Amongst all that is happening in cricketing, one thing that the Indian cricketing fandom is majorly focused on is- what is the future of Mahendra Singh Dhoni? The former Team India skipper has been absent from international duty since the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, and while various speculations have risen regarding his return with the blue jersey, even Ravi Shastri had expressed his dissent towards the gossipers earlier. Now, the head coach of the team has dropped a bomb, saying that Dhoni’s hiatus may become permanent without a stunning spell in this year’s Indian Premier League.
Back in December, Shastri hit back on the rumourers who were spreading hearsays about Dhoni’s possible future plans.
“The amount of sport he has played… if he puts himself in contention… if he feels after the IPL that ‘I am good enough to play for India’, don’t mess around with that,” Shastri told India Today.
While we have entered the month of Janaury, and there is still no word from Mahi himself, who asked the media to refrain from questioning about his plans till this month, its Shastri himself who have opened up on the former captain’s future in the sport.
Speaking to CNN News18 today, the 57 year old suggested that Dhoni has already spoken to him about his future in One Day International Cricket.
“I have had a conversation with MS and that is between us. He has finished his Test career, he may soon end his ODI career… In all probability, he will finish one-day cricket,” Shastri spoke to reporters.
Along with a decorative career in red ball cricket, Dhoni has had an amazing walk in the T20 format, which started with lifting the 2007 ICC T20 World Cup as a maiden captain. Although Shastri thinks T20 maybe is the last resort for the 38 year old.
He continued: “At his age, probably the only format he’ll want to play is T20 cricket which means he’ll have to start playing again, get back into the groove because he’s going to play in the IPL and see how his body reacts.”
Dhoni, who has earned an astounding 350 caps in the ODI format, is speculated to make a comeback to the 22 yards this year with Chennai Super Kings, and according to Shastri, a good performance in the 2020 IPL season may be his gateway back to the Men in Blues squad.
“… So he will be left with T20, he will definitely play the IPL. One thing I know about Dhoni is that he will not impose himself on the team. But if he has a cracking IPL, well, then…”
The 2020 IPL season, starting on March 29, is definitely turning out to be a decisive step in Dhoni’s cricketing career.