Look­ing at just one or two places for WC: Prasad

The Hindu - - SPORT - Amol Karhad­kar

On the side­lines of the Ranji Tro­phy fi­nal be­tween Vi­darbha and Saurash­tra —which could well have been M.S.K. Prasad’s last Ranji game as a na­tional se­lec­tor — the chief of the panel opened up on the build-up to the World Cup.

Ex­cerpts: Do you think there are any holes to be filled in the squad for the World Cup?

To be­gin with, we have so many op­tions to choose from but [when] go­ing to a mega event we have quite a few things to con­sider, like the ex­pe­ri­ence part of it. Be­cause this is a mega event, the play­ers need that kind of a mind­set. We had one or two places that we were look­ing at and we have got a good idea about it now. We still have five more ODIs against Aus­tralia. The New Zealand series has brought in a bit of change in dy­nam­ics, not a ma­jor one, so it’s just one or two places that we are look­ing at.

In­dia head coach Ravi Shas­tri re­cently said Vi­rat Kohli may bat at No. 4 in the World Cup con­sid­er­ing the top-heavy bat­ting line-up.

I think, end of the day, it is the team man­age­ment which will be think­ing on those lines. You never know, be­cause… there’s some time to go for the event to be­gin. I am sure ev­ery­body in this team wants In­dia to win the World Cup, so if that works out best for the team, why not!

De­spite Ro­hit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan be­ing ex­tremely con­sis­tent, how im­por­tant is to to have a strong back-up opener?

Of course we need a strong back-up opener, no two ways about it, but who that opener is we will let you know at an ap­pro­pri­ate time.

How much has the se­lec­tion pol­icy evolved in terms of co­or­di­na­tion be­tween team man­age­ment and se­lec­tors?

The se­lec­tion com­mit­tee shares a good rap­port with this team man­age­ment. I am 100% sure of that. There were cer­tain things that were sorted out and as per the Lodha rec­om­men­da­tions, it’s very clear that the squad would be picked by the se­lec­tors and the play­ing XI by the team man­age­ment. Hav­ing said that, from this Aus­tralia series, we all worked to­gether and ir­re­spec­tive of what the rec­om­men­da­tions are, we re­ally gelled well.

How much did the re­duc­tion of the se­lec­tion com­mit­tee to three mem­bers for a year and half af­fect? How did you cope with it?

Phys­i­cally, if we had two more, then we would have seen more tal­ent. See, look­ing phys­i­cally at a player and go­ing by stats are com­pletely dif­fer­ent things al­to­gether. At that junc­ture, we had to rely on [feed­back from] match ref­er­ees who have played more than 25 First Class matches. We had given ad­di­tional re­spon­si­bil­ity to them be­cause they are the ones who watch each and ev­ery match, so it would help. But it’s an added strength with these two [Ga­gan Khoda and Jatin Paran­jpe] re­join­ing. It’s such a big coun­try with so many teams that it’s al­ways bet­ter to have a big­ger squad — that’s five se­lec­tors.

FILE PHOTO ■

Best slot: The team-man­age­ment will de­cide Kohli’s bat­ting or­der in the World Cup, says M.S.K. Prasad.

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