Wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni is all set to return to the domestic circuit as he is likely to play in the quarter-final stages of Vijay Hazare Trophy 2018-19 for Jharkhand.
The 37-year-old has been training with his state team over the last few weeks but did not feature in the group stages of the domestic 50-over tournament. Jharkhand, led by former India U-19 captain Ishan Kishan, have booked a berth in the last-eight even before their final group stage match against Services, scheduled for October 11.
Dhoni has not been involved in any competitive action ever since he returned from the United Arab Emirates after the Asia Cup.
The veteran stumper will be back in India colours from October 21 as the senior national team will be facing a visiting West Indies side in a five-match ODI series, which will be followed by three-match T20I series.
Dhoni has enough time to play the quarter-final tie in Bengaluru for Jharkhand on either October 14 or 15 and get ready for the said international assignment, according to The Press Trust of India.
Notably, the Ranchi hero had played for Jharkhand in the last edition of Vijay Hazare Trophy. He had even a hit a 60-ball 72 in a losing cause in the semi-final of the tournament against Bengal.
Dhoni facing flak over ordinary batting form
Nonetheless, the World Cup-winning former captain has played very little domestic cricket over the years, given his commitments with the senior side and the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, even after retiring from the longest format of the game as early as in 2014, Dhoni hasn't really played a lot of domestic cricket.
However, concerns have been raised over his batting form and the struggles due to limited match practice were evident during the last home season. Dhoni faced quite a lot of flak from former cricketers and experts during a limited-over series against New Zealand at home.
Even during the recently-concluded Asia Cup, Dhoni struggled to get going, managing only 77 runs from four innings.
Dhoni has played only 15 ODIs and 7 T20Is this year. The veteran himself will be keen to make use of any opportunity that comes his way, given there is not much time before next year's Cricket World Cup.
The report also points out that there has been no clarity on Dhoni's domestic commitments over the years as both the Jharkhand state association and the national selectors are clueless as to how the wicketkeeper manages his domestic calendar.