Has MS Dhoni been rested? Has he stepped down? Did the selectors drop him? These are the questions doing the rounds for the last two days after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the squad without Dhoni for the upcoming T20I series against Windies and Australia.
Since then several reports have cited sources and indicated that selectors have decided to look beyond Dhoni in the shortest format.
According to reports as in the Indian Express, team India selectors took the decision of dropping MS Dhoni from the squad keeping the 2020 World T20 in mind.
“The selectors before selection meeting had informed Dhoni through the team management that time has come to move on and give a chance to a younger player in the shortest format. Everyone knows that Dhoni might not carry on till 2020 T20 World Cup. Selectors felt the Indian board should start looking for Dhoni’s replacement from now on,” the newspaper quoted a BCCI official.
However, after the team announcement, chief selector MSK Prasad had said that it is not the end of Dhoni’s T20I career.
“He (Dhoni) is not going to play the six T20Is (West Indies and Australia) because we are looking at the second keeper’s slot. So I think we will retain Rishabh [Pant] and Dinesh Karthik. So they will be getting a chance to keep and bat. It is not the end of Dhoni in T20Is,” he said.
Earlier this year, Dhoni scored heavily in the Chennai Super Kings; title-winning return to the Indian Premier League (IPL) but has been struggling to contribute to the national side since then. He was even booed at the Lord’s Cricket Ground during an India-England ODI for showing a ‘lack of intent’ at the crease.