The speculations surrounding Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s retirement seem to grow with each passing day. While many anticipated that he would call it a day right after the ICC World Cup 2019, the speculations got extended further after Dhoni took a two-month sabbatical to serve the Indian army.
Meanwhile, former India captain Sourav Ganguly feels that it entirely depends on the team management and what they are thinking about the future of Indian cricket. “To be honest, I don’t know. It depends on the way the team management thinks, the way the selectors think. Obviously, Dhoni is not young anymore, so this decision comes in everybody’s life at some stage or the other,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by a leading sports magazine.
The CAB President even suggested that the air would not be clear in another three or four months as Dhoni has made himself unavailable for selection till the end of September. He said, “We will have to wait and see for another three or four months to understand where it goes.” After the Twenty-20 International home series against South Africa in September, the Virat Kohli-led side will next play in coloured jersey against Bangladesh in November.
Talking about what could be the future for Indian cricket without Dhoni, Ganguly said that Rishabh Pant would be the go-to person as Dhoni’s replacement. “Obviously, Rishabh (Pant) is in. He plays well. (But in the end), it all depends on the mindset of the selectors and what they think. It’s about whether they want to look at the future. Only time will tell.” Meanwhile, the selectors have already communicated to Dhoni, who made his international debut under Ganguly’s captaincy, that he won’t be the first-choice wicket-keeper anymore.
21-year-old Pant made his international debut in 2017 with the T20I team and followed it up with his Test and ODI debut in 2018. Right after making his Test debut, he scored two Test centuries and both came in away conditions. While he made his maiden Test ton in England, the other was in Australia late in 2018.