New Delhi: BCCI chief selector MSK Prasad today dispelled any doubts about Mahendra Singh Dhoni's future in international cricket, terming him the world's best wicketkeeper as present.
The 35-year-old Dhoni's heir apparent in limited overs, is widely considered to be 19-year-old Rishabh Pant, who has made a strong case for himself but he is being groomed as one for the future when the Jharkhand dasher decides to call time on his career. (15-man India squad for Champions Trophy)
When asked if Dhoni's erratic batting form is a concern for him and indeed the Indian national team ahead of the much awaited Champions Trophy, Prasad's emphatic response made it clear that the former Indian captain still has the selectors backing.
"How many of us still believe that MSD is still the best wicketkeeper in the world? We all believe he is still the best wicketkeeper in the world. We are only talking and focussing on his batting form," Prasad said.
"He is an invaluable asset to the team and his inputs in crunch situations, he has got one of the best brains. He is the best person to guide Virat," Prasad said about the two-time World Champion skipper.
Prasad also said Dhoni's incredible work behind the stumps has gone unnoticed all these years and people only tend to focus on his batting.
"Not many people realise, that in last 10-12 years, Dhoni has never had a bad day with the gloves. We always treat him as a batsman but phenomenal stuff he does behind the wickets, not many people appreciate that. According to me, he is still the best wicketkeeper in world cricket."
But he had words of encouragement for Pant and made it clear that he is a "long term solution".
Prasad also said that he has been pretty impressed with the way Rishabh Pant has been developing, calling him one for the future of Indian cricket team.
"We are completely impressed by how Rishabh Pant is playing. It's just combination because of which he missed out. He is one cricketer we are looking at for our future. He is definitely a solution for our future.
"There is no need to worry as he has a long career ahead of him. We will groom him and back him. We will ensure that he is successful in future," the chairman explained.