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MS Dhoni is a legend, won’t impose himself on Team India ever: Ravi Shastri

A report last month stated that MS Dhoni has returned to the cricket field for training, and could make a return to the team in January.

India head coach Ravi Shastri said MS Dhoni will be back in contention if the World Cup-winning captain decides he is good enough to play for India after Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.

Speculations are rife about MS Dhoni’s international future as the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman has not played international cricket since India’s semi-final exit at World Cup 2019.

MS Dhoni took a sabbatical from international cricket and missed India’s first assignment — tour of West Indies — after the World Cup. Dhoni trained with the Territorial Army — 106 TA Battalion (Para) in Jammu and Kashmir for 2 weeks.

Dhoni also missed home series against South Africa and Bangladesh even as chief selector MSK Prasad hinted that India are looking ahead and are focussed on giving youngsters like Rishabh Pant more opportunities in the lead up to next year’s T20 World Cup.

While images of him training in Ranchi raised speculations of a comeback for the ongoing West Indies series, Dhoni’s name was missing from limited-overs squads.

Notably, Dhoni requested the media not to ask him questions about his comeback until January 2020 at a promotional event last month.

While Dhoni’s international future has become a subject of intense speculation, head coach Ravi Shastri seems to be clear about the team management’s view on the issue.

Speaking to Boria Majumdar, India Today Consulting Editor Sports, in the much-anticipated episode of India Today Inspiration, Ravi Shastri said MS Dhoni wouldn’t try to impose himself on the senior national team.

“That guy is a legend. The last thing he will want is to impose himself on an Indian team, having known him. He is wanting to take a break but he is going to play the IPL. The amount of sport he has played… if he puts himself in contention… if he feels after the IPL that ‘I am good enough to play for India’, don’t mess around with that,” Ravi Shastri said.

If recent developments are anything to go by, it seems MS Dhoni may not be part of India’s squad for their much-anticipated tour to New Zealand early next year. However, the Chennai Super Kings skipper will be turning out in yellow with a lot to prove in next year’s IPL.

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