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ICC World Cup 2019: MS Dhoni will certainly play the mega event

Dhoni was recently dropped from India's T20I side.

England v India - 2nd ODI: Royal London One-Day Series
MS Dhoni. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Veteran Indian wicketkeeper MS Dhoni might have been dropped from T20I squads that will take on the Windies and Australia in November this year. After the selectors took the brave decision to drop him, many were worried that this could signal the end of MSD’s career in the shortest format of the game. Meanwhile, Dhoni’s form in ODI cricket has been far from its best, which has become a cause of concern for the Indian Cricket Team. Having played 19 ODIs this year, Dhoni has averaged a meagre 25.

Nevertheless, the selectors hinted at the fact that MS Dhoni is here to stay, and that his limited-overs career is far from over. Reports in the Times of India have suggested that Dhoni’s place in next year’s World Cup squad is all but confirmed. The report has also gone on to reveal that the MSK Prasad-led selection committee is itself of the opinion that the 2011 World Cup-winning captain is still the best wicketkeeper in India.

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Dhoni not the only wicketkeeper in the squad

However, Dhoni won’t be the only stumper in the 15-member squad that will eventually travel to England next year for the flagship event. Based on form and fitness, Rishabh Pant is likely to be the second wicketkeeper, but the selectors are also considering bringing Dinesh Karthik on board.

As far as the top order is concerned, India are absolutely set. The trio of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and captain Virat Kohli have been in prolific form with the bat, while Dhoni is a certainty behind the stumps. Ambati Rayudu has performed exceptionally well in his audition for the no.4 position. Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey are the likely candidates for no. 5. However, the selectors will have to make a tough decision on whether to opt for an extra opener in KL Rahul or alternately pick a reliable middle-order batsman.

In the bowling department, the spinners look more or less settled. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have been causing a lot of trouble in tandem for various oppositions, while India could also bring back the experienced Ravichandran Ashwin, especially since India will be playing on English soil.

They might also have the services of Ravindra Jadeja’s darting left-arm bowling. There’s still a cloud of doubt hovering over Hardik Pandya’s fitness as well. The pacers will be led by Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, but time will tell who the third seamer will be. India still have around 10 ODIs to play before their World Cup campaign gets underway in June next year.

India’s probable squad for World Cup 2019

Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant/Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja/Khaleel Ahmed, KL Rahul/ Manish Pandey, Umesh Yadav/ Mohammed Shami

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