Irfan, media manager deny reports of rift in team

Virender Sehwag is congratulated by MS Dhoni after taking a catch to dismiss David Hussey in Adelaide. (AFP/Getty …


Sydney, Feb 24 (IANS):
Team India media manager G.S. Walia and all-rounder Irfan Pathan on Friday denied any rift between skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his deputy Virender Sehwag and said there was complete harmony in the dressing room.

A day after the top management of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) back home stepped in to resolve the differences between Dhoni and Sehwag, Walia said there was "no rift" but "a misunderstanding".

"There was no rift between Dhoni and Sehwag, It was only a misunderstanding. The team was concerned about reports of a rift. But all differences have been settled now," Walia said.

Both Dhoni and Shewag are expected to jointly address the press on Saturday ahead of Sunday's ODI against Australia.

Walia said it was time to move ahead and concentrate on the game.

"Let's not analyse the same situation, why this was generated, how it came to this. Let us forget it and be positive for the future," he said.

Irfan also dismissed reports of differences in the team.

"Everyone is working hard. There is no difference of opinion in the team. I have been hearing things, but it's nothing like that. Things are pretty good. It's a matter of winning big games. Once we start winning the big games, these things are going to vanish," Irfan said.

Walia also said that no meeting was called at the behest of the BCCI to sort out the differences.

"All we had was the meeting among all 17 players on the day of the match, after the game, after the press conference. When I went back to that place, I conveyed it to everyone. Everybody said, 'sir we don't have any differences'. I have been with them for 75 days. But there shouldn't be a chance given to anybody, not only to you but anybody else to feel there is a communication gap. I have conveyed that to the players in simple terms," he said.

The rift appeared in the dressing room after Dhoni sparked a debate in the media saying that the team management introduced a rotation policy for the top three - Sachin Tendulkar, Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir - because they are slow fielders and were costing the team 20 runs in the One-day games.

Sehwag hit back at a press conference, saying the seniors were never told by the captain that they were slow fielders. Gambhir had also criticised Dhoni for not finishing matches quickly but the India captain said it was a matter of perception.

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