MS Dhoni is a name that will be written with the golden letters in the history of Indian cricket. The man has had a towering presence over the last 15 years or so and won India all major tournaments across the planet. However, as age caught up with Dhoni and his batting not remaining as potent as it was, speculation is rife over his future. The wicketkeeper-batsman, who turned 38, during the World Cup, has not revealed his plans yet and that has put the ball in the court of the selectors.
Emotions poured in thick and fast after Dhoni failed to take India to the final in a closely fought semi-final against New Zealand, but the reality will not change once the tears dry up. Dhoni is no more going to be an automatic choice for India squads picked hereafter. Albeit scoring 273 runs with an average just below 46 comprising two fifties, Dhoni was struggling to keep the scorecard ticking down the order in the whole tournament.
He was criticised for slowing down the scoring till the heart-breaking semi-final loss in which he ended up as a tragic hero. But with youngsters like Rishabh Pant waiting in the wings to take up the mantle in the limited-over games too, the road could be well over for the veteran Ranchi cricketer.
As per a report in Times of India, a source close to the BCCI said chief selector MSK Prasad will have ‘make or break’ talks with Dhoni and convince him to retire gracefully from international cricket. Dhoni quit Test cricket in 2014 and was playing only ODIs and T20Is over the last five years. He captained India in 200 ODIs, the last of which came in one match of the Asia Cup in 2018.
“We’re surprised that he’s not done it so far. There are youngsters like Rishabh Pant waiting to grab their chances. As we saw in the World Cup, Dhoni isn’t the same batsman anymore. Despite coming in at No. 6 or 7, he was struggling to force the pace, and it was hurting the team,” the source was quoted as saying by Times of India.
DHONI NOT IN SCHEME OF THINGS FOR T20IS
Dhoni is not in the scheme of things for the 2020 World T20 in Australia was clear when he got dropped from two T20I squads against the West Indies and Australia last year. He was considered for the ODIs more because the World Cup was coming up and now with the mega tournament also out of the way, all are waiting for the man to leave with his head held high.
“I don’t think he’s in the selectors’ plan for the 2020 T20 World Cup too. He must quit international cricket gracefully. He isn’t an automatic pick any more,” the source added.
India will be next touring to West Indies for three ODIs and as many T20Is besides two Tests and if close sources are to be believed, Dhoni is most unlikely to be in the squad for the forthcoming outing.