MS Dhoni not dropped: Virat Kohli backs ex captain after T20I snub

first_imgVirat Kohli crushed all talks of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s T20 career coming to an end after he was overlooked for the T20I series against West Indies and Australia.On Thursday, speaking at the post-match press conference regarding the issue, he said that the selectors have already discussed this at length and he has nothing to add. He went on to add that Dhoni remains an integral part of the limited-overs team.”I think the selector has already explained what happened and I don’t think I need to sit here and explain it more. I wasn’t a part of that conversation but it is not what people are making out of it. I can assure you that he [Dhoni] is still a very integral part of this team and it was only about giving chance to others.The selector felt that in T20 format, Rishabh Pant can be given a chance, he [Dhoni] anyway plays ODIs for us regularly. It was about giving a chances to a youngster and it has nothing to do with what people are thinking and I as a captain can certainly assure you that,” Kohli said.WATCH VIDEOThe MSK Prasad-led selection committee announced the teams for the two T20 series against West Indies and Australia before the third ODI and Dhoni’s exclusion from the team came as a major shock. The selectors and Kohli maintained that Dhoni remains an integral part of the limited-overs side (AP Photo)Dhoni was left out of both the squads and Rishabh Pant was the designated wicket-keeper for the occasions while Dinesh Karthik was being looked as a back-up keeper according to Prasad.Also read – Kohli, Rohit part of meeting where Dhoni was dropped. What lies ahead for ex-captain?advertisement”He [Dhoni] is not going to be play the six T20Is [West Indies and Australia] because we are looking at the second keeper’s slot. So I think we will retain Rishabh [Pant] and Dinesh Karthik. So they will be getting a chance to keep and bat,” Prasad said.But, according to a close member of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Dhoni was dropped from the squad because of his inconsistency.Also read – MS Dhoni faces the biggest test of his career as World Cup looms closer”It’s a given that Dhoni won’t be around when next ICC World T20 happens in Australia in 2020. So, there wasn’t any point continuing with him if he will not play World T20,” a senior BCCI official privy to selection policy told news agency PTI on Saturday.”Obviously, the selectors and team management had a good deliberation on this issue. Both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma were present at the selection committee meeting.”You think selectors could have gone ahead without their approval?” the official added.Also read – Believe it or not: MS Dhoni has been dropped. Here is why it happenedBut, Kohli’s comments on Thursday proves that the matter is nothing that is advertised and speculated and Dhoni’s career in the shortest format of the game is not over.However, for Dhoni to make a comeback in the T20 squad, it will be a long road ahead as India have very few T20I games scheduled after the Australia series. Following the T20I and Test series against Australia, India will only play five ODIs against Australia and New Zealand each and three T20Is against the Black Caps following the completion of the T20 series against them.And if he isn’t’ selected for the T20Is against New Zealand, will get to play the five ODIs against New Zealand and Indian Premier League before the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.Kohli also spoke about the issues that the Indian team needed to address and according to him, they were taken care of in this series.”Change-room atmosphere is very important, and when you play like that, the energy is always good. Everyone wants to be part of it. Two areas I can think of (World Cup plans): third seamer – Khaleel has been outstanding.”Rayudu has also taken responsibility at No.4. God forbid anything happens to Bhuvi or Bumrah, good to have Khaleel who can come in and take wickets. Those two areas we’re looking at. And those two have been addressed,” Kohli said in the post-match interview.last_img

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