Dhoni’s choice gets the nod

Calcutta: It’s celebration time in the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) camp. After all, two-and-a-half years after his last appearance, Subramaniam Badrinath has been recalled to the Test squad, albeit as VVS Laxman’s replacement.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, much of the credit should go to captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who also leads CSK.

Badrinath will be there for both Tests against New Zealand, in Hyderabad (from August 23) and in Bangalore (from August 31).

Rohit Sharma lost out because of form, or the lack of it, while those with the maximum influence apparently aren’t happy with the way Manoj Tiwary handles the short-pitched stuff.

“Dhoni favoured Badrinath when the selection committee chairman (Krishnamachari Srikkanth) had a word with him... Initially, coach Duncan Fletcher seemed keen on Rohit, but quickly took the Dhoni line,” one of the sources pointed out, on Sunday afternoon.

That’s not surprising, as there’s a bit of history: When it came to personnel, John Wright never had a disagreement with Sourav Ganguly; Gary Kirsten never said anything which wouldn’t go down well with Dhoni.

Sourav was king then, Dhoni’s the boss now.

Fletcher, who has been in the job for 15 months (a period of absolute disaster in England and in Australia), has obviously done some research.

Badrinath may make the most of his next opportunity, but he’s a few days away from his 32nd birthday and it’s odd to fall back on him when the mantra is to look ahead.

To place things in perspective, Rohit is 25, while Manoj is a year older. Neither has played a Test. However, but for a last-minute injury, Rohit would have made his debut in Nagpur, against South Africa, two-and-a-half years ago.

Badrinath, incidentally, got his maiden cap in that very Test. He’s played once more only, in the same series, in Calcutta.

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