MSK Prasad, the Chairman of All India Senior Selection Committee, on Wednesday stated that the Test against Afghanistan gave the selection committee "Best Opportunity" to try right-hand batsman Karun Nair instead of Rohit Sharma and reward him for his performances in the recently concluded domestic cricket season.
Karun Nair scored over 600 runs in Ranji Trophy this year for Karnataka and Rohit Sharma had a really poor Test series in South Africa.
When asked why Rohit had been omitted from the Test squad by the media, MSK Prasad said, “This was the best opportunity for us to give Karun a chance because he’s been doing well,”
There were speculations that some of India's Test specialists will be traveling with the India A side that is due to tour England, to prepare for the full tour by the main team there. Selectors didn't name the squad that way but 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.
Prasad said, “We did discuss, had a meeting with Virat, Ravi, and Rahul. Some of the Test specialists like Saha, Vijay and Shami will play third India ‘A’ Test against West Indies A before playing the warm-up game against Essex and then the England Tests,”
When asked about the process where the selectors are looking to groom India's next generation of wicketkeepers for life after Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Prasad replied, “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.”
He was also asked the, now perhaps irritating, question for him about the future of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in limited overs cricket. MSK Prasad cleared, “When they were excluded, we made it clear that two-three youngsters would be 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,”
India's "A" team selection clearly reflects how must effort the selection committee is making in ensuring they track each and every domestic game. Prasad on this was proud of his team's work and said, “Credit to my colleagues because one thing that I am very proud of 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,”