If reports are to be believed then MS Dhoni is not even the second-choice wicketkeeper for India’s T20I side anymore. The former India skipper’s performances in recent times have attracted widespread criticism and it looks like the selectors have finally decided to move on. Speculations were rife that Dhoni would retire at the end of the World Cup.
However, the 37-year old decided against it and instead took a two-month break. For the time being, the selectors have rightly left the decision on retirement on Dhoni but the latter needs to take a big call anytime soon. A report in PTI has confirmed that Dhoni is unlikely to be a part of India’s T20I squad for the upcoming home series against South Africa.
India have started preparing for the next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia and Dhoni does not feature in their plans. Rishabh Pant is the first-choice wicketkeeper at the moment and will get an extended run. But Dhoni is not even the second choice wicketkeeper. The report suggested that the second and third option for the selection committee is Sanju Samson, whose batting is considered to be on par with Pant and India ‘A’ regular Ishan Kishan.
While Pant remains the first choice across formats, the selectors are also factoring in the fitness and workload management. Thus Sanju Samson is now in the picture. He was recently picked in the India A side for the last two one-dayers of the five-match series against South Africa A.
A few members of the selection committee will be in Thiruvananthapuram for the ‘A’ series in order to see Samson’s performance. The selectors are very much convinced by Samson’s batting but think that there is still scope for improvement in his wicketkeeping.