MS Dhoni was not named in the ODI and T20I squad for the upcoming tour of West Indies. He had already confirmed to BCCI that he was unavailable for the tour. Dhoni will be serving army for a period of two months. For now, it is confirmed that he was not dropped from the squad but there was no word on his retirement
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It is not yet sure whether he is retiring from the game or will he make a comeback after returning from his duties. Commenting on Dhoni’s availability, chief selector MSK Prasad confirmed that Dhoni was unavailable. He also added that a player like Dhoni knows when to retire from the game.
“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,” he said.
“We did discuss with him [Dhoni’s future]. Retirement is purely individual. A legendary cricketer like MS Dhoni… he knows when to retire. But as far as the future roadmap is considered, that is in the hands of the selectors,” he added.
As Prasad mentioned, the selectors are looking at Rishabh Pant as next full-time wicketkeeper across formats and it will be for the first time (on the tour of West Indies) that he will be taking the wicketkeeping duties on a full-time basis.
Rishabh wasn’t a part of World Cup squad initially but was later called-up after an injury to Shikhar Dhawan. The left-handed batsman did well and has been touted to take over the job on a full-time basis.
It remains to be seen if he can capitalise the opportunity and take the spot. Apart from Dhoni, Jasprit Bumrah was also rested. He will be missing ODI and T20I series but will make a comeback for two Test matches.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya is not fully fit and will miss the complete tour. He has been suffering from an issue for a long time now and has been given a much-needed rest.
Navdeep Saini was a new face in the ODI and T20I squad while Rahul Chahar got a maiden call-up for the T20I series.