Dhoni is still a prized possession if fit: Wasim Jaffer
Former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer opined that India could continue with the services of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the upcoming T20 World Cup, given that he is still fit. Jaffer, who announced his retirement earlier this month, believes Dhoni's presence in the team will not only bring experience, but also ward off pressure from KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant. Here is what Jaffer said.
Dhoni hasn't featured for Team India since July 2019
Dhoni has been away from competitive cricket since India's semi-final exit from the ICC World Cup 2019. The World Cup-winning captain, who completed his two-week stint in the Indian army as a part of his prolonged sabbatical, later made himself unavailable for several bilateral limited-overs series. The 38-year-old was also removed from the list of centrally contracted players earlier.
Dhoni will always be an asset behind stumps, feels Jaffer
"If Dhoni is fit, we can't look beyond him as he'll be an asset behind the stumps and also lower down the order. It'll take the pressure of keeping off Rahul and India can play Pant as a batsman," Jaffer said in a tweet.
IPL 2020 will be his mini audition for comeback
Dhoni's highly-anticipated return has been brushed aside for a while as the IPL has been deferred to April 15. The impending IPL edition was deemed his final audition before the all-important T20 World Cup. Besides, Dhoni was seen practicing in the training camps of Chennai Super Kings at the MA Chidambaram Stadium earlier this month. However, he later departed after the cancellation of camps.
Rahul has been primed as regular wicket-keeper in limited-overs
Rishabh Pant lost his place in the limited overs format to KL Rahul after the Australia ODI series. Meanwhile, Rahul has been in sublime touch with the bat, having donned the wicket-keeping gloves of late. Pant recently had a forgettable New Zealand tour in the whites. Both Rahul and Pant will have to play as specialist batsmen if Dhoni gets back in the mix.
'IPL will be massive for Dhoni', Shastri had stated
Indian head coach Ravi Shastri earlier asserted that IPL will clear the air about Dhoni's comeback in international cricket. "It all depends on how he plays during IPL. What is the form of those players as opposed to Dhoni's form," Shastri had told IANS. He added, "The IPL becomes a massive tournament because that could be the last tournament after which 15 is decided."
Jaffer gave his opinion about Dhoni on twitter
If Dhoni is fit and in form I think we can't look beyond him as he'll be an asset behind the stumps and also lower down the order. It'll take the pressure of keeping off Rahul and India can play Pant as a batsman too if they want a lefty. #Dhoni #MSDhoni #IPL2020 pic.twitter.com/6ndDfdhkap— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) March 18, 2020