Former Indian cricketer Sandeep Patil has expressed his concern over MS Dhoni's uncertain future with the Indian cricket team and wants the former skipper and the selectors to spell out their plan for World T20 in this regard. Patil also spoke about the injustice done to the likes of Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan with the team management constant backing of Rishabh Pant despite his faltering performances.
Sandeep, who has previously served as India's cheif of selection committee, did admit that Dhoni is the best option as India's glovesmen for the imepdning ICC tournament, but his prolonged absence from the game is his real concern.
Dhoni last appeared for India in their semifinal loss to New Zealand in Manchester in World Cup 2019. Since then, India played against South Africa, Bangladesh, West Indies at home and are presently in a series against Sri Lanka, but Dhoni has been part of none. He will also not be part of the ODI series against Australia that follows next. However, he was spotted in the nets a few times by reporters in Ranchi.
"Another worry for Indian selectors now constantly is about who will bell the cat called Mahendra Singh Dhoni. It is the responsibility of Dhoni and the Indian selectors to spell out their plans." Sandeep wrote in his column for The Quint.
"We don't want Indian cricket to suffer because of the question mark on Mahendra Singh Dhoni's return. In my mind, Dhoni is still the best option for a keeper for India but to survive at the international level, one has to play quality cricket consistently and that is the biggest worry in Mahendra Singh Dhoni's case.
"Coach Shastri and captain Virat Kohli have both voiced their opinion about him and now it is up to the selectors to take a call- are they going to wait for Mahendra Singh Dhoni to make a comeback or will they wait for Rishabh Pant to perform or are they going to give a chance to Wridhiman Saha in formats other than just Test cricket."
Sandeep also talked about the team management persisting with Pant who averaged just 21 in T20Is from the 252 runs he scored in 16 games. The selectors did call-up Samson twice - against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka - but did not give him a chance.
"Rishabh Pant has tremendous ability but by persistently backing only one youngster are our selectors doing injustice to other talents like Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan," Patil wrote. "How many chances and how many more games are the selectors going to give to Rishabh Pant? And if Mahendra Singh Dhoni returns to international cricket, are we going to forget Rishabh Pant?"