Friday, 4 December 2020

Dhoni unlikely for South Africa T20 as selectors ready to persist with Pant

REUTERS / Adnan Abidi

NEW DELHI: Mahendra Singh Dhoni may have put his international retirement on hold but he is unlikely to be selected for India’s three-match T20 home series against South Africa starting September 15 in Dharamsala.

The team for the series is expected to be picked on September 4. The remaining two games will be played at Mohali (September 18) and Bengaluru (September 22).

In all likelihood, the squad that blanked West Indies 3-0 is likely to be retained (subject to fitness) and the selection committee wants to continue building towards World T20 in Australia in October 2020.

“There are only 22 T20 Internationals before India play their first World T20 game and selectors are clear in their vision that it’s time to move forward,” a senior BCCI official privy to developments in selection committee told PTI on Wednesday.

“They are planning on getting a pool of three keepers ready for limited overs, especially T20s,” he added.

It is still not clear whether the BCCI brass or the selection committee will speak to Dhoni to enquire about his plans like they did before the West Indies tour when the former captain informed that he would be taking a break to serve his regiment in Territorial Army.

“Retirement is an individual decision and selectors or for that matter, no one has any right to decide on that front. But they have every right to decide the roadmap for the 2020 World T20 and that’s to give Rishabh Pant maximum chances,” the official explained.

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