MS Dhoni is forever present in every debate in and around Indian cricket and even though, the former captain is on a sabbatical from the game, speculations continue to float around regarding his future. As such, Team India head coach Ravi Shastri has spoken on the issue and in many ways, has dropped the hammer on the future of the former skipper.

Shastri categorically mentioned that if Dhoni does indeed want to make a comeback, he needs to start playing domestic cricket in order to be back in the fray as far as selection is concerned.

"He will go down as one of our greatest players, very, very high up the list. Two World Cups, role model, what he has done for CSK, for the white-ball game, on top of that he's played 90 Tests," Shastri told the Hindu.

'He will let the selectors know'

MS Dhoni
MS DhoniRobert Cianflone/Getty Images

He also added that he has not met him after the World Cup and that, he needs to start playing domestic cricket to throw his name back in the ring.

"Whether he wants to come back, that's for him to decide. I have not met him after the World Cup. He has to first start playing and let's see how things go. I don't think he has started playing after the World Cup. If he is keen, he will definitely let the selectors know," he further added.

Ahead of the South Africa series, Virat Kohli too spoke about the influence of MS Dhoni in Indian cricket and that, his experience will always been needed.

MS Dhoni
MS DhoniTwitter/Cricket World Cup

"Look experience is always going to matter whether you like it or not. I mean there are a numerous number of times people have given up on sportsmen, and they have proved people wrong, and he has done that many times in his career as well. So one great thing about him is that he thinks for India cricket. And whatever we think, he is on the same page. The alignment is there. The kind of mindset he has had is to groom youngsters and give them opportunities, and he is still the same person," Kohli told reporters ahead of the series.

It, however, remains to be seen what the future holds for Dhoni, who has served in the Indian Army after the World Cup and continues to be on a break from the game. The selectors have already identified Rishabh Pant as his successor across all the three formats and there are plenty of other options available in the domestic circuit.