Since the World Cup ended, there have been many reports claiming that Dhoni just might have played his final ODI game. However, the 38-year-old veteran with an experience of 350 is not yet willing to throw in the towel.
There have been reports that after the World Cup ended chief selector, MSK Prasad had a discussion with MS Dhoni over his future. The former captain got informed he “wasn’t in the scheme of things anymore, and the selectors now planned to go ahead with the youngsters.” Dhoni though ruled out retirement for now and has left to train with Parachute regiment of Indian Army after securing permission from the Army.
Pant Is The Way Forward For The Selectors:
The thing which is getting more apparent now is that Dhoni is no more an automatic selection in the team. The selection committee led by ex Indian keeper MSK Prasad has made their mind to give youngsters a chance and to build the team around them for the future. Prasad gave a clear indication that Pant is going to be the number 1 choice keeper for Team India in ODI’s and T20’s. Prasad also praised the young, explosive Batsman for his innings of 32 against New Zeland in the Semifinals. Prasad stated that “He played well, especially in those conditions he played well.” The above statement from Prasad showed the kind of confidence selectors have on Pant because he received criticism for his rash shot selections in the semi-finals. However, he showed maturity in his innings after India was reduced to 5-3.
Selectors further added about Pant that “We need to manage his workload, so Wridhiman Saha and KS Bharat comes into the picture.”
Wridhimann Saha is making a comeback in the side after 18 months whereas KS Bharat is an Andhra wicket-keeper Batsman who holds the record of being the first wicket-keeper batsman to score a triple hundred in Ranji. Both are being seen as the backup for Pant.
So When Will Dhoni Retire?
This has to be a Million dollar question right now. According to Dhoni’s Childhood coach “Not even MS Dhoni’s best friend know when will he retire” and maybe he is right. Dhoni always keeps his secret close to his heart and this is exactly what is unfolding now. There have been reports which say that Dhoni has an eye on T-20 World Cup scheduled in 2020. His two months-long training with the army of India could suggest that he is working on his fitness.
Even the chief selector MSK prasad refused to make a statement about former captain’s future. He said it should be a player’s decision to take a call on his future. The selector further added “ Retirement is purely an Individual’s decision. A legendary cricketer like Dhoni knows when to retire.”
However, MSK Prasad also gave an indirect hint that Dhoni will no longer be the first choice. He Said “ the future course of action is in selector’s hand. I don’t think we need to discuss anything more on it. First of all, he is not available, Second, we have already started grooming youngsters” The selector indirect words clearly stated that Pant is going to be the choice. No one knows when will Dhoni retire but one thing which is becoming increasingly clear is that to make a place in the team Dhoni will get a challenge this time.