‘We didn’t want to see each other’: MSK Prasad reveals having heated arguments with Kohli, Shastri as chief selector

Prasad's tenure as a chief selector ended in March 2020.

MSK Prasad | GettyNearly 15 months after the end of his tenure as India’s chief selector, MSK Prasad has revealed that he used to have heated discussions with skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri while being at the helm of affairs.

During his nearly four-year term, Prasad had copped a lot of criticism for his selection policies, which includes picking Vijay Shankar over Ambati Rayudu in World Cup 2019 squad and Yuvraj Singh’s exclusion after Champions Trophy 2017, among others.

See Also: "Many people never believed that Rishabh Pant would be so good," says MSK Prasad

In an interview with cricket.com, Prasad was asked, “There was a perception that you were too humble in front of someone like Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli. People can’t imagine how you could win arguments against such aggressive professionals?”

To which, the former chairman of selectors replied: “You ask them what kind of arguments we had. Sometimes, we didn’t want to see each other (after meetings) but the beauty of them is that the next morning when we would meet, they would recognize and acknowledge that there is (merit in the) point we made.”

“I am a management student and know how to manage. People want me to blame someone publicly? Why should I do that because it is my family? I may like or dislike decisions even at home in my family but can I come out and say something publicly?” he added.

“Virat and Ravi will tell you about that (how we used to have heated debates). Just because we didn’t have differences publicly doesn’t mean that we were succumbing to them. Who knows how we have convinced them on so many issues,” he continued.

During the interaction, Prasad, whose tenure ended in March last year, also said he took some tough decisions while serving the role, even against the “legends of the game”.

“During the course of your journey as a selector, you will have to take some tough decisions even against the legends of the game in the interest of the future of Indian cricket,” Prasad said.

“Identifying the right successor is the most important job of a selector. You have to be dispassionate as a selector and can’t be emotional about taking tough decisions. And the reason for having a selection committee is to create successors. There can’t be another Dhoni or Sachin [Tendulkar] as they are very unique and their contribution is invaluable and no one can question that,” he further remarked.


By Salman Anjum - 09 Jun, 2021

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