Outgoing chairman of selectors MSK Prasad and his committee had to face plenty of challenges during their tenure at the helm but for the former India wicketkeeper batsman, two decisions in particular stood head and shoulder above the rest. Prasad and his team were selected in September of 2016 and the 44-year-old feels the call to drop R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja from limited-overs cricket along with finding a player who could take MS Dhoni‘s place remained the most tedious tasks.

“Dropping Ashwin and Jadeja from white-ball cricket or preparing a successor for MS Dhoni both were challenging as we are talking about legends who have been instrumental in taking Indian cricket to great heights,” Prasad told Times of India. “Primarily we wanted to have horses for courses. We had this goal of developing bench strength across all formats and we take pride in achieving our goal.”

Under Prasad’s reign, the glorious career of Yuvraj Singh came to an end whereas uncertainty lingers over MS Dhoni’s future. Regardless of what the future has in store for India’s most decorated captain, Prasad doesn’t see any two players capable enough to fill the void Yuvraj and Dhoni two of India’s biggest matchwinners have left.

“MSD & Yuvraj are legends of Indian cricket and I don’t really see anyone stepping into those shoes so easily. It is tough to deal with it. Our fundamental job is to identify fresh talent, groom him and induct him when the need arises and that is what we have done,” he said.

Prasad went thorough plenty of ups and downs during his tenure as chairman of selectors. From the beginning, questions were raised over his stature and the credibility he brings to the table. Months after his appointment, Indian cricket witness the infamous fallout between captain Anil Kumble and then-coach Anil Kumble, who was replaced by Ravi Shastri. Since, the Shastri-Kohli combination has done more good than wrong beat Australia Down Under to win the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and reach the semifinal of the World Cup.

Prasad explained he shared a wonderful rapport with all three and gave their credit for their respective roles with the teams at different points in time.

“Everyone is a professional and everyone knows his job. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with all 3 of them. It wouldn’t be appropriate if I don’t thank the captains MSD, Virat, Rohit & Ajinkya along with coaches Ravi, Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid & their respective team managements with whom I have worked for the last 4 years,” Prasad said.

“I was brought in when Shashank Manohar was the president and Anurag Thakur was the secretary. Anurag elevated me as the chairman. I would like to thank Anurag & Ajay Shirke because they have instilled confidence & strength in me with their unconditional support. I would like to thank all the past & present office bearers, members and staff with whom we have worked day in and day out for the last 4 years.”

Further explaining Prasad’s horses for courses tactics, he underlined the essence of developing a solid bench strength, most of which boils down to the fact that the likes of Shastri and Dravid helped created a core group of players, under whom the future of Indian cricket was safe and flourishing.

“Getting the backups ready has been the mantra of our committee and we could succeed in it due the India A shadow tour programs which we have designed along with Rahul Dravid & Ravi Shastri,” he said.

“Going forward we need to have horses for courses especially with so much of talent coming out every season. We are keen to do well and win the first ever Test championship and we are very much aware of the points system too. That is why we have rotated the players and got the right players ready for the Tests series.”