Former Indian captain MS Dhoni, who took a break from the tour of West Indies, might not be in the scheme of things when the selectors pick the squad for the upcoming T20 series against South Africa. Rishabh Pant, who has become India's primary wicket-keeper across all the three formats, will continue to be backed to take over from the seasoned Dhoni.
The T20I series will start in September 15 in Dharamsala and the team for the same is expected to be picked on September 4. The remaining two games will be played at Mohali (September 18) and Bengaluru (September 22). If reports are to be believed, the same squad which crushed West Indies in the T20I series will be retained.
'Time to move forward'
"There are only 22 T20 Internationals before India play their first World T20 game and selectors are clear in their vision that it's time to move forward," a senior BCCI official privy to developments in selection committee was quoted by PTI.
"They are planning on getting a pool of three keepers ready for limited overs, especially T20s," he further added.
The selectors and the BCCI have long maintained that retirement is an individual choice and hence, it is not clear whether or not they will speak to Dhoni before picking the squad.
"Retirement is an individual decision and selectors, or for that matter, no one has any right to decide on that front. But they have every right to decide the roadmap for the 2020 World T20 and that is to give Rishabh Pant maximum chances," the official further explained.
The report from PTI also mentions that the other wicket-keeping options remain Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan as the selectors are looking at building a pool of players ahead of the T20 World Cup next year.
"Pant scored a fifty in the last T20 that he played. Ishan Kishan is in the A team set-up. Do we even have an option of looking back when we need consistent big hitters on big Australian grounds?" the official asked.
When the squad was selected for the West Indies tour, MSK Prasad had informed that the focus remains on the T20 World Cup which will be held in Australia next year and that they are planning to give Rishabh Pant a long rope as the primary wicket-keeper batsman in the squad for all the three formats.