India captain Virat Kohli on Thursday reiterated that MS Dhoni remains an integral part of the ODI team and the veteran wicket-keeper batsman opted to skip the upcoming T20 international matches against the Windies and Australia only to give young Rishabh Pant more exposure.
“I think the selectors have already addressed this if I’m not wrong. And he’s been spoken to, firstly… So, I don’t see any reason why I should be sitting here and explaining that. I think the selectors have come out and explained exactly what happened,” said Kohli at the post-match press conference after India thrashed Jason Holder & Co. in the fifth and final ODI in Thiruvananthapuram .
“I was not part of that conversation so… It is what the selectors explained. I think people are putting too much variables into the situation, which is not the case I can assure you of that. He’s still a very integral part of this team and he just feels that in the T20 format, someone like Rishabh can get more chances.”
The selection committee did not pick Dhoni in the 16-member squad for the next six T20Is and there is a possibility that he never plays for India again in the shortest format.
“He anyway plays the ODIs for us regularly, so… From that point of view, he’s only trying to help the youngsters; nothing that anything that other people are thinking and I as captain can certainly assure you of that,” Kohli added.