MS Dhoni's Contribution to Indian Team is Unparallel

Suresh Raina T20

Suresh Raina T20

Pant has been in good touch this season, and his whirlwind innings of 97 off 43 against the Gujarat Lions while chasing a target of 209 had caught the world's attention. "We are only focusing on his batting form", he defended his committee's decision.

"He is an invaluable asset to the team and his inputs in crunch situations", chairman of selectors MSK Prasad pointed out. "Not many people realise that in the last 10-12 years, whatever MSD has played for the country, he never had a bad day as far as his gloves is concerned". We always treat him as a batsman but not many people appreciate the phenomenal stuff he does behind the wickets. Prasad expressed surprise at the circumspection over MS Dhoni's inclusion in the 15-man squad for the Champions Trophy, after he was asked if there was concern among the selectors over Dhoni's spot in the squad.

Dhoni has been facing flak from all corners owing to his inconsistent run with the bat in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Under Virat Kohli's captaincy, Dhoni has been promoted to No 5 in the batting order.

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In addition to the 15 players, BCCI named Kuldeep Yadav, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Kartik, Rishabh Pant and Shardul Thakur as standbys.

Earlier, there were rumours going around that the BCCI might pull out of the Champions Trophy in case their demands were not met. "We're extremely pleased with Rishabh and will groom him too". The selectors picked Pandey ahead of players like Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh, who have also been in good form in IPL 2017.

Dhoni will have a huge role to play in the Champions Trophy. "Not just the IPL, but one needs to take into account the performance of last one year also in such a big tournament", said Prasad. "According to me, he is still the best wicketkeeper in world cricket". There are no two ways about it.

However, a shoulder injury to KL Rahul and a consistent performance with bat for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the ongoing IPL brought Dhawan right back into the mix.

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"When we consider for a 50 over tournament, we want to consider all round performances. It is a wonderful platform and from here we will keep them under our radar and we will groom them", added Prasad.

Prasad also spoke about the inclusion of R Ashwin and said, "Ashwin's selection was not a hard decision".

"We definitely considered the name of Kuldeep".

Prasad asserted that the selectors have the final say in picking the squad when asked whether Kohli insisted on having an extra batsman or spinner. It is just some combinations where he missed out. There are three selectors also working on it.

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