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Reports: MS Dhoni will not travel to West Indies, Rishabh Pant to be first-choice keeper

India's squad for the tour is most likely to be announced on July 19.

MS Dhoni India
MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The speculations around MS Dhoni’s retirement have been doing the rounds for quite a while now. The veteran, who turned 38 recently, didn’t have the best of campaigns with the bat in the 2019 World Cup. His half-century in the semi-final wasn’t enough to get India over the line. The Men in Blue are next set to tour the Windies and Dhoni’s participation in the series isn’t certain yet.

It has now been reported that the Jharkhand-born Dhoni has made himself unavailable for the tour where India will play three ODIs, three T20Is and a couple of Tests. The veteran is set to be a part of the transition phase that will see a new player- Rishabh Pant- take up his role. A Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official said that he’ll be available to assist the transition phase.

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“MS will not go to the West Indies. Going forward, he will not travel with the team within India or overseas as the first-choice wicket-keeper. Rishabh Pant will take over and there will be a grooming window for him until he settles down,” the official told to The Times of India.

“For all you know, he could be part of the 15 but not part of the 11. This team needs a guiding hand on multiple fronts and wishing MS away is clearly unhealthy,” the official of the world’s richest cricket board was quoted as saying.

Dhoni will retire, but what’s the hurry?

Pant made his ODI debut last year versus the Windies itself and recently made his World Cup debut after coming in as Shikhar Dhawan’s replacement. As far as Dhoni is concerned, he notched 273 runs in the mega event with a top score of 56* against Jason Holder’s Windies.

Reports also suggest that Dhoni need not be told when he should bid adieu to the sport. “He’s already proved himself to be the kind of guy who preferred ‘why’ more than ‘when’ where his career graph is concerned. He’ll go, but what’s the hurry?” the source added.

Apart from Pant, there’s also Dinesh Karthik, who seems to be at the fag end of his career. Karthik played a few games and also perished cheaply in the semis after India lost their top three- Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli- with the score of five on the board.

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