The selectors have tried to sugarcoat it as much as possible, but considering the form and India's schedule in T20Is, MS Dhoni has certainly been dropped. While he remains a crucial member in India's ODI squad for the World Cup next year, this decision could well have bearings on the 2020 World T20.
"He [Dhoni] is not going to play the six T20Is [West Indies and Australia] because we are looking at the second keeper's slot. So I think we will retain Rishabh [Pant] and Dinesh Karthik. So they will be getting a chance to keep and bat. It is not the end of Dhoni in T20Is," chief selector MSK Prasad announced late on Friday evening.
Although the decision is not entirely unprecedented, it has drawn polarising opinions on Twitter as Dhoni fans have expressed their ire over the decision.
The former Indian captain has been part of 93 of the 104 T20Is that India have played since his debut in December 2006. During this span, he has scored 1487 runs at a strike-rate of 127, alongside 54 catches and 33 stumpings. Also, he has one of the marquee players in the IPL and hence, this decision will surely evoke plenty of debates and discussions.
@BCCI #Dhoni #Dhonidropped He is THE Brand of Indian T20 history ? dropping him from the squad is the worst move by the selectors..He never played for the runs and records. Will surely miss his glove work..Not sure whether we gonna watch T20s or not... @msdhoni #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/vLiuB10xcc— Manikaraju (@2manikaraju) October 27, 2018
Dhoni was born on 7th day of 7th month. His Jersey number is 7. He won the Khel Ratna Award (highest sporting honour) and ICC World Twenty20 in 2007. He reached his career peak in 2011, and 7 years later, he is probably dropped for the first time.— Rahul Raj (@bhak_sala) October 26, 2018
This how the cricket pundits reacted:
The big news is obviously the absence of MS Dhoni from the T20 squad. The next World T20 isn't till 2020 so this is an acknowledgement that someone else will be behind the stumps there.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 26, 2018