The T20 series between India and Sri Lanka is done and dusted and yet there not a word on MS Dhoni. He is also not in the squad to face Australia in the three match ODI series that takes place this month.
The former Indian captain has not played international cricket after India lost their semi-final game in the ODI World Cup in 2019. He has gone on a sabbatical which is now past 6 months and has continued to avoid questions on his retirement from ODI and T20 cricket.
While Indian cricket fans continue to debate whether MS Dhoni should be in the T20 squad or whether India can survive without MS Dhoni, the man himself has decided that there are more important things to do right now. MS Dhoni is currently holidaying with his family and posting pictures on social media having a good time with his daughter playing in the snow.
Shastri Backs Dhoni For T20 World Cup
India have less than 10 months to prepare for the ICC T20 World Cup which takes place in October in Australia. The team not only need to play and gel together but they need to identify the main wicket-keeper batsman and a reserve wicket-keeper batsman. R Pant was the preferred wicket-keeper batsman against Sri Lanka and S Samson was the reserve wicket-keeper batsman.
Head coach Ravi Shastri refuses to close the door on MS Dhoni and once again reaffirmed his belief that Dhoni is one of those players that can walk right back into the team and take his place behind the stumps. Shastri affirms that the race right now is between Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson and MS Dhoni.
Shastri has said in the past that is MS Dhoni ends up having a great IPL season, he will be very hard to ignore, given his experience and accomplishments for India. The IPL will take place in April and May which means if Dhoni does do well, he will have less than 6 months to play with the Indian cricket team and prepare for the T20 World Cup.
Selfish Or Cautious?
MS Dhoni is a very calculative cricketer and knows how to handle the media. He has deliberately chosen to avoid the media and stay out of the spotlight the last six months as he knows one of the foremost questions that he will have to answer is his impending retirement.
MS Dhoni has nothing left to accomplish on the cricketing field, so he can call it a day if he wants to and give Pant and Samson a clear road of competing against each other for a place in the T20 World Cup squad. However, Dhoni has decided that it is not in the best interests of himself to divulge his cricketing plans and has preferred to stay silent.
Ravi Shastri might have a point when he says the 2020 IPL could decide MS Dhoni’s future. Dhoni might be waiting to see how well he plays and if he can once again lead the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to another IPL Championship victory. If he does, he knows he will have the momentum behind him and it will be difficult for him to be dropped for the T20 World Cup.
If he does not play well in the IPL, he might decide to call it a day suddenly just like he did when he announced his test retirement. Either way, it is difficult for Indian cricket fans to imagine MS Dhoni playing beyond 2020. The Indian cricket team have done well without the services of MS Dhoni and it might be better if Dhoni says goodbye without donning the blue jersey again!