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Feb 24, 2012 at 08:54pm IST

Team manager denies Dhoni-Sehwag rift

Sydney: After the BCCI, now the India team manager has denied there is any rift in the Indian team, rubbishing speculation over differences between MS Dhoni and Virender Sehwag on the reasons for following the much-discussed rotation policy adopted by the Indian management.

Even as reports came in that the BCCI wants coach Duncan Fletcher to step in and mediate between the two players, team manager GS Walia denied there were any issues to resolve.

"There was no communication gap [between Dhoni and Sehwag] and the team is concerned about whatever media has been writing."

Team manager denies Dhoni-Sehwag rift

Dhoni and Sehwag appeared at odds over the controversial rotation policy.

"Let us all forget it and be positive in the future. There are no differences but we will be vigilant in future and avoid such situations."

Walia, however, distanced himself from BCCI president N Srinivasan's comment that the media reports were "exaggerated", saying he had never blamed the media for the situation.

"Let's not analyse the same situation, why this was generated, how it came to this," he said after the reporters asked about the dressing room atmosphere in the wake of BCCI's assertion that all was well within the unit.

Walia himself wasn't too keen to blame the media for the mess, and instead urged the media to move ahead and focus on the positives.

On the different opinions conveyed by BCCI, Walia said it could be a case of a communication gap. He also said that he had never conveyed to the BCCI that media reports were exaggerated and that the players had been misquoted.

"I am not blaming the media. At a distance, if the president has said it, it may be his views. But I have never said it. I have never blamed the media," clarified Walia.

The confrontation started after India's defeat by Sri Lanka in the ongoing triangular series on Tuesday.

At a press conference after the loss, skipper Dhoni explained why he was following the controversial rotation policy, saying India can't go into a match with the trio of Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir as the senior players are slow on the field and concede a lot of runs.

In another press conference on the same day, however, Sehwag, who captained India while Dhoni served the one-match ban on account of slow over-rate in the previous match against Australia, launched a retort against Dhoni's remarks.

"I did not know what he [Dhoni] said and what's going on in the media. He told us he wanted to give a chance to youngsters who had come here and play the next World Cup. That's what he told us," said the opener.

Earlier, BCCI president N Srinivasan also denied reports of any rift in the Indian team.

"We have no knowledge of it. I don't think there is any rift in the team. There is nothing to be concerned about," Srinivasan said. "They [Dhoni and Sehwag] were responding to questions in a press conference. It happens after every match. I have spoken to the media manager there. I think the reports are exaggerated."

BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla seconded his view.

"Sehwag has been misquoted. That's what we came to understand. There is no rift in the team. It is only a speculation by a section of the media. I don't think there is any problem. BCCI is in constant touch with the team," Shukla said.

Meanwhile, senior players are also likely to address the media conference on Friday to clear the air.

A section of the media reported that the three senior cricketers had a meeting on Thursday and an attempt was made to resolve the differences. But Walia denied any such meeting ever took place.

"All we had was the meeting among all 17 on the day of the match, after the game, after the press conference."

"When I went back to that place, I conveyed it to everyone. Everybody said, 'Sir we don't have any differences'. I have been along with them for 75 days. But there shouldn't be a chance given to anybody, not only to you but anybody else to feel there is a communication gap. I have conveyed that to the players in simple terms," said Walia.

Meanwhile, Irfan Pathan also claimed that there are no differences in the team.

"Everyone is working hard. There is no difference of opinion in the team. I have been hearing things, but it's nothing like that. Things are pretty good. It's a matter of winning big games. Once we start winning the big games, these things are going to vanish," said Pathan.

(With inputs from PTI)

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