Mumbai, April 12 (IANS) The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League was set to be a testing ground for former skipper M.S. Dhoni. While some felt he was past his prime, head coach Ravi Shastri had made it clear that the IPL will decide Dhonis fate along with some others who were vying for a spot in the team for the T20 World Cup at the end of the year.
Speaking on Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected, Krishnamachari Srikkanth said: “I am not going to be diplomatic. I am talking about if I was the chairman of the selection committee, what would I do. If the IPL does not happen then his chances are very, very bleak. Because straightaway, in my opinion, K.L. Rahul will be the wicketkeeper-batsman. Rishabh Pant, I still think he might be a bit of a doubt, but I believe that Rishabh Pant is highly talented.
“So, I wouldn’t mind taking him along with the squad, but definitely, if the IPL doesn’t happen, then Dhoni will have a difficult time getting back into the team for the T20 World Cup. Let’s be very honest about it. He is absolutely fit, he is a legend, he is brilliant. I am a great fan of Dhoni myself. But the question is for the World Cup team. So you’ll have to put the Indian team first and then the individuals.”
Speaking to IANS, Shastri had earlier said: “It all depends on when he starts playing and how he is playing during the IPL. What are the other people doing with the wicket-keeping gloves or what is the form of those players as opposed to Dhoni’s form. The IPL becomes a massive tournament because that could be the last tournament after which more or less your 15 is decided.
“There might be one player who might be there and thereabouts in case of an injury or whatever. But your team I would say would be known after the IPL. What I would say is rather than speculating of who is where, wait for the IPL to get over and then you are in a position to take a call on who are the best 17 in the country.”