MS Dhoni has had a vital presence in the Indian cricket team and has won all major tournaments for the national team. However, as age caught up with Dhoni and his form with the bat not remaining as threatening as before, there is a widespread speculation over his future. MS Dhoni, who celebrated his 38 birthday during the World Cup, has not yet disclosed his plans and has put the ball in the court of the selectors.
As MS Dhoni failed to take team India to the final in a closely fought battle against New Zealand in the semi final of the World Cup, many emotions poured in thick and fast, but the reality remains unchanged. MS Dhoni will no longer be an automatic addition to the Indian squad from now on. Despite scoring 273 runs with an average just below 46, Dhoni was struggling to keep the scorecard moving throughout the tournament.
MS Dhoni was widely criticised for his slow approach while batting till the semi final defeat in which he emerged as a tragic hero. But with the likes of Rishabh Pant waiting in ranks, the journey could be well over for the veteran wicket keeper batsman.
According to a report in Times of India, a source close to BCCI said chief selector MSK Prasad will have “make or break” talks with MS Dhoni and will convince him to retire gracefully from international cricket. MS Dhoni retired form Test cricket in 2014 and was playing only ODIs and T20Is for the past five years. He led the men in blue in 200 ODIs.
“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 is not in the plan of the selectors for the 2020 World T20 in Australia, this became clear when he was dropped from two T20I squad against the West Indies and Australia last year. He was considered for the ODIs only because the World Cup was round the corner.
“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.
Team India will now be touring to West Indies for three ODIs and as many T20Is besides two Test and as per the close sources, MS Dhoni is most unlikely to be in the team.