don’t really see anyone stepping into those shoes. It is tough to deal with. Our fundamental job is to identify fresh talent, groom them and induct them when the need arises,” he added.
Looking back into the time, Prasad also revealed what are the biggest challenges he faced during his stint and also thanked senior Indian cricketers and coaches he worked with.
Despite performing more or less consistently, the duo Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were dropped from the white-ball cricket in order to make room for two leg-spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Chahal. The leg-spinning duo has brought immense success to the Indian team, but the decision to drop the other two players was a massive challenge, claimed by the former selector.
“Dropping (Ravichandran) Ashwin and (Ravindra) Jadeja from white-ball cricket or preparing a successor for MS Dhoni, both were challenging.”
“Everyone is a professional. Everyone knows his job. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with all of them. It wouldn’t be appropriate if I don’t thank the captains MSD, Virat (Kohli), Rohit (Sharma) and Ajinkya (Sharma) along with coaches Ravi (Shastri), Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid and their respective team managements with whom I have worked for the last 4 years,” he concluded.
Prasad was appointed as Chief National Selector of the Indian men’s cricket team by BCCI in controversial circumstances in defiance of the then-Supreme Court directions back in 2016. He led the selection of the Indian team for the 2019 World Cup where the men in blue played in the semi-finals.