Chief selector MSK Prasad addressed questions regarding the future of wicket-keeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni during the announcement of Indian Test squad for their upcoming series against South Africa. India are scheduled to play three T20Is and as many Tests against the Proteas, starting September 15. Prasad was asked regarding Dhoni’s future during the press-conference and he replied: “No update on MS Dhoni’s retirement, the news is incorrect.”
Prasad was referring to Dhoni retirement rumours which started to do the rounds on social media after skipper Virat Kohli posted a memory with former India captain on his Twitter handle. Kohli shared a picture of a Super 10 match against Australia during WT20 2016 and his post read: “A game I can never forget. Special night. This man, made me run like in a fitness test.”@msdhoni.”
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) September 12, 2019
Tweet that has the cricket world, and the world beyond, in a tailspin. Is Virat’s tribute a signal that MSD is calling it a day? https://t.co/nda2UzuYax
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) September 12, 2019
— sastasarcasm (@sastasarcasm) September 12, 2019
Too much speculation over Dhoni’s ‘retirement’ today after virat’s tweet
but no one has confirmed anything about the speculation doing the rounds. @msdhoni#DhoniInBillionHearts#Dhoni pic.twitter.com/f7AowMWBOD
— Sagar Kumar Bal (@IamSagarBal11) September 12, 2019
After missing the tour of West Indies, Dhoni won’t take part in the T20I series against South Africa as he wasn’t included in the 15-man T20I squad which was announced last month. Later, Prasad clarified that Dhoni had made himself unavailable for the T20I series and he wasn’t dropped.
“Yes he was unavailable for selection,” MSK Prasad told India Today on being asked about Dhoni’s availability.
In the 15-man squad announced for the T20I series against South Africa starting on September 15, India went ahead of Rishabh Pant as the designated wicket-keeper. The only change in the side that blanked West Indies 3-0 a month ago was the return of all-rounder Hardik Pandya in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Dhoni, who had taken a two-month sabbatical from the sport, is currently vacationing in the United States, having served the Territorial Army for 15 days.
Going strictly by the date of the squad selection for the tour of West Indies (July 21), Dhoni’s “self-imposed break,” taken after the ICC World Cup 2019, officially ends on September 21, a day before the final T20 International against the Proteas.
“This selection committee is clear on one front. They will never ask any questions to Dhoni with regards to retirement as that’s not their domain. But till they are in charge, they reserve the right to select the squad and as far as they are concerned, Rishabh Pant is now India’s first-choice keeper across formats,” a senior BCCI official told PTI.
Sep 12, 2019 17:43 IST