Virender Sehwag has said selectors must communicate clearly to players who are about to retire. (Image credit: News Nation)
Following India's loss in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 semi-final against New Zealand in Manchester, there were stories of MS Dhoni announcing his retirement from limited overs cricket. The former India cricket team skipper, who hit fifty and was criticised for his slow batting throughout the tournament, trained for two months with the Territorial Army Unit of the Parachute Regiment and was taking the duties of patrolling, guard and post duty in Kashmir.
However, in a chat with Hindustan Times, Virender Sehwag has urged the selectors to be open in their communication with players who are retiring and has stated that the call for Dhoni to retire is a personal one.
"That is Dhoni’s personal call. If he thinks he is fit and can contribute like he used to, then why not continue. But if the selectors think that MSD can’t contribute, then they should tell him that we are giving you this last series. That should be communicated. That communication should always be there between the selectors and the player. I think the selectors should speak to players. Communication has been a problem. Nobody communicated with me. I feel there were others too like me," Sehwag said.
Following the end of the World Cup, chief selector MSK Prasad had said that Rishabh Pant would be the first choice keeper for the West Indies tour after Dhoni opted to skip the entire tour. Sehwag said the procedure is not correct.
"We have only read MSK (Prasad) giving a statement about selectors conveying to MSD that he is not their first choice. So, that means they’ll pick Pant first and then if they have to pick a second keeper, they’ll pick Dhoni. That is not possible. After a time, Dhoni should decide and speak to selectors and ask for a retirement game. That is when he feels it is the right time to quit," Sehwag added.
Sehwag pointed out that the batting order, especially for the No.4 slot, was never settled and that Ambati Rayudu's non-selection for the World Cup was a big mistake as he had shown his mettle at that spot prior to the tournament.
"It was going on for six months. Many players were available for No. 4. The management should have tried a set of players at No 4, each getting 10-12 games. They should have given them time to perform, as a player needs time to settle down and gain confidence," Sehwag said.
The former India cricket team opener pointed out what went wrong with the Indian cricket team in their semi-final loss to New Zealand.
"I think the management’s fault was that they sent Dhoni way down. Had he come earlier, he could have arrested the collapse. He would have played till the end and made others (Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja) play around him. I think had Dhoni come earlier and Pandya, Pant and Jadeja batted later with old ball, they would have chased 8-9 an over easily. Sending them early and making them face the new ball, and then hoping that they would accelerate, was risky," Sehwag said.