Dhoni left out of T20s, tricky road ahead

India has only 17 limited-overs internationals before the World Cup in 2019; enough for Dhoni to stay in the groove for the big ticket event?

Published : Oct 27, 2018 12:44 IST , Chennai

Rishabh Pant received his ODI cap from former India skipper M. S. Dhoni.
Rishabh Pant received his ODI cap from former India skipper M. S. Dhoni.
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Rishabh Pant received his ODI cap from former India skipper M. S. Dhoni.

M. S. Dhoni, India's 2007 World T20-winning captain, being left out of the T20 squads for the series against the West Indies and Australia appears to point to a change of guard in Indian cricket. Rishabh Pant, who received his ODI cap from Dhoni in Guwahati earlier this month, has been named as the first-choice wicketkeeper in both the squads, which also feature Dinesh Karthik.

"The T20Is here and in Australia, he [Dhoni] is not going to play, because we are also looking at a second wicketkeeper. That will be between Rishabh and Dinesh Karthik. So they will be getting a chance to keep and bat," the chairman of Indian selectors, M. S. K. Prasad, said after announcing three India and India A squads on Friday. 

This axing means Dhoni might not play any competitive cricket after the ODI series against the Windies for more than a couple of months until mid-January, which does not bode well for him or the Indian team aiming to have all its players in top form for a shot at winning the World Cup in 2019.

Matches Dhoni will miss

Dhoni hasn't played a Ranji Trophy match for Jharkhand since retiring from Test cricket in December 2014. 

Presuming he is named in the India squad for the three ODIs against Australia, followed by eight limited-overs internationals against New Zealand (five ODIs and three T20Is), Dhoni will return to India colours only on January 12.

Prasad has assured that the door is not closed on a Dhoni return to the India T20 squad. This will be clear only when the squad for New Zealand T20Is is announced. 

India has only 17 limited-overs internationals — three more ODIs against the Windies, three T20Is and three ODIs against Australia, followed by a five-match ODI and a three-match T20I series against New Zealand — before it gets its 2019 World Cup campaign underway against South Africa on June 5.

India's limited-overs internationals before World Cup

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