The debate around the much-talked-about communication gap between the senior national team selectors and the players cropped up again as MS Dhoni decided to skip Jharkhand's Vijay Hazare Trophy quarter-final against Maharashtra on Saturday.
Dhoni's decision to skip domestic duty comes a day after the chairman of the selection committee, MSK Prasad, said the wicketkeeper-batsman would play for Jharkhand in the 50-over domestic tournament in Bengaluru.
Jharkhand chief coach Rajiv Kumar revealed the news on Dhoni's absence and said the veteran stumper didn't play the tie as he didn't want to upset the team's balance.
"Dhoni feels that it would not be fair for him to join us at this stage, given that the team has done so well and reached the quarter-final stage in his absence. He does not want to upset the team balance," Kumar was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India.
The former India skipper hasn't had much of match practice in the ongoing season, playing only 22 days of international cricket — 15 ODIs and 7 T20Is.
While the 37-year-old showed glimpses of his vintage self for Chennai Super Kings in the 11th edition of Indian Premier League earlier this year, his batting form at the highest level has been ordinary.
The wicketkeeper-batsman has got the backing of the team management and captain Virat Kohli to play the Cricket World Cup in 2019 despite his waning form.
Nonetheless, with both the selectors and the team management being clueless about senior players' domestic assignments, it is not sure how Dhoni, who plays only limited-overs cricket, will get the necessary match practice.
Selection committee facing flak over 'lack of communication'
The confusion over Dhoni's presence comes at a time when the national selection committee is being criticised by several Team India members for not communicating its demands and viewpoints.
Recently, Murali Vijay and Karun Nair spoke to the media about how they were not told what is expected of them before they were dropped from the senior side.
The recurrence of Shardul Thakur's groin injury on his debut in the ongoing second Test against the West Indies has also left the selection committee red-faced as it's not known cleary if the pacer recovered from the injury he suffered during Asia Cup.
Thakur limped off the ground after bowling just 10 balls in the first innings of the ongoing Test. India managed to bowl the West Indies out for 311 as Umesh Yadav picked up his maiden six-for in Tests.