MSK adds intrigue to Jadeja injury confusion

ndia's chairman of the selectors MSK Prasad (left) speaks to the media after a training session in Melbourne on Sunday. AFP

Chairman of selectors MSK Prasad tried to clarify the confusion over Ravindra Jadeja’s mysterious shoulder injury but ended up adding to the intrigue, claiming that the left-arm spinner was “absolutely fit” when he and his committee picked the team for the Australia series.       

India went into the second Test in Perth without a specialist spinner, a decision that came in for all-round criticism back home. While skipper Virat Kohli maintained picking a spinner was never an option for them, head coach Ravi Shastri claimed Jadeja was only 70 percent fit as he was recovering from a stiff shoulder for which he had taken two injections, one in India and one after coming to Australia.

Without confirming or denying that he was updated about Jadeja’s injury by the team management, Prasad said: “On the eve of any selection meeting, the selection committee is given a fitness report of all the players. In that report, Jadeja was absolutely fit. So, we picked him. After we picked him, he went and played Ranji Trophy also, he bowled 60 (in fact 64 overs) overs. So, there is no question of him being unfit at the time of selection,” he pointed out.

He wasn’t specific either when asked if he was aware of Jadeja taking injections before or during the tour. “Yes, it is a process. Whenever a health issue comes up, we have a group in which it is being placed.”

On the recalling of M S Dhoni for the T20 matches against New Zealand, Prasad said the veteran stumper was only rested for the matches against West Indies and Australia. “With regard to MS, even while resting also, we categorically told that he was going to be rested for those six matches so that we can give more game-time to Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant. That is the very reason. Now they have played quite a few matches, so we thought that we should bring back MS into the squad.”

Interestingly, Pant has been left out of the ODIs against Australia and New Zealand and instead will be playing in the five one-dayers against England Lions at home. Prasad said the youngster is being given a break after the Tests.  

“With regard to Rishabh, given the intensity of this series that we are playing right now (he needs some rest). So, after this series, we want to keep him fresh, give him a break and he will have a very good game-time of five one-dayers against the visiting England Lions. He is definitely a part of our World Cup plans.”

The former India player also said that his panel had zeroed in on a core group of 20 players from among which they will pick the squad for the World Cup.

“As promised, we said that coming closer to the World Cup, we are left with only 13 ODIs. It is more or less the core team. We have zeroed in on 20 members and only those 20 members will be figuring from now on.”

 

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MSK adds intrigue to Jadeja injury confusion

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