Future uncertain for MS Dhoni ahead of the 2019 World Cup?

MS Dhoni was conferred with Padma Bhushan today. File Pic

XtraTime Web Desk: MS Dhoni’s poor form for a long period of time is the main reason that he was left out by the selectors for the T20I series against West Indies and Australia. Now as per some sources inside BCCI Dhoni has a tricky road ahead before the 2019 World Cup as it might be the last time he will dawn the blue jersey. BCCI’s selection committee has already has already cleared their views by not picking him for the T20I series. It is also clear that Dhoni is not in contention of the next ICC World T20 which will take place in Australia in the year 2020.

“It’s a given that Dhoni won’t be around when next ICC World T20 happens in Australia in 2020. So, there wasn’t any point continuing with him if he will not play World T20,” a senior BCCI official privy to selection policy told PTI on Saturday.

“Obviously, the selectors and team management had a good deliberation on this issue. Both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma were present at the selection committee meeting.

“You think selectors could have gone ahead without their approval?” the official said.

In the year 2018, Dhoni played seven T20 Internationals with an unbeaten 52 off 28 balls against South Africa being the highlight

If that inning is taken out, Dhoni has scored 71 runs off 51 balls in the remaining six matches that he has played.

It’s no secret that Dhoni is the first choice wicketkeeper for the ODI World Cup in England but a lot will depend on how he performs in the last three ODIs against the Windies.

More so because he will again be out of match practice for the next two months till India play their next lot of ODIs from January to March.

The chairman of selectors MSK Prasad spoke about looking at a second choice keeper and the flamboyant Rishabh Pant has already earned the vote of confidence from the team management.

That precisely is the reason why selectors could risk dropping Dhoni from the shortest format.

But what would happen if Dhoni’s bat fails to talk for him in the coming matches is the question that is doing the rounds.

Once the Windies series gets over, Dhoni will not even get to play domestic 50-over matches with both Deodhar and Vijay Hazare Trophy also ending.

“If Pant plays well and Dhoni’s inconsistent run continues, would you still call him a certainty for World Cup? On what basis?” questioned a former India player.

“The lack of game time has been pretty evident this year. I don’t know maybe he is thinking that from January till World Cup, he will be playing a lot of games including IPL for CSK and he doesn’t need practice,” the former international added.

For someone, who has been fiercely guarded and at times even difficult to contact, it is difficult to gauge his mind.

Dhoni’s major decisions, retiring from Tests or quitting limited-overs captaincy may look instinctive but those who have seen him closely know how much thought process went into it.

While the World Cup, in all likelihood, will be his swansong, no one can quite forget the stunning manner in which he called time on his Test career — in the middle of a series, after a customary press conference where he didn’t even drop a hint, through a short BCCI press release.

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