The absence of former Skipper Dhoni from the T20 squad against West Indies and three matches against Australia puts speculation upon the future of the man who got India its only T20 ICC World title in 2007. Dhoni has not indicated any signs of retirement nor his fitness seems to below as seen in the last two ODIs against West Indies.
But the ex-chief selector and former Indian batsman Chandu Borde has another view on the absence of MS Dhoni. According to him, “I don’t think Dhoni has been dropped. This is an experiment that is going on. They [selection committee] want to find another suitable person to replace Dhoni. Currently, he is the best ’keeper. We have tried some other youngsters, but he is still above them. All these guys – Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant, Parthiv Patel – are players the selectors are trying out. If anybody is better than Dhoni, then they will select him.”
Anyone doubting the fitness of Dhoni had their views clear after the stunning catch Dhoni took in the Pune ODI. Borde says it is not the fitness that separates Dhoni from other wicketkeepers but it’s his batting. “The way Dhoni is keeping, that catch he took was fantastic. Even a youngster would not have been able to take that. He is such a fit person,” he says.
However, his inability to perform in the middle order is posing a threat. In ODIs this year he has registered scores of 7, 20, 36, 8, 33, 0, 42.
“Sometimes, you get a block, it’s a bad phase that every player goes through and you should try your best to get out of it, but every cricketer has to go through this block,” says Borde. “I am sure that once Dhoni gets two good knocks, he will get out of it. It will happen with time. He is such a seasoned person and a player who can adapt to any situation. Let him score a few runs in one of these matches and you will find a different Dhoni.”
India’s loss at Pune clearly pointed out at the absence of a batsman in the middle order. Kedar Jadhav who is fit to join in the team was replaced by pacer Khaleel Ahmed by the think tank. Borde thinks the decision to not play Jadhav was taken to allow him more rest. “The reason why Kedar Jadhav was not chosen was probably that they want to give him enough time to get 100 percent fit. He is one of those players who is prone to injury and that is the reason they are trying some other players to replace him, but I don’t think they have found anybody of his caliber,” he says.