Zeenews Sports Bureau
New Delhi: Rifts in the Indian cricket team widened after stand-in-skipper Virender Sehwag publically took a dig at regular captain MS Dhoni on Tuesday.
The controversial rotation policy, which has sparked of a heated debate among critics and speculation of a rift within the team, took a more confusing turn with Virender Sehwag saying he did not know that fielding abilities had anything to do with it.
In an apparent dig at skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sehwag had said that he or any of the senior players had never been told that their `slow fielding` was an issue.
"I did not know what he (Dhoni) said and what`s going on in media. He told us he wanted to give chance to youngsters who had come here and play the next World Cup. That`s what he told us," said Sehwag.
Dhoni, after the crushing defeat against Australia in the ongoing tri-series, had stated the three senior openers -- Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir -- were not being picked together in the tournament because they are slow and could be costing the side at least 20 runs.
"Have you seen my catch?" Sehwag snapped back in response, adding "we have been fielding the same way for the last 10 years."
Sehwag was again pressed as to what he thought could be the reasons for Dhoni to suggest that they were costing the team 20 runs in the field.
"But you have to ask Dhoni again. What he told us was to give chance to youngsters and come here and play the next World Cup. That was what he told us," said Sehwag.
"He chatted with everyone, with Gautam and me and Tendulkar, he (said) he wanted to give chance to youngsters so they can play all the matches and prepare themselves for the next World Cup. They would have an idea how the wicket behaves in Australia."
Asked if he would clear up the matter with Dhoni, Sehwag retorted, "Why should I have chat with him? He is the captain and leader. If he and coach think they need to give break to top order, I am okay with it, I have no problem with it."
"I am available for all the matches. It depends on the captain and coach what 11 they pick. If they give me a reason that we are giving chance to youngsters and we take a break, I am happy with that," he said.
Sehwag, however, denied any rift within the team.
"We are one unit, we are happy. He (Dhoni) is the captain, he can say whatever he wants to say. He addresses the media, has been doing it for the last two years, and we are okay with it," he said.
Earlier, opener Gautam Gambhir, who is believed to be close to Sehwag, had questioned Dhoni’s prudence in stretching the chase against Australia to the 50th over during the Adelaide ODI which India won by 4 wickets.
"We should have finished this game in the 48th over," Gambhir said. "We shouldn`t have taken the game to the 50th over, that`s my personal observation,” he said.
He also added: "Someone like me, if I was there, I wouldn`t have taken it to the last over, because I always feel that any runs in the last over is far more pressure than finishing one or two overs before. Even if you need five or six runs in the last over, the pressure is far more on the batting side. We are different human beings, we think differently, we have different gameplans."
(With agency inputs)
First Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 09:25