Despite being named in the ODI squad for the South Africa series, MS Dhoni has decided to give Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 a miss and had informed the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) about the same a week ago. However, he was seen practicing with the team ahead of their opener against Tripura.
After retiring from Test cricket nearly three years ago, MS Dhoni has been an integral part of the Indian limited-overs squad and as things stand, he will continue enjoying the trust of the team management until the end of the 2019 World Cup, to say the least. However, that trust resulted in Dhoni pulling himself out of the East Zone domestic T20 tournament that has started today with Jharkhand taking on Tripura tomorrow.
Dhoni had informed the Jharkhand team management last week not to consider him for the tourney, but a source close to SportsCafe confirmed that Dhoni was seen practicing with the Jharkhand team in the nets. Apart from that, he even went to oppositions' camp - Odisha and Tripura - and was seen giving them some advice. However, interestingly, the former India skipper is not the only one to miss out. Yuzvendra Chahal, Kedar Jadhav, and Shreyas Iyer have also stayed back at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru till January 15. Earlier, Jadhav has already skipped a few rounds of Ranji Trophy games, reasoning the rehabilitation process at the NCA.
"The idea behind rescheduling this tournament was to have a good competition ahead of the IPL auctions which are scheduled on January 27. Now that these players are secured for their future, they can afford to take it a bit easy. The ODI and T20 teams for South Africa were named over a month in advance. Something which needs to be looked into. Fitness is the primary ground of selection these days and if these players are injured, how can they be named without having recovered," a top BCCI official told TOI.
Chahal has not played a single domestic game for his state Haryana this year and has been training at the NCA whenever he is not on national duty. Clearly, not happy by the same, a Haryana team source said, "This time we are told he got hurt in his finger while training and that's why he won't be a part of the Haryana team."
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