In discussing MS Dhoni’s future, Ravi Shastri drops biggest hint about T20 World Cup participation
Team India head coach Ravi Shastri has equated former Indian captain MS Dhoni to Kapil Dev as far as his fitness standards are concerned. He also believes that considering the age of Dhoni, he is best suited to the shortest format of the game. In an interview ahead of the 3rd T20I against Sri Lanka, Shastri revealed that they had a discussion regarding his future in the Indian team, but the same could not be made public.
“We had a conversation but that’s between me and MS, that’s in the dressing room. What I feel is which people must respect is he’s played non-stop in all formats of the game for a while. He’s finished playing Test match, and in all probability, he’ll finish one-day cricket. At his age, probably the only format he’ll want to play is T20 cricket which means he’ll have to start playing again, get back into the grooves because he’s going to play in the IPL and see how his body reacts,” Shastri told CNN News 18.
The head coach further went on to say that Dhoni would always keep the interest of the team before himself. Also, he believes that the future of MS Dhoni in the Indian team depends on how he performs in the upcoming IPL season.
“One thing about Dhoni I’ll tell you. He will never impose himself on the team, or even himself. If he feels when he comes back that something is not right, just like he quit Test cricket, which was like a bolt out of the blue. He just came and said I’ve had enough 90 Test matches, Wriddhiman Saha is ready, here take the gloves. He might do just that. But if he has a cracking IPL then (laughs),” Shastri added.
The head coach also made it clear that the IPL will be extremely crucial for players trying to seal a spot in India’s squad for the T20 World Cup.
“So the IPL is the biggest tournament (looking into the preparations for the T20 World Cup). It’s not just for him (Dhoni), for plenty of other players, because you know that (team selection) will relate to the current form. You might get a rookie who might come with an outstanding (performance in the) IPL, whose name doesn’t even feature in the top 18-19 now, suddenly you might have to look in another direction that who’s this guy and that’s the beauty of the IPL. It gives you a stage to perform for two months day in and day out and you can be a star overnight. So he (Dhoni) will play that, and after that, we’ll see,” the coach informed.