Dhoni denies rift with selectors

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/d/dhoni_ap.jpg' class='caption'> Indian skipper MS Dhoni played down the media reports of rift between him and selectors over pacer RP Singh's exclusion from the squad against England.

Updated: November 23, 2008 18:42 IST
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New Delhi:

Indian skipper MS Dhoni played down the media reports of rift between him and selectors over pacer RP Singh's exclusion from the squad against England.

"I don't know where the report came from. It's a selection thing and personally I don't discuss such things outside. Whatever happens inside the meeting stays inside. Whatever comes out of the meeting I would prefer it to come out from the BCCI or the chief selector or the group of selectors," the captain said.

Earlier in the day, reports said that Dhoni had offered to step down from the captaincy after his alleged clash with the selectors. Reports said that Dhoni wanted RP Singh in the team for the next two ODIs, while selectors wanted Irfan Pathan.

K Srikkant, the chairman of the selection committee, told Dhoni that RP was out of form so there was no point in having him in the national team and he should play some domestic cricket.

Dhoni was unhappy with this move and offered to resign. He reportedly said 'then you can look for another captain'.

Dhoni, however, rubbished such reports and said things like this can take away the trust from each other.

"The good part is that we trust each other. The team trusts each other. In a scenario like this all of a sudden you have to get in touch with RP Singh and Irfan Pathan. RP shouldn't feel that I will stand out of the way and defend him, and at the same time Irfan shouldn't feel that I don't need him in the team. The good thing that both of them have trust in me and things went off well," Dhoni said.

"This is not the appropriate thing to happen at this point in time. We don't have an outstandingly talented side that can win every game, as a team we become outstanding. For us the winning mantra is being a team and all these things can take trust away from each other. So it's important for us to stay together as a team," he added.

Dhoni was also unhappy with the timing of the reports since it came on the eve of an important match.

"I don't think it's appropriate that it happened at a point like like this because I don't think we have an outstanding and talented side to win every match but as a team we will become outstanding. For us the winning mantra is team effort," he said.

Dhoni meanwhile welcomed the return of Sachin Tendulkar into the squad and did not rule out the possibility of him opening the innings on Sunday.

"We all want him to play for long. It's a pleasure to have him in the team. It will help youngsters."

Dhoni also felt that pace spearhead Zaheer Khan needed rest but indicated that he will play Sunday's match, which if India wins, will seal the series for the hosts.

Dhoni said he was worried about the weather conditions as the pitch and outfield at the Chinnaswamy stadium had dampness following intermittent rains, the city has been experiencing since this afternoon.

"It is quite soft. There is dampness. If sun shines it would be good," he said.

However, there's a possibility of this latest controversy becoming a potentially embarrasing situation for the BCCI and the Board has called a meeting on the 27th in Cuttack to settle the issue once and for all.

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