Out of the Indian team since the World Cup ODI in England last summer, former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s return to the national team for next year’s T20 World Cup competition in Australia hinges on his performance at the IPL tournament in April 2019, according to India’s head coach Ravi Shastri.
Dhoni did not figure any of the three T20I series and one ODI series India have played dsince the ODI tournament in England, setting off speculations about his future.
Shastri told reporters on Tuesday that the 2020 Indian Premier League would give the Indian team management and selection committee a fair idea of whether Dhoni fits into their plans for the next T20 World Cup tournament.
"It all depends on when he starts playing and how he is playing during the IPL," Shastri said.
"What are the other people doing with the wicketkeeping 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-member team is decided," he said.
In T20Is in the same period, Dhoni has scored 253 runs at 42.16 but his strike-rate, which dropped to 116.
07 in five innings in 2019, might cause concern.
"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," said Shastri.