MS Dhoni's future has been widely discussed and dissected since over a year now, with many believing that the ICC 2019 World Cup in May-June would be his swansong tourney in international cricket.
However, more than five months after India's exit from the tournament, there is no clarity over the future of the former India captain. Amid this, Dhoni's time away from international cricket has only added to the confusion surrounding the future of his career.
Dhoni barely interacts with the media, and so the query over his future has been regularly possessed to captain Virat Kohli and chief selector MSK Prasad, and now to head coach Ravi Shastri.
"Why are people in a hurry to see him off?," Shastri asked rhetorically in an interview with Times of India. "Maybe, they don’t find enough talking points. He and everybody who knows him know he’ll be going away soon. So, let it happen when it has to. Making statements at his expense is downright disrespectful."
To underline his point, Shastri pointed out to Dhoni's decision to call time in Test cricket in 2014.
"When he retired from Test cricket, what did he say? That Wriddhiman Saha was good enough to be handed over the wicket-keeping gloves. He was correct. He’s been a shadow when it comes to the team, always sharing his mind, lending his views," he told.
On Thursday, MSK Prasad's press conference in Mumbai while announcing India's T20I squad for upcoming series against Bangladesh, offered clarity from selectors' perspective, when his clear message was that they have 'moved on' after the World Cup and are now investing in young wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant, with an aim to groom him into an established international player.
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MS Dhoni had been appointed mentor to the Indian team for the T20 World Cup during the squad announcement by BCCI last month
India will clash against Pakistan in their main event lung-opener on Sunday. The tournament will be Virat Kohli's last as skipper in the format besides being the swan-song for head coach Ravi Shastri.
Nasser Hussain also highlighted India's poor track record in the knockout stages of recent ICC events.