New Delhi: Former India cricketer Kris Srikkanth has said he is a huge fan and believer of MS Dhoni and added that he would like to see the wicket-keeper batsman as a part of the Indian T20 World Cup squad.
The T20 World Cup is slated to be played in Australia in October-November this year. Dhoni was slated to return to the cricket field on March 29 in the IPL's opening match between CSK and Mumbai Indians. However, the tournament has been suspended indefinitely as a precautionary measure against coronavirus.
If the IPL does not take place this year, then it would really put Dhoni's selection in doubt as the cricketer has not played since July last year.
The world knows that Dhoni last played during the 2019 World Cup. By the looks of it, it looks like IPL would not be happening soon. If there is no IPL and if India directly goes into T20 World Cup in Australia, how will selectors choose Dhoni?
Talking about Dhoni's future, Srikkanth told ANI: "Dhoni has done a lot for Indian cricket, but the last ball of yesterday is all history, you start from scratch the next day, if he plays the T20 World Cup, there will be a microscope on him. We have freedom of speech so anybody can give an opinion, I am not Sunil Joshi (national selector) so I cannot decide. I am a fan of Dhoni so I would like to see him in the squad, but it is not my call".
However, saying this, Srikkanth also said that if the IPL does not take place, it would really be difficult for Dhoni to make a comeback as he does not have any cricket behind him for almost a year.
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The former cricketer also said that KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant now have significant white-ball cricket experience behind them and they can very well edge out Dhoni when it comes to selection for the T20 World Cup.
"I would say I am lucky that I am not a selector. The world knows that Dhoni last played during the 2019 World Cup. By the looks of it, it looks like IPL would not be happening soon. If there is no IPL and if India directly goes into T20 World Cup in Australia, how will selectors choose Dhoni? The only thing that could come in his favour is that he has played a lot for the country, but this looks highly improbable according to me," Srikkanth said.
"Both Rahul and Pant have been a regular part of white-ball squad so that this can go in their favour. The odds are stacked up against Dhoni, but he can spring a surprise. The dilemma is with the spectators, it will be a huge challenge. It would be a tough call, personally I think it is stacked against Dhoni. It is a monumental task, knowing the sentiments of cricket followers in the country, it would be difficult for the selectors. If the selectors stick their neck out for Dhoni and if he doesn't perform and we do not win the World Cup, it can bring a lot of criticism towards the team and selectors," he added.
Thirty-eight-year-old Dhoni has been currently enjoying some time away from the game. He last played competitive cricket during the 2019 World Cup.
Dhoni had to face criticism for his slow batting approach during India's matches in the high-profile tournament.
Earlier this year, Dhoni did not find a place for himself in the BCCI's centrally contracted players list.
The board had released the list of central contract list of players for the period from October 2019 to September 2020.
Dhoni is the only captain to win all major ICC trophies (50-over World Cup, T20 World Cup, and Champions Trophy). Under his leadership, India also managed to attain the number one ranking in Test cricket.