Team India on Friday sent its media manager, GS Walia, to tell the cricket world there was no rift between skipper MS Dhoni and seniors Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir. But one look at the cold vibes at the practice session was all it took to get the real picture.
Dhoni and Sehwag batted in adjacent nets but made no attempt at conversation, though they’ve had plenty to say about each other in the last few days. Tendulkar and Gambhir, too, mostly kept to themselves.
In this frosty atmosphere, Walia’s assurances seemed to ring hollow. “There is no rift between Dhoni and Sehwag. It was only a misunderstanding… All differences have now been settled,” he said.
Referring to Sehwag’s terse response to Dhoni’s remark of the openers being slow fielders, Walia said, “When we went back to the dressing room after Tuesday’s loss (to Sri Lanka), I told everybody ‘it’s not a small thing. The nation must know what is happening’. They all told me, ‘there are no differences, and if we see any such situation in the future, we will try to avoid that’.”
Dhoni and Sehwag are expected to jointly address the press on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s must-win match against Australia.
Joining the all-is-well chorus, Irfan Pathan said, “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 will vanish.”
With the captain and his senior players taking public jibes at each other, the BCCI had on Thursday told Walia and coach Duncan Fletcher to sort out the matter.
Dhoni sparked a debate in the media last week by saying the rotation policy for the openers was introduced because they are slow fielders. Sehwag hit back saying this was how they’d been playing for 10 years. Gambhir had also criticised Dhoni for not finishing matches quickly.
With agency input