While the national selectors are still unsure about the future of MS Dhoni in international cricket after India’s exit from the World Cup, they are chances that he will be rested from India’s next international assignment – a tour of the West Indies starting on August 3 with three T20Is. They will also be playing three ODIs and two Tests. As per the reports of CricketNext, including skipper Virat Kohli and pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah as well as all-rounder Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are also expected to be rested.
The selection committee will be picking the squads in Mumbai on either July 17 or 18 as the Chairman of selectors MSK Prasad will be returning to Mumbai along with the rest of the Indian squad on Sunday (July 14). Talking about the same, a senior BCCI official said, “Dhoni has been playing non-stop cricket for the last three months, starting with leading Chennai Super Kings in IPL-12. He had been struggling with his back but didn’t let that affect his performance and then carried a finger injury in the second half of the tournament as well.”
He further added, “In fact, Dhoni has injured the hand again off delivery he was run out against New Zealand. The selectors will look to give him some rest, looking at the packed international calendar for next year. Kohli and Bumrah might be rested for the limited-overs series and possibly even the Test matches. A call on their availability for the Tests will be taken later.”
In Dhoni’s absence, Rishabh Pant will be donning the gloves as he was also the part of India A’s tour to West Indies before he was called up as a replacement for injured Shikhar Dhawan. Hardik was struggling with a hip injury in India’s semifinal against New Zealand on Wednesday (July 10).
Talking about the fast bowling department, the BCCI official said, “The selectors have enough backup options in the form of Khaleel Ahmed, Navdeep Saini or even Deepak Chahar to replace Bhuvneshwar.”
If Kohli is rested for the entire West Indies series, Rohit Sharma will be leading the squad limited-overs and Ajinkya Rahane might be asked to captain the Test side. The selectors will speak to the team management including Virat and head coach Ravi Shastri before taking a final call.