MS Dhoni could very well play and lead Jharkhand in the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2017/18. Since the Indian team will be playing Test matches in South Africa at the same time, Dhoni will be available for the state duties and could be named in the side for the tournament.
He might also lead the team as well. In the last season, he led the team in Vijay Hazare Trophy, despite leaving team India’s captaincy at the start of the year. This year as well, there are expectations that the Jharkhand selectors will name Dhoni as the captain of the side.
Dhoni, if named, will lead Jharkhand in the four league stage matches which the team will play. After the completion of the zonal tournament, the best performing players will be chosen from the five zones for the interzonal T20 tournament. Dhoni might not play the second stage as it will start on January 21 and India ODI players are expected to leave for South Africa at least a week before the start of the ODI series. The ODI series starts n February 1.
Not just Dhoni, players like Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Kedar Jadhav- who all are part of ODI squad – will be available for their respective teams for the T20 tournament.
In fact, Karthik has already been named in the Tamul Nadu team led by Vijay Shankar.
As soon as the Test series get over, the Test specialists will return to India, and ODI specialists will travel to South Africa. The Test specialists like R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara, Umesh Yadav will then be playing Vijay Hazare Trophy for their respective states.
In fact, Chief Selector, MSK Prasad had said that the domestic tournaments could be a way for Jadeja and Ashwin to make a comeback in limited overs format.
The upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy starts on January 7. Jharkhand will play its four games against Tripura, Bengal, Assam and Odisha. All the matches will be played at JSCA International stadium complex in Ranchi.