Chief selector MSK Prasad was left in a spot after MS Dhoni confirmed that he will not play for Jharkhand in the knockout round of the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy. After announcing India’s squad for the ODI series against West Indies, Prasad had said that Dhoni will play for Jharkhand in the domestic tournament, however, the veteran wicket-keeper batsman denied turning up for his state team.
Dhoni has been under fire of late for his poor form with the bat. He had a brilliant Indian Premier League campaign for the Chennai Super Kings and was expected to carry his form in the limited-overs series against England. But he was far from impactful in the English conditions and ended up facing the flak of the fans and experts after his dismal performances. In the Asia Cup 2018 as well, Dhoni looked sluggish with the willow and was seemingly struggling as he bagged a duck in the opener against Hong Kong. He did manage to put on a watchful 35 against Bangladesh but that remained his only positive display in India’s title-winning unbeaten run. The 37-year-old was likely to turn up for Jharkhand in the Vijay Hazare Trophy but he decided to skip the opportunity and was seen training at the National Cricket Academy (NCA). With Jharkhand all set to lock horns with Maharashtra on Monday, we look at the reasons why Dhoni will not be a part of the tie.
MS Dhoni didn’t want to unsettle the team:
When Jharkhand coach Rajiv Kumar was asked about Dhoni’s availability, he clearly stated that the senior wicket-keeper batsman will not feature for his state side as he did not want to unsettle the team combination. With the West Indies ODI series starting from October 21, Dhoni would have got to play only one game in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, which is why he decided against it.
Reporting for the Windies ODI series:
Dhoni’s decision to skip playing for Jharkhand also had to do with the Windies ODI series as the squad has to report before the start of the five-match contest. Coach Kumar revealed that Dhoni has to report for the ODI series in Hyderabad so he might come to meet the team but will not play.
“He has to go to Hyderabad on October 16 to report for the ODI series. Maybe he will come for a day, I don’t know yet what his plan is, but so far, he is not coming,” Kumar told ESPNcricinfo.