According to reports, MS Dhoni, who last appeared for India in the World Cup 2019, is set to extend his sabbatical period till November which was earlier expected to end by mid-September. Sunil Gavaskar has stated that Dhoni should go out on his own terms instead of being pushed out.
Former Indian skipper MS Dhoni, who last appeared for India in the 2019 World Cup, is reported to have extended his sabbatical period till November. He has stayed away from India's limited-overs fixtures in West Indies and against South Africa at home. Youngster Rishabh Pant has taken over the responsibility in Dhoni's absence across all the formats of the game.
Reports had suggested World Cup 2019 to be Dhoni's final ODI appearance for India even before it had kicked off in England and Wales. Hence, Dhoni hanging his boots at the end of the tournament was more talked about than India's No.4 conundrum. But following the Men in Blue's disappointing defeat against New Zealand in the semi-finals of the tournament, Dhoni took a two-month break from international cricket. During his sabbatical period, he even spent 15 days in Kashmir to serve in the 106 Territorial Army (Para Batallion).
Dhoni's break was supposed to be till mid-September, hence ruling him out of the ODI and the T20I series in West Indies. Chief Indian selector MSK Prasad later revealed that he was "unavailable for selection" for the home series against South Africa, which India is currently part of.
On Sunday, newspaper Mumbai Mirror reported that Dhoni is now expected to extend his vacation till November, meaning he will not be part of the domestic 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy and the three-match T20I contest against Bangladesh at home in early November. What this also means is that the earliest Dhoni can now make himself available to the Indian side will be when the West Indies come visiting for a T20I series in December.
There have been plenty of speculations around Dhoni’s future, earlier this week, former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar opined that it is time for Dhoni to draw curtains on his career but without being pushed out.
"Nobody knows know what is in MSD's mind. Only he can clarify what he thinks his future with Indian cricket is. But I think with him being 38 now, India should be looking ahead. Because by the time the next T20 World Cup comes around he will be 39 years old," said Gavaskar, who has earlier said to look ahead and groom Rishabh Pant for the role as the side builds up to the T20 World Cup.
"His value to the side is always going to be fantastic. Not just the runs he will score or the stumpings he will effect. But his overall presence on the field will be calming for the captain because the captain gets the benefit of his views. So that is a huge plus. But I do believe the time has come. Everybody has a shelf life and I do believe with the greatest of respect to Dhoni and I am a fan as millions of others; I just believe he should be going without being pushed out. He should be going on his own terms," Gavaskar said.
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi