NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Long-serving India wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni may quit one-day internationals soon but could still be in contention for a place in the country’s squad for the Twenty20 World Cup, coach Ravi Shastri said.
Dhoni, who will turn 39 in July, quit test cricket in 2014 and has not played for India since taking a break after the team’s semi-finals exit at the 50-overs World Cup in July last year.
The phlegmatic former India captain has steadfastly refused to elaborate on his future and is set to return to action at the Indian Premier League (IPL), which is likely to begin in March.
A good outing in the franchise-based Twenty20 league could see him join Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson in a three-way race for the stumper’s role in the World Cup in Australia.
“He has finished (playing) test match cricket. In all probability, he will finish one-day cricket. At his age I think, the only format he will want to play is T20,” Shastri told CNN-News18 channel.
“If he feels, when he comes back, that something is not right, he will quit...But if he has a cracking IPL season then, you know...”
“Then it’s the selectors’ job to see what they want to do. But if he does a great job, I’m sure he puts himself into contention.”
Asked what if all three stumpers impress in the IPL, Shastri hinted Dhoni’s experience might clinch it for him even though Pant might still play purely as a batsman.
“You have to see, who will do the job at what number at what role,” Shastri said.
“Whose experience will you take into account? Will you take youth or flamboyance into account? Who fits in to that number the best? If we are playing in Australia, who will adapt to that condition the best?”
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Michael Perry