MS Dhoni arrived in Chennai in the first week of March amid much fanfare and hope. The former Indian captain, also the skipper of Chennai Super Kings was busy attending the training session at Chepauk Stadium. But in a sudden chain of events, he returned to Ranchi as the IPL was deferred till April 15 due to Coronavirus.
Dhoni’s sabbatical and return
Dhoni had taken a sabbatical after India’s semifinal loss against New Zealand in the 2019 ICC World Cup. In his absence, team India gave chances to Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul. The latter grabbed the opportunity and impressed all with his consistency. Virat Kohli too acknowledged that keeping a talented cricketer like Rahul on the bench is not right. With the T20 World Cup only six months away, the big question is will India go for the experience of Dhoni or try to experiment with the youngsters?
Dhoni must prove his form
During the 2019 World Cup, the Indian side had four wicket-keeping options, a luxury which was not ideal if one looks at the team combination. According to selectors, Dhoni needs to grind it out and perform well before being considered for the upcoming series. The thought was also echoed by Indian coach Ravi Shastri. He said a good IPL can bring Dhoni back into the team. Meanwhile, cricketers like Kuldeep Yadav said they are missing the presence of Dhoni, underlining the value of the wicket-keeper batsman in the team.
End of the road
Former cricketers like Sehwag feels that Dhoni may not get a chance to wear Indian cap again. Sehwag tweeted that the team management is looking at the future options. Dhoni is already 38 and even though he could be fit, age could act as a barrier. Dhoni’s retirement topic has been long trending in the media. When asked about it last time, Dhoni had asked his fans to wait till the IPL. But with IPL facing the Coronavirus threat, have we already seen his last outing in Indian colours? Only time will tell.