Veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s chances of being picked in India’s T20 World Cup squad will be very bleak if the Indian Premier League doesn’t take place, former chairman of selectors Kris Srikkanth said on Saturday without mincing words.
Former England skipper Nasser Hussain, though, offered a different take about the two-time World Cup-winning captain’s future, saying he still has a lot to offer. However, Srikkanth said he couldn’t be diplomatic about the topic.
“I am not going to be diplomatic. I am talking about if I was the chairman of the selection committee, what would I do. If the IPL does not happen then his (Dhoni’s) chances are very, very bleak,” said Srikkanth on Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected.
Dhoni last played for India in the 2019 ODI World Cup semi-final against New Zealand last July.
The 60-year-old Srikkanth said that the interest of the team should come ahead of an individual, even if it involves an achiever like Dhoni.
The 1983 World Cup winner said: “Because straightaway, in my opinion, KL Rahul will be the wicket keeper-batsman. Rishabh Pant, I still think he might be a bit of a doubt, but I believe that Rishabh Pant is highly talented.
“So, I wouldn’t mind taking him along with the squad, but definitely if the IPL doesn’t happen, then Dhoni will have a difficult time getting back into the team for the T20 World Cup. Let’s be very honest about it. He is absolutely fit, he is a legend, he is brilliant. I am a great fan of Dhoni myself. But the question is for the World Cup team. So you’ll have to put the Indian team first and then the individuals.”
In the recent past, India coach Ravi Shastri had said that the IPL could be a testing ground for Dhoni.