While speculation over MS Dhoni’s international future refuses to die, Ravi Shastri has stated that the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be vital in deciding the veteran wicketkeeper’s India hopes.
Dhoni has not played any international cricket since the completion of the 2019 World Cup in England with the 38-year-old subsequently making himself ‘unavailable’ for clashes against Windies, South Africa and Bangladesh.
In his absence, India’s selectors have continuously emphasised that they are looking towards the future by grooming Rishabh Pant in the role. However, head coach Shastri’s comments following the pink-ball Test between India and Bangladesh has indicated that Dhoni could be in the frame for the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia.
“It all depends on when he starts playing and how he is playing during the IPL,” Shastri told Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) in Kolkata.
“What are the other people doing with the wicketkeeping gloves or what is the form of those players as opposed to Dhoni’s form.
“The IPL becomes a massive tournament because that could be the last tournament after which more or less your 15 (for the World Cup) is decided.”
Dhoni’s last appearance for India in the T20 format came in February this year when he took the gloves against Australia at Bengaluru. Since then, the Ranchi-born veteran has missed T20I series against West Indies, South Africa and Bangladesh with Pant fulfilling wicketkeeping duties in all the clashes.
The 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia gets underway in October next year and Dhoni will be 39 by the time the competition starts.
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