Former India opener Virender Sehwag on Thursday said the selection committee must speak to Mahendra Singh Dhoni if the veteran batsman is no longer in their scheme of things, moving forward.
There is intense speculation that Dhoni, who has already retired from the Test format, has played his last ODI following India’s semifinal exit from the World Cup.
Sehwag feels that retirement is Dhoni’s individual call but selectors must speak to him before announcing the West Indies squad.
“It should be left to MS Dhoni to decide when to hang his boots. The duty of the selectors is to reach out to Dhoni and inform him that he is no more being seen as India’s wicket-keeper batsman going forward. I wish the selectors had asked me as well about my plans,” Sehwag said during a panel discussion on ‘ABP news’, his target being co-panellist Sandeep Patil.
Patil was the chairman of selectors when Sehwag was dropped from the side in 2013 and he never made a comeback.
An embarrassed Patil then apologised to Sehwag on national televison.
“The responsibility to talk to Sachin (Tendulkar) about his future was given to me and Rajinder Singh Hans while the same responsibility was given to Vicky (Vikram Rathour) for Sehwag. We had asked him and he said he had spoken with Sehwag. But if Sehwag is saying that Vikram did not talk to him, I would like to take responsibility for the same,” Patil said right there.
Someone known to speak his mind, Sehwag reminded Patil that there’s no point speaking to the players after squad announcement.
“Vikram spoke to me after I was dropped. It would have made sense if he spoke to me before that. There’s no point talking to a cricketer once he is dropped. If MSK Prasad speaks to Dhoni after he is dropped, what would Dhoni say ? that he would play first-class cricket and the selectors should pick him if he scores runs. The point is that the selectors should reach out to cricketers before they are dropped.”
However, Kapil Dev, India’s first World Cup winning captain begged to differ.
“I don’t think that a selector speaks to the player when he is picked and so I don’t see why he needs to be told that he will be dropped,” he said.