Chief selector MSK Prasad clarified the selectors' stance on the situation and said India are grooming Rishabh Pant in the absence of MS Dhoni.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni opted out of India's tour of West Indies and it was understood that it is perhaps the end of the road for the former World Cup-winning captain. However, chief selector MSK Prasad crushed all the speculation and provided an update.
On Sunday, Prasad clarified in the press conference that Dhoni has asked for some time off and in the meantime, India are preparing to groom Rishabh Pant, who is believed to be taking over the mantle from the veteran.
"He [MS Dhoni] is unavailable for this series. he has expressed his unavailability. Having said that, We have certain road maps till the World Cup. Subsequently, post the World Cup, we have laid down few more plans. We thought of giving as many opportunities to Rishabh Pant to see he is groomed. That's our plan right now," Prasad told the press in Mumbai on Sunday.
However, when asked if he has any idea about when Dhoni is hanging up his boots from international cricket, he said a legend like Dhoni, knows when to do what.
"Retirement is purely individual. A legendary cricketer like MS Dhoni...he knows when to retire. But as far as the future roadmap is considered, that is in the hands of the selectors," Prasad said.
Dhoni is believed to be spending some time with the Armed Forces.
An Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment of the Territorial Army, it is learnt that Dhoni will be spending the better part of the next two months with his regiment.
A top BCCI official confirmed the development.
Meanwhile, India went with a youthful squad in T20Is while it was more of an experienced one in ODIs.
Shikhar Dhawan made a comeback to India's limited-overs squad after recovering from a thumb fracture while rookie leg-spinner Rahul Chahar and Navdeep Saini also got their maiden call ups in T20I cricket. Saini was also included in the ODI squad while Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were left out of the T20I squads.
India have also included Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer in the limited-overs squads as the Men in Blue look for a new backbone in the coloured clothing.
T20Is: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (VC), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (WK), Krunal Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini
ODIs: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (VC), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kedar Jadhav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Navdeep Saini