World Cup done, all eyes on MS Dhoni retirement
As the Indian cricket team returns home after the World Cup campaign ended in the semi-finals, all eyes are on MS Dhoni. Expectations are high that the wicketkeeper-batsman will retire, though there has been no confirmation, be it the CoA, Board officials or the national selectors. The selection committee is of the opinion that it is Dhoni’s prerogative to announce his retirement, and they can’t ask any player to do that. However, the panel members also feel it is their prerogative to pick the team, suggesting that Dhoni, who has turned 38, need not be chosen.
While BCCI secretary Amitabh Chaudhary is likely to call a meeting soon to select the team for the West Indies tour comprising three T20Is, three ODIs and two Tests, there is indication Dhoni could be ‘rested’ if he does not retire on return from England.
That would mean he is practically axed from the team as the subsequent limited-overs series India play comprises mostly T20Is, and will be in preparation for next year’s World T20 in Australia.
Watch: Virat Kohli’s response on MS Dhoni’s retirement rumours
India play five Tests on return from the West Indies, three against South Africa and two against Bangladesh at home. Significantly, they play 12 T20Is, three each against South Africa, Bangladesh, West Indies and Zimbabwe (and three ODIs each against WI and Australia) during the home season before embarking on a tour of New Zealand where they play five T20Is, three ODIs and two Tests. On return, they are due to play three ODIs against South Africa, before the IPL season, which is followed by the World T20.
If the selectors ignore him, it will dent the image of one of India’s finest captains and players.
Sources said BCCI had been trying to schedule a Tri-series towards the end of the year, and if that happens, it could be the official farewell for Dhoni, if he doesn’t quit now. Bangladesh tour India in November and their fixtures was expected to include the Tri-series. South Africa was being considered as the third team.
However, a tight schedule may not allow that, unless the two tours overlap and allow a Tri-series to be played.
BCCI had scheduled an out-of-turn series at home against West Indies in 2013 to bid a grand farewell to Sachin Tendulkar.