MS Dhoni might not be in the Indian side for the time being, but his name pops up in every conversation around Indian cricket. He has not yet announced his retirement from the game which has led to massive debates and speculations over his future.
However, chief selector MSK Prasad has said that the former skipper remains the best wicket-keeper and finisher in the limited-overs format. Also, he refuted all such theories which suggested that including Dhoni in India's World Cup squad impeded India and also had an impact on the balance of the side.
"Had we won the (World Cup) semi-final (against New Zealand), especially after the collapse we had at the top of the order, then the knocks that Jadeja and MS played would have been hailed as one of the best knocks ever," Prasad said in an interview with news agency PTI.
What future holds for Dhoni?
The chief selector also said that the former skipper remains the best wicket-keeper and finisher in the game in the shorter formats and the other younger players are work in progress and will be given a long rope.
"I can clearly say this that till today MS is the best glovemen and finisher in India in the shorter formats. The others are still work in progress. MS was a big strength to this team in the World Cup both as a batsman and keeper, apart from sharing his vast experience with the team and captain while taking on-field decisions," the chief selector further added.
After India's tour of West Indies, the home season kicks off with the series against South Africa. Will the selectors then include Dhoni in the squad? The chief selector said that they have already outlined their plans and are willing to give Rishabh Pant a long rope and groom his for the future.
"I have very clearly told post the selection of the Indian team against West Indies, that we have a plan post World Cup to give as many opportunities as possible to Rishabh and groom him so that he can grow in confidence and perform as per the requirements of the team," Prasad said.
Dhoni is not part of India's squad for the West Indies and is currently serving in the Indian Army. What the future holds for the former captain is not yet known but it will be quite interesting to see if he gets a farewell series against South Africa in the home season.