These are rather interesting times in Indian cricket, the selectors have not included MS Dhoni in India's upcoming T20I series against West Indies. They have reposed their faith in Rishabh Pant as the primary wicket-keeper batsman in this squad and with the next focus being the T20 World Cup in Australia, there is a lot of competition for places in the side.
As per a report, although the selectors have tried to give a long rope to Rishabh Pant, they are keeping a close eye on his performances as Pant has not been as consistent in T20I as expected. Also, with a number of wicket-keeping options snapping at his heels, it becomes imperative for Pant to string together a number of impressive scores in the upcoming series.
Other options are being weighed
As per a report in The Telegraph, the selectors are keeping a close watch on Andhra's KS Bharat, who has been spoken of highly by chief selector MSK Prasad. Jharkhand's Ishan Kishan may also get a look-in. Also, Sanju Samson, who has been a prolific performer in IPL, is one of the contenders to take up the spot in the near future if Pant fails to justify the chances given to him.
"We are looking at Rishabh as the future, definitely. He has got a lot of skill and talent. It's about winning and finishing games like these and gaining confidence which he wants to do as well," Virat Kohli said after India's win in Guyana.
Kohli also talked about giving Pant more space and freedom in order to express himself in international cricket.
"It is about giving him a bit more space and ease himself into international cricket and not put too much pressure. International cricket you need to tackle pressure differently. He has come a long way since he's started. If he plays like this regularly, we will see his potential shine for India," the India captain added.
As far as the future of MS Dhoni is concerned, as per a report in PTI, the selectors have once again made it clear that they will not speak with the former Indian captain about his retirement, but then, they have everything planned out for the spot of wicket-keeper.
"This selection committee is clear on one front. They will never ask any questions to Dhoni with regards to retirement as that's not their domain. But till they are in charge, they reserve the right to select the squad and as far as they are concerned, Rishabh Pant is now India's first-choice keeper across formats," a senior BCCI official told PTI.