Mahendra Singh Dhoni's retirement has been a talking point ever since India got knocked out by New Zealand in the semi-final of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Speculation has been rife that the legendary wicket-keeper batsman walked off the ground for the last time in international cricket when he was run-out against the Blackcaps. However, there has been no official announcement. In fact, just ahead of the West Indies tour, Dhoni sought a two-month sabbatical to serve his regiment in the armed forces. It is now being said that while Dhoni is not retiring, he 'won't be in the scheme of things.' No Clarity on MS Dhoni Retirement as Selector MSK Prasad Remains Tight-Lipped, Says 'We Have Already Started Grooming Youngsters'.
According to a Time of India report, Chief Selector MSK Prasad himself had a discussion with the wicket-keeper batsman about his plans. Keeping the ICC World T20 in mind, Dhoni opted not to retire now but was reportedly told that "he’s not in the scheme of things any more." Eventually, the selectors "want to concentrate on the future and groom young players for upcoming international assignments." MS Dhoni's Request to Train With Parachute Regiment Approved by Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat, Check Details.
Meanwhile, with the 38-year-old also opting not to tour West Indies with the team and instead choosing to serve the territorial army, the selectors are likely to give the opportunity to Rishabh Pant to don the gloves across all formats of the game.
The 21-year-old wicket-keeper has already played some blistering knocks in international cricket and earned himself a reputation of power-hitter. However, Pant’s skills with the gloves are still something that need to be seen. The selectors also mentioned that with Pant being the first choice keeper across formats, the likes of Wriddhiman Saha and KS Bharat will also be brought into the picture to manage the stress load.
With his great striking ability, Pant is certainly a tempting option and the southpaw also featured in the recently concluded ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The left-handed batsman played a couple of decent knocks but wasn’t able to capitalise on the starts he got. The latter also got criticised for playing an irresponsible shot in the semi-final against New Zealand.
However, the Delhi-born keeper grabbed a spot in all the three formats in the upcoming tour of West Indies. The latter will want to display his best show both in front of and behind the stumps in the matches against the men in maroon. Filling the big boots of MS Dhoni is certainly not an easy job, but Pant will want to give his best to prove his mettle.