Dhoni had taken time off from cricket after his last appearance in World Cup 2019 semifinal match against New Zeland in England. And after a space of one year and one month, Dhoni announced his retirement.
Pant was initially opted as India's sole wicketkeeping option across the three formats post World Cup defeat last year. But owing to a poor run of form, Sanju Samson was called as a back-up option although the management persisted with Pant as their primary choice. Later in January this year, Pant had suffered a concussion during an ODI game against Australia and Rahul substituted him as the keeper for the match, and then for the remaining series. Impressed with his skill behind the stumps and having solved India's long-standing middle-order issue, Kohli backed Rahul as their first-choice keeper in limited-overs cricket.
However, with the then uncertainty over Dhoni's return, many veterans opined that on the return of the former captain, he would take over the role behind the stumps and either of Rahul or Pant would be considered as the substitute. With Dhoni now having announced his retirement, Jones feels Pant and Rahul can have an equal chance at sealing the spot.
"After MS Dhoni retirement yesterday... I bet you KL Rahul and R Pant slept well last night!!" Jones had tweeted.
After MS Dhoni retirement yesterday... I bet you KL Rahul and R Pant slept well last night!!— Dean Jones AM (@ProfDeano) August 16, 2020
Earlier, former Indian wicketkeepers, Nayan Mongia, MSK Prasad and Deep Dasgupta, told PTI that the present situation will be a two-horse race between Rahul and Pant with Samson as the third choice.