We will back Pant and Dhoni is on same page with selectors: MSK Prasad

Chief selector MSK Prasad made it clear that they are willing to give Rishabh Pant a long rope, saying Mahendra Singh Dhoni is on the same page with the selection committee’s decision to back youngsters.

While Dhoni has made himself unavailable for selection since the 50-over World Cup, the selection committee on Thursday included Sanju Samson as a back-up wicket-keeper for Pant in India’s T20 squad for the series against Bangladesh. Prasad said he has already mentioned that it’s time to think beyond Dhoni and it reflected in their team selections.

“I made it very clear, post World Cup that we are moving on. We are giving opportunities to youngsters and see that they establish themselves in the side. With Rishabh Pant doing so well and Sanju Samson coming into the side, I am sure, you must be understanding our thought process,” Prasad said. “We definitely had a chat with Dhoni and he also endorses our view of backing youngsters.”

Putting his weight firmly behind Pant, Prasad said, “Post World Cup, I have been very clear on this, that after World Cup we have started backing Rishabh Pant. So we will still back him (Pant) and see that he progresses well.

“Of course, he might not have the best of the matches, the way we expect of him, but we can still only make a player by backing somebody. So we are confident that he will come out successful and that’s been the thought process post World Cup and we focusing on Rishabh Pant.”

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