T20 World Cup could be M. S. Dhoni’s swansong - childhood coach

The “fully fit” wicketkeeper-batsman could be back in action even if the IPL is cancelled, says Keshav Ranjan Banerjee.

M. S. Dhoni, the Chennai Super Kings captain, hasn’t played a single domestic or international tournament since the 50-over World Cup last year.   -  K. R. Deepak

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Indian Premier League could be postponed or cancelled, but M. S. Dhoni could return to action in India colours, says his childhood coach Keshav Ranjan Banerjee.

Banerjee remains hopeful Dhoni will be picked for the T20 World Cup.

“In the current scenario, IPL looks unlikely and we will have to wait for BCCI’s call. [Dhoni’s] position will become tough obviously. But my sixth sense says he will get a chance in the T20 World Cup, which will be his last [tournament],” Banerjee told PTI from Ranchi.

'Fully fit'

Dhoni trained in Ranchi in the lead-up to the IPL 2020 and led the training camp of the Chennai Super Kings in Chennai before the league was postponed until April 15 owing to COVID-19. “I spoke to him last after he returned from Chennai and I’m in constant touch with his parents. He’s doing his fitness training and is fully fit. Now let’s wait for the BCCI’s decision. There’s no tournament. ICC tournaments are off till June. So we will have to wait and see,” Banerjee said.

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Ravi Shastri, the India head coach, had said the IPL this year would decide the fate of Dhoni, who will turn 39 in July. As there are doubts about when and whether the tournament will be held, Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag, among others, expressed their doubts about the return of the 2011-World-Cup-winning India captain.

“[It's] true that he has not played a tournament [since July, 2019] but for someone with 538 international matches, I don’t think it would take much time to adjust. It would have been a different scenario for a beginner. But it’s not the case with Dhoni; he has got a wealth of experience. I think he will get a last chance,” maintained Banerjee.

“Now everything is closed in Ranchi, earlier he would train at the [Jharkhand State Cricket Association]. But now he’s confined at home and making use of the facilities at home. He has a gym, a badminton court, and a running corridor. I’m sure BCCI (president, selectors, and captain) are aware of the scenario. They will make the announcement when it’s the right time,” Banerjee said.

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