Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been told by chief selector MSK Prasad that he doesn’t feature in the scheme of things as far as the Indian cricket team is concerned, a source was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
With the 38-year-old making himself unavailable for the upcoming limited-overs tour of West Indies to serve his paramilitary regiment with the Terretorial Army, it has been learnt that Prasad has told the veteran cricketer that he isn’t in their plans for the long term.
Amid intense speculation surrounding his international retirement, Dhoni ruled himself out of the national squad a day before the selectors could pick the squad for the upcoming series. However, keeping next year’s T20 World Cup in mind, Prasad has reportedly told Dhoni that the selection committee will give more chance to youngsters from now to build for the future.
“He [Dhoni] has told Prasad that he’s not retiring for now. However, he has been told that he’s not in the scheme of things. We’re going ahead with the youngsters. He told us to go ahead with our plans. That’s why in the presser, Prasad said that we’re looking ahead now. Now, it’s up to him if he wants to retire today, tomorrow, or whenever he wants to,” the report quoted the source as saying.
While Prasad did not clarify whether it was the end of the road for Dhoni, he said the management is keen on giving Rishabh Pant more chances.
“Retirement is totally individual and a legend like Dhoni knows when to retire. But as the selection committee, we have to make road map, so we started to give the chances to youngsters like Pant,” he said during a press conference on Sunday.
“Subsequently, we’ve laid down a few more plans and thought of giving as many opportunities to Pant and to see how he is groomed. We did discuss it with Dhoni. This is our plan right now,” he added.
Dhoni’s sabbatical has put the selectors in a tricky spot and now it remains to be seen whether he will get picked once he is back from his two-month break.