Former opening batsman Sunil Gavaskar believes the time has come for Indian cricket to look beyond MS Dhoni even as the debate over the veteran’s future rages on.
Dhoni’s international future has been subject to intense speculation since the completion of the 2019 World Cup in England with the wicketkeeper-batsman subsequently making himself ‘unavailable’ for the tour of West Indies and the ongoing home series against South Africa.
With Dhoni absent from the picture, India’s selectors have opted to groom young Rishabh Pant in the wicketkeeping role across all three formats. However, the youngster has failed to grab his chances so far in the limited-overs formats with his erratic shot-selection earning him the ire of the team management in recent times.
Despite Pant’s current woes, Gavaskar feels India have to look beyond MS Dhoni with regards to the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia.
“No, we need to look beyond. Mahendra Singh Dhoni at least doesn’t figure in my team. If you are talking about the T20 World Cup, I will certainly think about Rishabh Pant,” Gavaskar told Aaj Tak when asked if the veteran should be picked for the tour of Bangladesh to come later.
“If I need to have an alternate option, then I will think of Sanju Samson because Sanju is a good ‘keeper as well as a good batsman.
“If I have to think of the T20 World Cup, I would think about youth as we need to look forward. Dhoni has made great contribution to Indian cricket but it’s now time to look beyond him.”
38-year-old Dhoni is yet to drop any hints about his international future while skipper Virat Kohli has recently stated that the veteran is a valuable asset to the team as long as he is ‘available’.
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