Karun Nair    IANS
Karun Nair IANS

Chairman of selectors MSK Prasad today said that his panel thought it was the “best opportunity” to get Karun Nair back in the Test team rather than persisting with Rohit Sharma, who has flattered to deceive in the longest version. Karun was back in the Indian team after slamming 600 plus runs in Ranji Trophy while limited overs vice-captain Rohit paid the price for his consistent run away from home in the longest format.

“This was the best opportunity for us to give Karun a chance because he’s been doing well,” Prasad replied when asked why Rohit had been omitted from the Test squad. While no senior India player has been named in the A squad, Prasad said that Murali Vijay, Wriddhiman Saha, Mohammed Shami will play a four-day Test against West Indies A before playing the warm-up game against Essex, which will precede the first Test against England in August.

“We did discuss, had a meeting with Virat, Ravi and Rahul. Some of the Test specialists like Saha, Vijay and Shami will play the third India ‘A’ Test against West Indies A before playing the warm-up game against Essex and then the England Tests,” Prasad said. Prasad, a former India stumper, once again made it clear that Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the best wicketkeeper-batsman that India has at the moment.

Asked if the selectors have kept a pool ready, Prasad said: “Yes, we are working towards it. We have tried six wicketkeepers for India A during the past few months. We are rotating and preparing them for the next level.” One of the cliched questions that Prasad has had to answer was Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja‘s exclusion. The reply was same as it has been on earlier occasions.

“When they were excluded, we made it clear that two-three youngsters would given the opportunity. It made sense to give them a long rope. If you see the wickets they’ve (Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal) taken, it’s heartening. They’ve kept improving game after game, so it makes sense to continue with them when they’re winning games both home and abroad,” said Prasad.

On selection of A teams, Prasad said that tracking domestic cricket has been one of their strong points. “Credit to my colleagues because one thing that I am very proud about our committee is that we keep track of every match. We have designed a strategy where match referees give their reports on those matches, which we have not watched.

“So we keep track of every domestic match played in India. Also we talk to the senior boys and take their inputs,” Prasad said. He said that the likes of Mayank Agarwal, Prasidh Krishna, Rajneesh Gurbani have all been rewarded for their domestic performances.