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MS Dhoni unlikely for T20 series against South Africa as selectors looks to continue with Rishabh Pant

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 28 August 2019, 17:56 IST

MS Dhoni may not be in the mood to retire from international cricket but his selection for India’s up coming T20 home series against South Africa looks slimmer then ever. The squad for the series is expected to picked on 4th September. In all odds the squad that white-washed the West Indies side is excepted to be retained and the selection committee wants to continue building towards T20 World Cup in Australia next year.

“There are only 22 T20 Internationals before India play their first World T20 game and selectors are clear in their vision that it’s time to move forward,” a senior BCCI official privy to developments in selection committee said. They are planning on getting a pool of three keepers ready for limited overs, especially T20s.”

it is still uncertain whether the BCCI will speak to MS Dhoni to enquire about his future like they did ahead of the West Indies tour when the World Cup winning skipper informed that he would be taking a break form cricket in-order to serve his regiment in Indian Army.

“Retirement is an individual decision and selectors or for that matter, no one has any right to decide on that front. But they have every right to decide the roadmap for the 2020 World T20 and that’s to give Rishabh Pant maximum chances,” the official explained.

It is learnt that second and third choice for the selectors is Sanju Samson, whose skill with the bat is considered to be on par with Rishabh Pant and Ishan Kishan.

Meanwhile, Rishabh Pant remains the first pick across all formats, the selection committee is also taking the fitness and workload management into consideration.

A few selectors will be in Thiruvananthapuram for a A series and Sanju Samson’s performance will be closely watched since he has made to the squad for the last two list A matches.

Taking his batting into consideration, the selection committee suggests that Samson is ready for top flight cricket but his wicket keeping skills is still work in progress.

“Pant scored a fifty in the last T20 that he played. Ishan Kishan is in the A set-up. Do we even have an option of looking back when we need consistent big hitters on big Australian grounds?” the official questioned.

First published: 28 August 2019, 17:56 IST