Sunil Gavaskar gives MS Dhoni a healthy advice ahead of World Cup
The selectors had earlier dropped Dhoni from India's T20I side.
Updated - Nov 3, 2018 2:28 pm
There has been a lot of hue and cry following the selectors’ decision to drop MS Dhoni from India’s T20I side that will play the Windies and Australia. The veteran wicketkeeper-batsman has clearly struggled with the bat as his lean patch doesn’t seem to be coming to an end. Although hailed as one of the best finishers the game has ever produced, there’s no hiding from the fact that MSD’s abilities have diminished.
This move led to speculation as to whether it signals the end of Dhoni’s T20I career. While some believe he’s only been rested – even the selectors themselves have maintained this stance – other experts are of the opinion that Dhoni will no longer take part in the shortest format for India. Amongst them is former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, who feels Dhoni’s exit from the side is timely as the Men in Blue need to pave the way for a young wicketkeeper-batsman who can also play the role of a finisher, namely the explosive Rishabh Pant.
Earlier, captain of the Indian Cricket Team Virat Kohli had mentioned that it was Dhoni himself who took the decision to drop himself from the side, and called for Pant to play instead of him. The Ranchi lad will hence be out of the next 6 T20Is, which are also India’s next 6 international fixtures. At the same time, the senior stumper will definitely be a part of India’s World Cup plans and will need to play as much cricket as possible to keep himself in match-fit condition.
Dhoni has stepped aside to give Rishabh Pant a chance
When asked whether the decision to drop MS Dhoni from T20Is was right, Sunil Gavaskar said, “Dhoni knows that he will not be a part of the World T20 in 2020, so he’s thought about the overall good of Indian cricket and given Rishabh Pant a chance to gather more experience in T20Is. Pant has an exceptional T20 record in the IPL. So that’s why he’s made himself unavailable.”
Speaking to SportsTak, the legendary batsman added, “I also want Dhoni to continue to play whatever matches he can for Jharkhand because that’s what will give him match practice. For someone over 35, he needs to be playing international cricket constantly to keep up with the changes. So if he plays as much cricket as possible until January, Indian cricket will benefit from it.”
After the three-match T20I series against the Windies, India fly to Australia for 3 T20Is, 4 Tests and 3 ODIs. However, Dhoni isn’t likely to return to India colours before January when the ODI series gets underway Down Under.