The retirement story of Mahendra Singh Dhoni may be temporarily out of focus but not settled yet. And it is likely to come up with India gearing up for their next bilateral series, which is at home. The Men in Blue will be taking on South Africa in T20Is and Tests starting September 15.
The squad for the T20Is is likely to be picked on September 4. In all likelihood, the Indian selectors will retain the same squad that recently thumped the Caribbeans 3-0 in their den. And in that case, the 38-year-old Dhoni is unlikely to be picked in the squad even though he hasn’t called it a day in the limited formats.
India and South Africa play their three T20Is in Dharamsala (September 15), Mohali (September 18) and Bengaluru (September 22). The Proteas, who will be playing their first international games since their dismal outing in the ICC World Cup in May-July, will be led by wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock.
“There are only 22 T20 Internationals before India play their first World T20 game and selectors are clear in their vision that it’s time to move forward,” Hindustan Times quoted a senior BCCI official privy to developments in selection committee as saying. “They are planning on getting a pool of three keepers ready for limited-overs, especially T20s.”
The next T20 World Cup will be played in Australia in October 2020.
Pant scored a fifty in T20I series vs West Indies
It is still not clear whether the Indian board will have a talk with Dhoni who chose to go for military training ahead of the Caribbean series. However, leaving the decision of calling it a day to the former captain, the Indian selectors could go for Rishabh Pant to manage the glovework in the SA series. The 21-year-old failed in the first two matches against the Windies but slammed 65 not out in 42 balls in the third in Providence.
“Retirement is an individual decision and selectors or for that matter, no one has any right to decide on that front. But they have every right to decide the roadmap for the 2020 World T20 and that’s to give Rishabh Pant maximum chances,” the official further said.
It is also learned that India could opt for Sanju Samson and India ‘A’ regular Ishan Kishan as the second and third options as wicketkeeper. Samson’s batting is considered potent but his wicketkeeping is still in the making. Kishan is a regular member of the A set-up.
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