Even after MS Dhoni gave up captaincy, he continued to be one of the main cogs in the Indian team. His experience and seniority were invaluable. Dhoni decided to disappear from international cricket after the 2019 ICC World Cup; he requested the BCCI for a break and hasn’t returned since.
MS Dhoni Back In Action For CSK
The media has tried extensively to get an interview with MS Dhoni for a number of months; everyone’s keen to find out what his plans are. However, Mahi has stayed away and kept silent. He refuses to address questions about his retirement or on-going absence from the Indian cricket team.
The Indian media finally found MSD back in action at the M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai where he is training along with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) franchise. Dhoni has led the CSK franchise from the start of the IPL and has the strong support of the franchise owners.
CSK has been one of the most dominating IPL teams in the history of the tournament, winning 3 IPL championships in 2010, 2011 and 2018. Dhoni will once again captain the side and will have his core team with him as the likes of Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav and Shardul Thakur get in some much needed T20 match practice.
2020 IPL Important For Dhoni’s Future
This IPL season is very important for MS Dhoni both as a player and as a captain. Dhoni hasn’t made his plans clear when it comes to the international arena but head coach Ravi Shastri has gone on record to state that if MS Dhoni plays well during the 2020 IPL, he will definitely be considered to be a part of the 2020 T20 World Cup which takes place in Australia in October.
MS Dhoni has not disclosed his plans as to whether he is going to make himself available for the T20 World Cup but given how special the T20 World Cup is to MS Dhoni, it is quite likely that he will want to be on the plane to Australia.
For that to happen, MS Dhoni needs to regain some of that old magic and show that he is still one of the most dangerous batsmen in T20 cricket. In the last couple of years, MS Dhoni’s form in T20 cricket has come under the scanner because he has found it hard to rotate the strike and clear the boundary at will. MS Dhoni’s strike rate has fallen and so has his ability of finishing games single handedly.
Dhoni/Pant or Samson For T20 World Cup
Ravi Shastri has said that because MS Dhoni has made himself unavailable for selection for such a long period of time, it is not a given that he walks straight into the T20 squad. Shastri claimed that MS Dhoni would have to perform in the IPL and make a case for him to be included in the side as the likes of Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson will also be in contention for the T20 World Cup.
IPL 2020 is a place for all three of these wicket-keeper batsmen to shine; each can make a strong case for being included in the T20 side. Rishabh Pant is arguably the front runner. He has been the first choice wicket-keeper batsman for India lately. Sanju Samson has always been on the fringe. He will need to have a phenomenal IPL if he is going to push past Dhoni and Pant.
MS will have to have an above average IPL with the bat if he is going to edge out Pant!