That MS Dhoni is no longer an automatic selection in the Indian team is very clear now. In fact, it would not be even wrong to say that he does not feature prominently in the scheme of things anymore. The way things have turned out in the past few weeks, it has become clear that the team-management is now looking beyond the former skipper.
MSK Prasad, on Sunday, confirmed that MS Dhoni has made himself unavailable for the tour of West Indies. The veteran batsman, who was facing criticism from all around during the World Cup, has decided to serve the army for a couple of months. Prasad also made it clear that team-management will now give maximum opportunities to Rishabh Pant and will groom him for the next World Cup.
“He [MS Dhoni] is unavailable for this series. he has expressed his unavailability. Having said that, we had certain road maps till the World Cup. Subsequently, post the World Cup, we have laid down few more plans. We thought of giving as many opportunities to Rishabh Pant to see he is groomed. That’s our plan right now,” MSK Prasad said.
Amidst all these, a report in Times of India suggest that Dhoni has been told that he is not in the scheme of things now and selectors are going ahead with youngsters. Perhaps this is the reason why Dhoni decided to skip the tour of West Indies and serve the army in order to take the focus off himself. In his absence, Pant is set to don the wicketkeeping gloves in limited-overs cricket on a full-time basis for the first time.
Any decision on Dhoni’s future is unlikely in the next two months. The picture, however, will be clearer when India host South Africa in September.
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