A couple of days after Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President N Srinivasan claimed there was no rift between captain MS Dhoni and his deputy Virender Sehwag, team manager GS Walia at a press conference in Sydney today said the duo only had a misunderstanding.
The alleged rift between Sehwag and Dhoni arose because of the rotation policy of the senior players during the ongoing Commonwealth Bank Series in Australia. While downplaying the rift, Walia said, "There was only a misunderstanding between the players, not a rift."
Dhoni and Sehwag, chose not to attend the press conference, despite reports on Thursday suggesting the pair would address the media to convey that all was well and there was no division among the senior players.
On Wednesday, amid intense speculation of a rift between Dhoni and his Sehwag, Srinivasan had said there is nothing to be concerned about and termed media reports alluding to the rift as "exaggerated". But, on Thursday, reports said BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale had spoken to Dhoni, Sehwag and coach Fletcher, and told them to work out any issues that may be there and play as a team.
Reports of the rift started surfacing when Dhoni, Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir started taking potshots at press conferences.
Talking to reporters after India were defeated by Sri Lanka at Brisbane, Sehwag said the senior players had not been informed that their 'slow fielding' was an issue and added Dhoni had said the rotation policy has been put in place to ensure the youngsters in the team get a chance to bat on the Australian pitches.
On Sunday, after India’s 110-run loss to Australia, Dhoni had said the top three batsmen were not playing every game because they are slow on the field. Dhoni had said at the time that the top three are not being played together as it would affect India's fielding, adding that they could break down fielding in the big grounds of Australia.
Earlier, Gambhir took a dig at Dhoni after India's win over Australia in the fourth match of the CB Series when he said the match shouldn't have been dragged into the last over. In response to this barb, Dhoni retorted in apparent reference to Gambhir that a 'set batsman' should take the responsibility of seeing the team home instead of putting the onus on others to do so.
This is not the first time though that there have been reports of rift in the India camp during the Australia tour. In January 2012, Sehwag and Rahul Dravid had denied there was infighting among Indian players. "I can't talk about anything else because there are rules, but you asked me about this and I can say it is rubbish. We are as a unit and we are carrying on for the next Test," Sehwag, who was at the heart of rumours of a fractured dressing room after India's capitulation to Australia in the first two Tests, had said at
the time. Dravid also termed the reports as baseless, and stated: "There is no truth (in Sehwag vs Dhoni reports) to those matters. As I said, the spirit of the team is really good."