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Reports: MS Dhoni No More First Choice Wicket-Keeper Batsman

Veteran wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni and his immediate future is being discussed ever since India has been crashed out the 2019 World Cup. There’s been a lot of speculation about his retirement and the sources have already confirmed that he won’t be travelling to the West Indies for three T20Is and as many ODIs. But the veteran won’t be retiring either and will be participating in Indian cricket’s transitioning phase. Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik are the two other wicket-keepers who are most likely to take up the duties behind the stumps now.

Looking at the long term goal, the former will be hogging the limelight more with the T20 World Cup to be played in Australia next year in October. The selectors are set to pick the limited-overs squad for the West Indies tour on Thursday (July 18) and will discuss Karthik’s future as well. MS Dhoni will groom Pant ahead of the T20 World Cup in 2020 and the former India captain will also help the team in smooth transitioning. “Pant will be 22 this October. There’s a World T20 scheduled in Australia by the time he turns 23. He’s shown the right potential and also has some work to do. A year is a good time to undergo that transition,” the source was quoted as saying by the Times of India.

Rishabh Pant will take over

“MS will not go to the West Indies. Going forward, he will not travel with the team within India or overseas as the first-choice wicketkeeper. Rishabh Pant will take over and there will be a grooming window for him until he settles down. During this time, MS will help in the transition. For all you know, he could be part of the 15 but not part of the 11.

“This team needs a guiding hand on multiple fronts and wishing MS away is clearly unhealthy. He’s already proved himself to be the kind of guy who preferred ‘why’ more than ‘when’ where his career graph is concerned. He’ll go, but what’s the hurry? ” the source further said.

At the same time, the ones close to the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) believe that MS Dhoni will have to look after the franchise’s transition as well and can’t just retire like that. He is set to play in the IPL next year and then might call it a day from the T20 tournament.

“MS can’t just walk away like that. The Super Kings ride on him and he’s the franchise’s backbone. Not just the Indian team, he has to oversee a transition there too. After all, it’s been more than a decade-long association with them,” the source added.