Sunday 23 January 2022
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Kohli, Shastri were controlling Indian cricket: Former India pacer

The former cricketer stressed that the BCCI and selectors did no wrong in replacing Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma and appointing MS Dhoni as the mentor

While BCCI president and secretary Jay Shah have shared the reason behind appointing as the team’s mentor, saying that with an impeccable record in ICC tournaments, Mahi’s wisdom and his wealth of knowledge would promise to prove beneficial for Indian cricket, the board heads are increasingly finding support from the veterans of cricket. They do not quite have nice things to say about the way the national team was being managed by the previous captain Virat Kohli and former head coach Ravi Shastri.

Former Indian medium-pacer Atul Wassan has said that Dhoni was roped in to ensure that Kohli and Shastri did not have their way with the team.

“I’ll tell you. Dhoni was brought in just to keep some balance because everybody had a feeling that Virat and were totally handling, selecting, managing whoever they wanted to play,” Wassan told a television channel in the course of a panel discussion.

“They were controlling Indian cricket. So, they (BCCI) thought somebody should come in with some kind of value who would just monitor that there is a balance. I think they messed up greatly in the World Cup.”

Cricket fans, meanwhile, welcomed the naming of Dhoni as the mentor of the Indian cricket team for the T20 World Cup, but the euphoria of it did not last long as India crashed out of the ICC tournament before making it to the semi-finals. The T20 World Cup was the last tournament for the captain-coach duo of Kohli and Shastri.

Shastri had finished his tenure and he was set to step down as India’s head coach whereas Kohli had already announced that he would no longer continue as captain of the T20I side post-ICC Word Cup.

Wassan addressed the issue with Kohli’s captaincy, highlighting the fact that that the BCCI and selectors did not do anything wrong in naming Rohit Sharma as the new ODI captain. “Here in India, once you have played a lot of cricket and you become a demi-god, the player expects to get some lineage, get some special treatment. This system needs to change,” said Wassan.

“If you are not gelling well with the organisation and you have got a better option, players also have to stop feeling low or let down. Don’t expect too much from the board because once you have a tap on the shoulder, you have got to take it as a man.”

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