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IPL form could decide Dhoni’s international future: Ravi Shastri

Team India head coach Ravi Shastri has said that MS Dhoni’s future in the Indian team could depend on his performance in the 2020 IPL. The senior wicketkeeper-batsman hasn’t played an international match since featuring in this year’s World Cup semi-final against New Zealand.

In Dhoni’s absence, young Rishabh Pant has taken up the wicketkeeping duties in limited-overs cricket, a clear indication of the team management’s plan of moving on from the veteran. As far as Tests is concerned, Dhoni’s retirement in 2014 had paved the way for a replacement spot long ago, which is currently occupied by another veteran Wriddhiman Saha.

While BCCI chief selector MSK Prasad earlier hinted towards his exit, newly-elected President Sourav Ganguly reiterated that the decision to retire solely belongs to the former India captain. In a new twist, coach Shastri has now offered a ray of hope to the cricketer in the T20I setup, keeping in mind India’s preparations for the upcoming T20 World Cup.

Dhoni’s international break continued after he was excluded from the West Indies series as well. However, the batsman was recently spotted practising with his Jharkhand teammates in the nets, sparking debates about his potential return to the international fold.

The T20 World Cup is slated to begin in October next year, approximately four to five months after the 12th edition of the IPL. Having already made himself comfortable in the T20I team, Pant should ideally be the first-choice keeper for India going forward. It will be interesting to see whether Dhoni’s form in the IPL introduces another plot twist in the Indian team.

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