Not having played any form of competitive cricket since India’s defeat against New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup semi-final, MS Dhoni will be making a comeback to the Indian team only “if he has a good IPL season” for Chennai Super Kings, confirmed a top BCCI official privy to selection matters in a report by PTI.
The newly-appointed chairman of selectors, Sunil Joshi and his team, had a pretty ‘straightforward’ meeting last Sunday when they picked India squad for the upcoming home series against South Africa.
Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were recalled to the party after their respective injury-sabbaticals.
Unlike Joshi’s predecessor MSK Prasad, who had openly said the selectors are moving on to the next batch of wicketkeeper batsmen, the newly-formed selection panel has kept the doors open for Dhoni’s comeback if the veteran stumper performs to the level he can for his IPL franchise, CSK.
“It was a pretty straightforward selection meeting and since Dhoni was obviously not in the reckoning this time (for South Africa series), there was no formal talk about his future,” a BCCI source told PTI.
“He will be back in the reckoning only if he has a good IPL. And why only him, there are so many senior and young players who will play in the IPL. If they do well, they are ought to be considered too. So, you could see some surprise inclusions,” the source added.
Earlier, Team India head coach Ravi Shastri also said something similar about Dhoni’s comeback. With his heir apparent Rishabh Pant not setting the world on fire and KL Rahul being groomed into a full-time wicketkeeper-batsman, Dhoni’s comeback cannot be ruled out.
His countless fans will finally get to see him in action when he leads CSK against the defending champions Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2020 opener at Wankhede Stadium on March 29.