Echoing teammate Harbhajan Singh’s views, former India pacer Ashish Nehra said he doesn’t see Mahendra Singh Dhoni playing for India again. Although, the latter added he would still choose the World Cup-winning captain as his first choice wicket-keeper if he was fit to play.

Speculations have been rife about Dhoni’s future for a long time now and many had been looking forward to seeing the 38-year-old play in the Indian Premier League. The 13th edition of the tournament has been indefinitely postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Nehra believes that the two-time World Cup-winning captain has already played his last game for India (the semi-final defeat against New Zealand at the 2019 World Cup in July) but he didn’t rule out the possibility of Dhoni making a comeback.

“If MS wants to play and is fit, he is still my No 1 choice for the wicketkeeper’s slot,” Nehra told The Telegraph.

“Knowing MS, I don’t think he will play again for India, but you never know he can still spring another surprise. Yes, that he has not announced his retirement is a different issue. But that’s his way of dealing with the situation,” Nehra said.

The Indian team management backed Rishabh Pant over Dhoni as their first-choice keeper since the 2019 World Cup but the youngster failed to make his opportunities count, with both bat and glove.

Meanwhile, Dhoni had taken a two-month sabbatical from the game in July to serve the Indian Army paramilitary regiment but has not played competitive cricket since then.

Refusing to believe that the former captain was dropped by the Indian selectors, Nehra said Dhoni still has the capacity to perform at the top level.

“It’s really sad to think or say that MS is dropped… because he has the performance that’s required to be shown,” Nehra said.

“Besides, at No 5, you have KL Rahul playing, not Rishabh Pant or Sanju Samson. People were saying that Pant would put pressure on Dhoni. But while Dhoni is not there, we can’t even see Pant in the picture. Pant had been tipped as Dhoni’s alternative,” Nehra added.