Former India head coach Ravi Shastri gave his opinion on whether MS Dhoni will come out of retirement to play in the one-off ICC World Test Championship (WTC 2023) final between India and Australia to be played at the Oval in London from June 7-11.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently announced the Indian squad for the World Test Championship final against Australia, to be played in the second week of June in England. The return of Ajinkya Rahane to the Test fold was the biggest news.
One of the biggest concerns in the squad announced was the wicketkeeper’s slot as KS Bharat was named the glovesman. Ever since Rishabh Pant was ruled out of cricket after suffering multiple injuries in a car accident, the Indian team has been struggling to find a keeper with his batting skills.
KS Bharat was given a chance in the four-Test Australia series at home and despite some struggles behind the stumps, he was good with the gloves. And showed promise with the bat as well in the opportunities he got.
It has been speculated that KL Rahul, who was also named in the squad, might take up the keeping duties in the one-off Test, given his better batting abilities.
While discussing the issue on ESPNCricinfo, Shastri was quizzed by the anchor if India should consider MS Dhoni as well, given his fitness.
To the unversed, MS Dhoni last played Test cricket in 2014, when he announced his retirement from the format during the Australian tour that summer. He then called time on his international career in 2020.
However, he is still playing for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the IPL 2023 at the age of 41 and has been keeping amazingly well, despite dealing with a knee injury.
Shastri first said how Dhoni has shown up a lot of young wicketkeepers in the country with his style.
"Oh yeah. He has shown up a lot of young keepers in the country with the way he has kept behind the stumps, the way he has moved just for someone who doesn't play first-class cricket just to pitch up,” he said.
However, when asked if Dhoni will come out of retirement for this one-off Test encounter, Shastri was negative in his response.
"Nah. Once MS makes up his mind, he makes up his mind. To leave Test cricket, where he could have easily played for a year or year and a half if he was statistically driven like our country is then he would have loved that 100 Test match mark, big crowd, nice ceremony, nice presentation, walk around the crowd, say goodbye to everyone...he doesn't want that. He's like hands up, the new man is there, let him be," said Shastri.