Shastri, Ganguly Differ On Dhoni’s Future

By Dhanu Delphi on December 2, 2019

As India prepare for another T20 series against the West Indies, MS Dhoni remains absent. The former Indian captain has not played for India since their semi-final loss in July at the 2019 World Cup.

MS Dhoni has disappeared from the spotlight and there is no clear reason for his absence. He is not injured nor is he recovering from an injury. Given the fact that he only mostly plays T20 and ODI cricket these days, his absence has led to rumours.

Indian cricket fans want to know when MS Dhoni will play again but they are not getting answers. The man himself has preferred to stay away from the limelight even though he knows one statement can put everything to rest. The constant pressure from the media has caused both head coach Ravi Shastri and BCCI President Sourav Ganguly to issue statements on MS Dhoni’s future in international cricket.

It’s no secret that Sourav Ganguly and Ravi Shastri are not the best of friends. The two have clashed in the past and the same has been documented in the media. Their statements on MS Dhoni’s future convey different messages to the public which has just made things more confusing.

Ravi Shastri Issues Statement On MS Dhoni

Ahead of the West Indies series, Shastri said that the constant speculation on MS Dhoni and his retirement is disrespectful. Shastri claimed that the key to MS Dhoni’s international career and his participation in the T20 World Cup that takes place in Australia in October 2020 will be how Dhoni plays at the 2020 IPL.

This implies that MS Dhoni isn’t going to play a lot of T20 cricket in the coming months as the next edition of the IPL starts towards the end of March 2020. Shastri said the way Dhoni performs in the IPL could determine whether Dhoni gets selected for the T20 World Cup as the IPL is one of the last big T20 tournaments before the Indian team leaves down under.

Shastri says Dhoni’s form in the IPL will be compared to a few more wicket-keeper batsmen. And that the player who is in the best form will be selected. The two main candidates will be Rishabh Pant who will take the gloves against the West Indies and S Samson who is next in line.

Sourav Ganguly Clears The Air

Before assuming the post of BCCI President, Ganguly called on the Board to have a one-on-one chat with MS Dhoni. It’s close to a month now since Ganguly’s ascension but there has been no official meeting with Mahi. At least that’s what cricketing fans thought.

Ganguly has cleared the air and stated that there is absolute clarity about MS Dhoni’s cricketing future. However, nothing has been shared with the media because certain details had to be kept private.

The BCCI President said that the Board, the selectors and Dhoni were all on the same page regarding his future. When Ganguly was asked to respond to Ravi Shastri’s views, he brushed off those comments. The public would know what Dhoni’s plans were within the next 3 months, he said. Which perhaps means a decision will be made on MS Dhoni before the 2020 IPL commences.

MS Dhoni added a little more confusion to the topic when he decided to provide a one-line answer to his cricketing future by asking the media to wait till January 2020 for more information!