BCCI steps in, asks Dhoni, Sehwag to ensure team unity

Although the BCCI had 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 were 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 merits.

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, has 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.

Source: PTI