MS Dhoni has not played for India since the World Cup semi-final exit against New Zealand. © AFP
Former India opener and domestic legend Wasim Jaffer has said that going into the T20 World Cup, Team India cannot look beyond veteran wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni, if he is fit and in form. Jaffer, who announced his retirement from all forms of the game earlier this month, claimed Dhoni’s inclusion could ease the pressure on KL Rahul or Rishabh Pant, who are currently sharing the gloves for Team India in limited-overs cricket. “If Dhoni is fit and in form I think we can’t look beyond him as he’ll be an asset behind the stumps and also lower down the order. It’ll take the pressure of keeping off Rahul and India can play Pant as a batsman too if they want a lefty,” Jaffer said in a tweet.
Dhoni, 38, last played for India at the 2019 World Cup in England where the Men in Blue were knocked out in the semi-finals. Since then, he has been on a sabbatical and is due to appear on the cricket field in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
India head coach Ravi Shastri has already stated that Dhoni’s selection depends on his performance in IPL.
“It all depends on when he starts playing and how he is playing during the IPL. What are the other people doing with the wicket-keeping gloves or what is the form of those players as opposed to Dhoni’s form. The IPL becomes a massive tournament because that could be the last tournament after which more or less your 15 is decided,” Shastri had told IANS in November last year.
“There might be one player who might be there and thereabouts in case of an injury or whatever. But your team I would say would be known after the IPL. What I would say is rather than speculating of who is where, wait for the IPL to get over and then you are in a position to take a call on who are the best 17 in the country,” he had added.
The IPL 2020 edition, originally due to start on March 29, has been postponed till April 15 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
- The T20 World Cup is scheduled to start in October
- Wasim Jaffer said India should call up MS Dhoni if he is fit and in form
- Dhoni last played for India in the 2019 World Cup semi-final