Delhi: The BCCI on Thursday stepped in to bring about harmony in the
Indian cricket team in Australia, telling skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and
vice-captain Virender Sehwag to ensure that there was unity.
Although the BCCI had yesterday claimed that there was no rift in the team
and there was nothing to be "concerned about", it is learnt that secretary
Sanjay Jagdale has been entrusted with the task of talking to the team
management and helping restore peace in the dressing room.
No BCCI official was, however, willing to comment on the development.
BCCI sources said Jagdale has spoken to Dhoni, Sehwag and coach Duncan
Fletcher, and has told them to play as a team.
There was also reports that Dhoni and Sehwag could address a joint press
conference to convey the message that all is well in the team and there
was no division among senior players.
Reports of dissensions surfaced mainly after the team management
introduced the rotation policy for only three openers -- Sachin Tendulkar,
Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, a move which sparked off a heated debate on its
The first signs of the rift came into the open when Gambhir took a dig at
Dhoni for not finishing matches early enough with the skipper retorting
that it was a matter of perception.
Dhoni then dropped a bombshell by publicly snubbing the fielding abilities
of the three openers and said they were not being played together as they
were slow fielders and could cost the team 20 extra runs.
But Sehwag countered his captain by saying that the seniors were never
told that fielding was an issue when the rotation policy was introduced.
The verbal duel between the seniors, who have used the press conference to
take jibes at each other, have not gone unnoticed by the media, which has
constantly highlighted the poor performance of the players in what has
turned out of a nightmarish tour of Australia.