After denial, patch-up work
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After denial, patch-up work

While the team management is brushing the Dhoni-Sehwag issue under the carpet, truce is in the process. Amol Karhadkar reports. The Controversy

india Updated: Feb 24, 2012 02:35 IST
Amol Karhadkar
Amol Karhadkar
Hindustan Times
Amol Karhadkar,Dhoni,Sehwag

On the one hand, senior team members are taking pot shots at each other in public. At the same time, they are also saying the team is ‘one unit and happy’. Instead of taking the matter seriously, the board officials are saying in public the matter has been "exaggerated" by the media.

Amidst all this, while the Indian team preferred to 'rest' on Thursday ahead of their must-win tie against Australia in Sydney, some of the support staff — there are 11 of them —on Thursday were trying to get "at least one senior player to put an end to the sorry episode".

Though it was not clear whether they were acting at the behest of the BCCI bigwigs, it was confirmed that some of them had lengthy discussions with BCCI officials on Wednesday.

However, true to Indian cricket's style of functioning, while the backroom staff are trying to get a senior to "clarify" the issue to "focus on cricket", they are adamant that "there can't be a truce since there is no fight”.

If all is well, where is the need to even clarify? The division within the team was apparent from the media briefings of Gautam Gambhir, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virender Sehwag over the last two weeks.

Going by their track record, it won't be surprising if there is no effort to 'clarify' and the team prefers to remain silent on the issue after their training session on Friday. What is disconcerting is the fact that while Dhoni and Sehwag are having a go at each other in public, coach Duncan Fletcher has been a silent spectator.

Old feud

The personality clash between two of the biggest names in Indian cricket has existed for almost four years now.

But Fletcher's predecessor, Gary Kirsten, dealt with the issue actively. As a result, despite not getting along at a personal level, Dhoni and Sehwag didn't let their differences affect the team. Fletcher, it appears, has preferred to wait for either the players to sort out the row among themselves or the Board to step in.

If an international team coach is supposed to get the players ready for matches and let the captain deal with the game, then Fletcher keeping mum can't help on such critical matters.

Will we see Dhoni or Sehwag, either separately or together, put an end to the feud and work together for India's qualification for the CB Series final by addressing the media on Friday? Or, will they prepare a joint statement that will be read out either by the manager or the media manager? Or will the Indian team send a junior player to face the media and sideline the issue?

First Published: Feb 24, 2012 00:52 IST