Hyderabad: Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin felt selectors should take senior players into confidence as he got drawn into the Mahendra Singh Dhoni debate on Monday.
While speaking about politics in the Hyderabad Cricket Association, which he wants to head as president in the September elections, Azhar was asked what could be the way when it comes retirement of big players. “A player needs to be taken into confidence and spoken to, otherwise, people will keep writing that (he) should retire, not retire... because, no statement has come from Dhoni,” he said.
On the eve of the Indian team’s selection for next month’s tour of West Indies, Dhoni made himself “unavailable” while ruling out immediate retirement. “He has taken rest for two months. Maybe after that he will tell what he would do. I feel he will take the right decision,” he said.
Azhar also felt Dhoni can play on if he is physically fit. “If he is fit and his performance is good, he should play. Sometimes you lose interest after playing so much cricket. A player wants to play, but selectors have to speak, how long he will play, how he will play,” he said.
However, Azhar wanted Dhoni to be his old aggressive self. “Whenever he plays, he should play aggressively. Sometimes, reflexes slow down after certain age but with Dhoni, it does not appear so. If he plays his natural game more, I feel it will be good for India,” Azhar said.
Azhar also differed with the clarification of selection committee chairman MSK Prasad that Ambati Rayudu (who was among the standbys) could not be picked as one of the replacements during the World Cup as the team management had sought an opener. “I feel if any replacement is needed, a standby should be picked,” he said.
“Selectors can overrule the captain and coach. You can put your foot down and say, ‘no, we will send this player’. When I was captain, I also wanted some players in the side but the selectors had said no. I don’t agree with his (Prasad’s) explanation,” Azhar said....