The speculation over MS Dhoni’s future in international cricket has continued with the former captain refusing to release a statement to silence the rumours. The BCCI did not select MS Dhoni in the ODI or T20 squad that will tour the West Indies in August, stating that prior to the 2019 World Cup, Dhoni had requested a two month leave of absence to fulfil his duties with the Indian army.
Dhoni To Play Till T20 World Cup?
There is a possibility that MS Dhoni could retire from ODI cricket but continue to play T20 cricket atleast till the next T20 World cup which is scheduled to take place in 2020. Rumours suggest that Indian captain Virat Kohli is the one who has asked Dhoni to continue playing T20 cricket as his experience in the team will be of immense value to young R Pant whom the selectors are trying to groom to take over Dhoni’s role.
While these rumours have not been confirmed, Kohli apparently believes that Dhoni can continue to play T20 cricket as he has not had any fitness issues and he can continue to provide immense value to the T20 squad. The T20 World Cup is scheduled to take place in Australia from 18 October to 15 November, 2020.
Should these rumours be true, then Dhoni will take on the role of grooming R Pant in the next 15 months which will be good for R Pant but will it be good for Indian cricket? This is the question that the selectors need to answer as MS Dhoni is no longer the player that he once was and his batting has come under heavy scrutiny.
No 7 Number Could Be Retired – Unofficially
While MS Dhoni is not expected to retire anytime soon, the number 7 which he wears on his ODI and T20 jersey will most likely be retired – unofficially. The World Test Championship will now require players to have their names and numbers featured on the back of their shirts.
No Indian player wears the number 10 as a mark of respect to Sachin Tendulkar who used to wear the number 10 on his jersey. The same mark of respect will be given to the number 7 that MS Dhoni wears in ODI and T20 cricket. Technically players can use the number 7 on their test jersey since Dhoni has retired from test cricket. However, given the amount of respect he commands in the team, we can unofficially consider the number 7 retired!