Legendary wicketkeeper batsman MS Dhoni on Friday (October 26) was snubbed from India’s T20I squad for the home series against the West Indies and the upcoming assignment against Australia in Down Under next month. Dhoni’s absence from both the T20I squads came as a possible signal that the end is near for the 37-year-old in the shortest format.
However, the chairman of selection committee MSK Prasad clarified that Dhoni has been "rested" from both the T20I series and India are now looking to fill in the second wicketkeeper's slot.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was on Friday dropped from India's Twenty20 squad for the home series against the West Indies and the crucial away assignment against Australia, signalling a possible end to his run in the shortest format.
When asked if Dhoni's career in T20Is is over, Prasad said, "Not yet. We want to try out other keepers for the second keeper's slot."
The two keepers named in both the T20I squads are Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik. The three T20s against Australia will get underway from November 21, followed by a four-Test series and three ODIs.
Given that India's next ODI assignment is against Australia in January, Dhoni won't be getting any domestic matches to gear up for the series, with both Vijay Hazare and Deodhar Trophy already over.
The decision to "rest" Dhoni might just be the first sign of selectors trying to phase out the veteran campaigner from one format at least. The only T20Is left in the next six months is a three-game series against New Zealand, which is scheduled in February.
Meanwhile, skipper Virat Kohli was rested from the T20 series against the West Indies and Rohit Sharma named the stand-in captain of the side.
India squad for three T20Is against West Indies:
Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Umesh Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem.
India squad for three T20Is against Australia:
Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed.
(With PTI inputs)