New Delhi: Amid speculation over Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s future with the Indian cricket team, the selection committee chief MSK Prasad has left the decision entirely up to the legendary cricketer, while specifically clarifying that the board intends to give ‘as many opportunities to Rishabh Pant as possible’.
Amid such a scenario, it is know being reported that Dhoni has been told ‘not to retire’ until Pant is ready.
The upcoming India tour of West Indies will see Pant taking over the wicket-keeper’s role from Dhoni in limited-overs cricket and in all-likeliness, hold his spot behind the stumps in the Test format despite the return of Wriddhiman Saha. Dhoni, meanwhile, will be spending this time with the parachute regiment, having taken a sabbatical from cricket to spend some time with the Indian army.
As per an IANS report, however, Dhoni has been told by the team management to not quit for as long as Pant is being groomed. With virtually no second feasible option for the BCCI, Dhoni’s availability will help the team (especially during the T20 World Cup) in a case Pant is ruled out due to an injury or similar circumstances.
“Dhoni knows what his role and position is. All these talks about his retirement and when he will call it quits makes no sense as he is a team player. He will never react to any controversy and I am sure you all know this much about the man and his ethics.
“While the team management is grooming Pant with an eye on the next T20 World Cup and beyond, they want Dhoni as a mentor and back-up if he is needed going into the tournament. They want him to stick around a bit longer.
“Take a look around and tell me who are your options if Pant suffers an injury? To be honest, all the names on the other side don’t match-up to be half as good as Dhoni still is. Yes, there is no denying the fact that Pant is the future and he will be looked at across all formats, but Dhoni’s guidance, as well as presence, is still needed,” a source was quoted as saying by IANS.