'Depends how he plays in the IPL' – Shastri on Dhoni's future
India head coach Ravi Shastri feels IPL 2020 could play a big part in deciding MS Dhoni’s future in the Indian team.
Dhoni has not been a part of the Indian side since the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand in July. He made himself unavailable from the subsequent series against West Indies, South Africa and Bangladesh.
Indian selection panel has been keen on looking to the future as well. Rishabh Pant has been the first-choice wicket-keeper in the side despite his erroneous shot selection coming into question by Shastri.
Chief selector, MSK Prasad, while announcing India’s squads for T20Is and Tests for recent Bangladesh series, had clearly stated that India were ‘moving on’ from Dhoni.
"I made it very clear post the World Cup that we are moving on. We are giving opportunities to youngsters and see that they establish themselves in the side. With Rishabh Pant doing so well and even Sanju Samson coming into the side [as back-up wicketkeeper], I am sure you must be understanding our thought process,” said Prasad before the start of Bangladesh home series.
But India’s head coach touched on Dhoni’s inclusion after handing over an innings defeat to Bangladesh in the day-night Test.
"It all depends on when he starts playing and how he is playing during the IPL," Shastri told IANS [as quoted by Cricinfo].
"What are the other people doing with the wicket-keeping gloves or what is the form of those players as opposed to Dhoni's form. The IPL becomes a massive tournament because that could be the last tournament after which more or less your 15 is decided.
Shastri alongside BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had earlier made it clear that Dhoni had earned the right to make call on his international career.
Shastri further added: “There might be one player who might be there and thereabouts in case of an injury or whatever. But your team I would say would be known after the IPL.
“What I would say is rather than speculating of who is where, wait for the IPL to get over and then you are in a position to take a call on who are the best 17 in the country."