MS Dhoni's chances of being picked in India's T20 World Cup squad is "very, very bleak" if the 13th edition of IPL doesn't take place this season, former chairman of selectors Kris Srikkanth said recently. Former England captain Nasser Hussain, although, said that he still has a lot of cricket in him to offer. But Srikkanth said he couldn't be diplomatic about the topic anymore.
"I am not going to be diplomatic. I am talking about if I was the chairman of the selection committee, what would I do. If the IPL does not happen then his (Dhoni's) chances are very, very bleak," said Srikkanth on Star Sports' show Cricket Connected.
MS Dhoni was last seen in blue in the Cricket World Cup semi-final against New Zealand last July where India lost to them. However, Srikkanth said that the interest of the team should get the priority before an individual, even if it involves the world cup winning captain like MS Dhoni.
He said, "Because straightaway, in my opinion, KL Rahul will be the wicket keeper-batsman. Rishabh Pant, I still think he might be a bit of a doubt, but I believe that Rishabh Pant is highly talented. So, I wouldn't mind taking him along with the squad, but definitely if the IPL doesn't happen, then Dhoni will have a difficult time getting back into the team for the T20 World Cup."
On the other hand, India coach Ravi Shastri had said that the IPL will be the stage for Dhoni to return in the side before the T20 World Cup which is scheduled to take place in Australia later this year. Meanwhile, Hussain felt that Dhoni shouldn't be "pushed into retirement".
"Once Dhoni is gone, there is no getting him back. There are some legends of the game, appreciating while around, because they are once-in-a-generation cricketer and don't push him into retirement too early. Only Dhoni knows his mental state and in the end the selectors select and players turn up when asked to," the 52-year-old Nasser Hussain said.
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