While the 37-year-old is known to keep his cards close to his chest, it seems that the ODI World Cup might just be the last time that this once-in-a-generation player dons the India blues.
The national selection committee has shown first signs of phasing him out from one of the two limited-overs formats and T20 certainly seems to be more convenient for the five wise men.
“It’s a given that Dhoni won’t be around when next ICC World T20 happens in Australia in 2020. So, there wasn’t any point continuing with him if he will not play World T20,” a senior BCCI official privy to selection policy said on Saturday.
“Obviously, the selectors and team management had a good deliberation on this issue. Both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma were present at the selection committee meeting.
“You think selectors could have gone ahead without their approval?” the official said.
In the year 2018, Dhoni played seven T20 Internationals with an unbeaten 52 off 28 balls against South Africa being the highlight.
If that innings is taken out, Dhoni has scored 71 runs off 51 balls in the remaining six matches that he has played.
It’s no secret that Dhoni is the first choice wicketkeeper for the England World Cup but a lot will depend on how he performs in the last three ODIs against West Indies.
More so because he will again be out of match practice for the next two months till India plays its next lot of ODIs from January to March.
The chairman of selectors MSK Prasad spoke about looking at a second choice keeper and the flamboyant Rishabh Pant has already earned the vote of confidence from the team management.
That precisely is the reason why selectors could risk dropping Dhoni from the shortest format.