The former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who last played in the World Cup semi final against New Zealand last year, has been on a sabbatical ever since. He has not played any competitive match after team India’s exit since then.
Recently, the BCCI’s decision to remove him from the BCCI annual contract has also raised serious questions of his international comeback. Former Chief selector MSK Prasad, when asked about their thought process on Dhoni, said, “We are clearly moving on”. We are giving chances to youngsters like Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson to establish themselves in the team, he said.
Under the leadership of MS Dhoni, India won the 2007 ICC World Twenty-20, 2010, 2016 Asia Cup, and 2011 ICC World Cup, which was held in India. He is the only captain in the history of the game to win all the three ICC trophies. Dhoni made his international debut in 2004 and since then, has played more than 300 ODIs, 98 T-20s, and scored more than 13,000 international runs so far.
The selection panel, now led by Sunil Joshi, has clearly stated that the comeback of MS Dhoni depends entirely on how he performs in the upcoming Indian Premier League. For a player of his charisma and potential, it will be difficult for the team to replace his number 6 spot. “A player who can come in and score quick runs for the team and finish the game is what the team requires at the moment,” said the head coach of team India at a press conference when asked about the comeback of Dhoni.
Other options include Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul. The latter is shaping up good both as a batsman and a full-time keeper, while the 22-year-old Pant is still struggling on his timing to hit the ball. It would be interesting to see how these players perform in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League.