The fate of Rahul Dravid's ODI future lies solely in the hands of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the selection committee meets in Chennai on Saturday to pick the squad for the one-off T20 and the five-match ODI series against England to follow.
Dravid, who last played a one-dayer during the ICC Champions Trophy in September 2009, is yet to announce his retirement from the limited-overs format. And here's a feeling here that Dravid, who has been keeping wickets, opening the innings and handling swinging deliveries better than anyone else in the ongoing Test series, deserves a recall in the ODI side. More so, because of the seamer-friendly conditions that the World Champions will get in the five matches taking place between September 3 and 16. "We are going to need him in these conditions. The ball will swing in the ODI series too, we will need his experience," a well-placed source in the touring team said.
Incidentally, Dravid's previous recall (in September 2009) was also because the selectors wanted to cash in on his experience in difficult South African conditions. With 10,765 runs in 339 matches, Dravid is the seventh highest run-getter in ODI history.
The fallout guys from the ODI squad will naturally be upset since they have been in England since the third week of July, and have acclimatised to the difficult conditions.
"The selectors would pass the buck to captain Dhoni (on whether Dravid should be picked). If the captain takes the initiative, the selectors cannot say no to Dravid's inclusion," the source further added.
The selectors are undecided about retaining Yusuf Pathan, who hasn't scored a fifty since the tour of South Africa in January. The all-rounder scored only 30 runs in five ODIs in the West Indies. That was followed by a lacklustre performance in the World Cup, which saw him averaging just 15 in five games before Suresh Raina took his place. Pathan's inability to counter short-pitched deliveries is an added worry.