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MS Dhoni has once again made himself unavailable for the upcoming home T20I series against South Africa. Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly has recently claimed that he didn’t expect Dhoni for the forthcoming T20I series.
Since the conclusion of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, MS Dhoni hasn’t made himself available for the national team selection in limited-overs cricket. Due to this reason, Dhoni has highly entered into the retirement speculation.
Due to his Indian Army commitment, MS Dhoni missed the limited-overs series against Windies in the USA and West Indies tour. Youngster Rishabh Pant has handled the wicketkeeping role in the entire tour, including the Test series.
Many believed that Dhoni would return to the national squad during the upcoming home T20I series against South Africa. But once again he has reportedly made himself unavailable for this T20I series as Pant will continue the wicketkeeping role.
Sourav Ganguly was also not expecting MS Dhoni in the upcoming T20I series. Ganguly feels that the selectors have rightly decided to continue with Pant for the forthcoming T20I series.
According to PTI, Ganguly said, “No, I didn’t expect him to be picked for this series (against South Africa).
“You could make out from West Indies (T20) series, that they (team management) wanted to give Rishabh a chance. They want to pursue with him, which is rightly so. Because when MS came in young, he was also persisted with.”
Virat Kohli is very important as to what he is communicating to MS Dhoni
Due to his recent unavailability, MS Dhoni is highly under the retirement speculation. Ganguly believes that the Indian captain Virat Kohli is important in this matter. The former Indian captain also said that no one should make an unnecessary comment on Dhoni’s future.
Ganguly added, “I think Virat is very important as to what he is communicating to Dhoni. What he (Kohli) expects of him (Dhoni) is very hard to say. But I don’t think anybody should jump the gun and pass a statement.”
If Virat and team management expects Dhoni to comeback and play, he will play – Sourav Ganguly
In international cricket history, MS Dhoni is one of the successful cricketers. He has achieved success in almost every role – as a captain, batsman cum finisher, wicketkeeper etc. Not only the Indian fans, but the world cricket fans also love and respect MS Dhoni.
Talking about Dhoni’s retirement, Ganguly claimed that it came for every athlete, including the greatest one. The former Indian captain also feels that Virat Kohli, team management and the selectors will play the essential roles in Dhoni’s cricket future.
Ganguly said, “For every cricketer, there comes a stage and it hasn’t left any athlete –whether its Maradona, Sampras, Tendulkar and now Dhoni. When you get to that sort of an age, you will get to that kind of a situation.
“If Virat and team management expects Dhoni to comeback and play, he will play, if they feel like moving forward, they would move forward. Of course, the selectors will also play an important role.”
Ganguly has also added that Dhoni is a special breed in Indian cricket.
The 47-year-old former Indian captain said, “There is no elephant in the room. Rishabh is no MS Dhoni and will not become MS Dhoni in the next 3-4 years. It took 15 years for MS Dhoni to become “the MS Dhoni”. Dhoni is a special breed in Indian cricket.”
Rishabh Pant is special
Meanwhile, many have felt disappointed with Rishabh Pant‘s recent performances. At present, he is struggling to capitalise his starts. During the first Test in the ongoing Caribbean tour at Antigua, Pant scored 24 and seven runs.
However, Sourav Ganguly backed the youngster. Ganguly called Pant as a special cricketer and reminded his performances in the previous Test matches.
The Delhi Capitals’ advisor said, “I was reading somewhere after he failed in just two innings in the first Test match, that whether he will play the next Test match. I said “what?”, this fellow got a hundred, only one Test ago (in Australia) and a couple of 92s few matches before that (against West Indies). He is special although I won’t compare him with Dhoni.”
After a long time, the wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha has entered the national Test squad in the ongoing Caribbean tour. However, he hasn’t been included in the Test playing XI yet. Ganguly feels that Saha will have to wait for his return to the Test playing XI.
Ganguly said, “Wriddhiman will have to wait for his chance. Age doesn’t matter here.”
Saha played a Test match last time during the Cape Town Test against South Africa in January 2018. Since then, he battled against the injuries before his latest Test return.
Virat is a tremendous captain and he is getting better and better – Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly has also praised Virat Kohli for his gradual improvement in captaincy. Recently, Kohli surpassed Ganguly in the most away Test victories as an Indian captain. Kohli is just one win away to become the most successful Test captain for India (according to the number of victories.
Ganguly said, “Virat is a tremendous captain and he is getting better and better. He was criticised when he wasn’t doing well for RCB in the IPL and even then I had said that I believe he is a good captain. I think he has progressed well.”
However, Ganguly has been surprised by the Windies’ approach in Test cricket. In both the Test matches against India in this series, Windies captain Jason Holder decided to field first after winning the toss.