Former India captain and coach Anil Kumble is “not sure” whether Mahendra Singh Dhoni fits in the current set-up and wants the selectors to have a “conversation” with him before preparing for a send-off befitting his contribution.
Dhoni’s future in international cricket has been a subject of debate and there are enough indications that the selectors are looking ahead.
“I’m not really sure. I think Pant has certainly made a lot of claims as a keeper-batsman, especially in the T20 format. So, it’s important to have a conversation and you need to have a proper send-off, he certainly deserves that,” Kumble told CricketNext when asked if he would like to see Dhoni continue in top flight cricket.
It’s for MSK Prasad’s committee to decide whether they want to look back or move forward.
“But having said that, Pant has also shown some inconsistency. That’s a call the selectors need to make. Today, in spite of all of that, are you going to back him (Pant) or someone else, or would you look back. I wouldn’t but I think it’s important that the selectors take a call on that,”he added.
Kumble wants the selectors to decide in the next couple of months the way forward.
“...For the team’s sake, the selectors need to sit down and have as discussion around what the plans are because it’s important that things be communicated. If the selectors believe that Dhoni is in the scheme of things for the T20 World Cup, then I think he should be playing every game.
“If he’s not, then it’s important that they have a discussion around how they need to make this happen. I think they need to do that in the next couple of months,” said India’s highest wicket-taker across formats.
Kumble also said that he is not very sure whether Rohit Sharma is the perfect choice for the Test opener’s slot.
“You only know when you actually do that but I am not really sure about pushing Rohit at the top unless it is a desperate situation.
“Yes, are we in a desperate situation where we are looking for an opener in someone who has done well at the domestic level, is it worth considering that or should Rohit... Yes, he is a high-quality player sitting on the bench, should he be pushed at the top?” he counter-questioned.
The legendary leg-spinner also wants the team management to find a way to accommodate Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing XI for Test matches.
“He is still the best spinner that you have. Yes, there have been a few incidents where he has had injuries and not performed to his potential, but Ashwin is your number one spinner in the team. He should be a part of the squad, he should be in the playing XI, you have to make a way of getting him in.”