On Friday late night, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the T20I squads for the three-match series at home against West Indies and away to Australia next month. And one big name was missing from both: MS Dhoni.
The former India captain, whose position in the limited-overs squad has been one of constant debate in the recent past, was left out of all six matches, with Rishabh Pant named as the first-choice wicket-keeper. Dinesh Karthik is also part of both the squads.
The immediate reaction seemed to be one of questioning the future of Dhoni in the shortest format. Despite his struggles in the format for India, Dhoni had a fantastic IPL this year but it now seems the selectors are looking past the iconic cricketer and grooming a successor.
We’re looking at the second keeper slot: MSK Prasad
“Dhoni’s not going to play the six T20Is because we’re looking at the second keeper slot. It is not the end of Dhoni in T20Is,” chief selector MSK Prasad was quoted as saying.
Even though Prasad said that Dhoni will be back in the T20I squad, many experts felt that this is an indication to where Dhoni’s career is going in the shortest format.
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) October 26, 2018
No Dhoni in T20s means WC 2019 is the last world cup for the legend. The call is loud and clear. Hope he wins it and celebrates at the Lords balcony.
— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) October 26, 2018
End of Dhoni's T20I career. Four spinners! https://t.co/jxzisRY3yI
— Saurabh Malhotra (@MalhotraSaurabh) October 26, 2018
Dhoni’s absence from T20 teams v West Indies and Australia sends clear message that selectors have been informed about where his focus is and when he wants his international career to end https://t.co/vTBq8fXmAt
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) October 26, 2018
If this is indeed the end of the road for MS Dhoni as a T20 international cricketer, we must pause a while and applaud. That 2007 World T20 and his central role in it will be a big part of the history of Indian cricket.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 26, 2018