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Dhoni defends dropping seniors
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 21 - 03 - 2008

day captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni says the tri-series victory in Australia has vindicated his decision to leave out premier batsmen Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid from the competition.
India beat world champion Australia 2-0 in the finals earlier this month after the selectors pitched for youth at Dhoni's behest and dropped former captain Ganguly despite the left-hander's consistency at Test level.
Ganguly and Dravid, who was the first to feel the heat of the one-day shake-up late last year, are two of just three Indians to score over 10,000 runs in one-day cricket.
“I was pretty clear about the players I wanted in the side,” Dhoni told Cricinfo website. “That's what I said to the selectors as well. You can see the kind of team I got.”
The axing of Ganguly and Dravid set off a nation-wide debate in cricket-mad India given the challenge of playing in Australia. “It's very important because the process and the timing were criticized a lot,” Dhoni said. “But sometimes it is very important to send the message across, because sometimes people neglect the answer.”
Dhoni, 26, was made one-day captain after Dravid quit following the England tour in September last year and guided a young team to a surprise triumph at the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup.
Dhoni said he had asked his players in Australia to stand up with questions being raised about his team selection. “What now? Why are people not asking the same questions now? Because if the result was not in our favor, what would have happened?” he said. “Would the people have been really behind this side or behind individuals?”
Dhoni made it clear that the aggressive tactics against Australia were premeditated, going so far as to ensure that a few individuals made life difficult for the opposition. __

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