With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) looking to set up a national camp for its top cricketers starting sometime next week to gear them up for the international fixture that will follow post the coronavirus lockdown, speculations have begun on whether the management will call upon former India captain MS Dhoni for the six-week-long camp.
Dhoni last played for India in the team's World Cup 2019 semifinal exit in England. Even while India played several T20I and ODI matches at home and away with the management desperately looking to narrow in on their final 15 for the World T20, Dhoni made himself available for none.
He had initially taken a two-week sabbatical to be part of his army regiment and then looked to stay away from international and domestic fixtures with veterans and analysts predicting his future in the Indian team.
He had, however, made himself available for IPL 2020 and had even reached Chennai to prepare himself up. In fact, he looked in sublime form, according to his teammates. The IPL was considered to be the tournament that would decide his future in the Indian team. But the speculations surrounding his next appearance for the Men in Blue and his retirement continued following the postponement of IPL.
BCCI is now looking for a safe window sometime after the third week of July. If they fail to find a window then the players will go to their respective IPL camps later in the year.
But the question now arises on Dhoni's future and whether BCCI would pick him for the post-lockdown camp given that he has been dropped from the central contracts list.
A senior official privy to selection matters told PTI that it would be rather surprising if Dhoni finds his name on the list given that he has not been part of the team for almost a year.
"He hasn't played for one year. You haven't seen in what shape he is right now. He is not in central contracts and he wasn't even picked for the T20s against West Indies last year. Still if he is called for a camp, it will be surprising," the official said.