MS Dhoni’s international career nearing end as BCCI bets on Rishabh Pant

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday announced India’s ODI, T20I and Test squads for the upcoming series against West Indies with some new names making the list.

Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey returned to both ODI as well as T20I squad while the selectors have included Navdeep Saini in the limited-overs side. Wicketkeeper Mahender Singh Dhoni, as expected, was not named in any squad and this sends a clear message that the BCCI has now decided to think beyond the former skipper.

Talking to media after announcing the team, chief selector MSK Prasad said that the selection committee had chalked out plans till 2019 World Cup and now they are interested in giving chances to young players like Rishabh Pant.

“Dhoni is unavailable for this series but we had certain roadmaps and plans till Worl Cup. Subsequently, we’ve laid down few more plans and thought of giving as many opportunities to Pant and to see he is groomed. This is our plan right now,” Prasad said.

On being asked if this is the end of the road for Dhoni, MSK Prasad said “I can’t answer on it… It’s totally upto him.”

There is no denying the fact that Pant is full of potential and he deserves more chances to show his skills and cement his place in the Indian squad. By naming Pant in ODI and T20 squad the selectors have dropped a clear indication that they are looking to groom Pant as a replacement for Dhoni in the near future.

The chief selector refused to comment on Dhoni’s retirement with the selection committee members stressing that the decision to retire lies with the individual and legend like Dhoni knows when to retire. The selectors, however, said that their job is to make a roadmap and this the reason why they have decided to give chance to youngsters like Pant. While Pant will take on the wicketkeeping responsibilities in ODI and T20, Wriddhiman Saha has been named in the Test squad.

India’s squad for 3 T20Is: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (VC), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (WK), Krunal Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini.

India’s squad for 3 ODIs: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (VC), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kedar Jadhav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Navdeep Saini.

India’s squad for 2 Tests: Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, C Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (WK) Wriddhiman Saha (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav