Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was not picked for the upcoming three T20I series against South Africa at home. This is the second successive T20I series in recent times that Dhoni did not get a call after the one played in the Caribbeans earlier this month. While many questioned the move saying why the veteran was ignored if he hasn’t yet retired, another former India captain Sourav Ganguly said he wasn’t surprised.
Dhoni has been questioned time and again for not hanging up his boots yet. It was expected that he would call it a day after India crashed out of the ICC World Cup in England last month but he kept everybody, including the team management, guessing. The 38-year-old then made himself unavailable for the West Indies tour by opting for military training.
Chief selector MSK Prasad said Dhoni made himself unavailable even for the series against the Proteas. The cricketing fraternity is now eagerly watching how Dhoni’s future unfolds from here on as sources in the Board of Control for Cricket in India have asserted that the selectors have looked beyond Dhoni now.
Ganguly asked people not to “jump the gun” about Dhoni’s future but he also made it clear at the same time that captain Virat Kohli’s “expectations” and “what he is communicating” to the senior-most player is important.
“No, I didn’t expect him to be picked for this series (against South Africa),” the 47-year-old Ganguly was quoted by TOI as saying when asked whether he was surprised with Dhoni’s exclusion even if the officials said he is unavailable.
Ganguly backs the idea of backing Rishabh Pant
Ganguly, under whose captaincy Dhoni had made his debut in 2004, said it was clear from the T20I series in the Caribbeans that the Indian team management wanted to give Rishabh Pant a chance. “They want to pursue with him, which is rightly so. Because when MS came in young, he was also persisted with,” Ganguly added.
The former skipper, however, added that it is a tricky situation for Kohli to deal with. He said he didn’t know what was the communication like between Dhoni, the team management and the selectors. India will play SA in three T20Is between September 15 and 22.
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