IPL 2020 | Gautam Gambhir: Difficult for Dhoni to play for India again

Updated: 14 April, 2020 07:34 IST | PTI | New Delhi

Former opening batsman Gautam Gambhir insists IPL's postponement has made ex-India captain's post-sabbatical comeback a lot tougher

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir reckoned it will be difficult for Mahendra Singh Dhoni to make a comeback to the Indian team if IPL is not played this year. Dhoni last played for India in the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand in July last year.

Since then he hasn't played any competitive cricket and legends such as Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev have already said that it's getting increasingly difficult for the Jharkhand dasher to make an international return after such a prolonged sabbatical. He was expected to be seen in action at this year's IPL but the chances of the T20 league being played are remote due to the Coronavirus.

"If the IPL does not happen this year, then it will become very difficult for MS Dhoni to make a comeback. On what basis can he [Dhoni] be selected since he's not been playing for the last one or one-and-a-half year?" Gambhir said on Star Sports show Cricket Connected.

Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir

Rahul, an ideal replacement
Gambhir, 38, picked KL Rahul, who has been keeping in ODIs, as an "apt replacement" for Dhoni. "Obviously, his [Rahul's] keeping is not as good as Dhoni's, but if you are looking at T20 cricket, Rahul's a utility player, can keep and bat at No. 3 or 4. If the IPL does not happen, then Dhoni's chances for a comeback look dim. "Ultimately, you are representing India, so whoever dishes out the best performance and can win the match for India should play for the team," added Gambhir.

Dhoni's future
The southpaw also felt that retirement was Dhoni's personal decision. "As far as his retirement plans go by, that's his personal choice," said Gambhir. However, his former teammate and Test specialist VVS Laxman feels that Dhoni can continue playing IPL. "Not only this IPL, he [Dhoni] will probably play in the next couple of IPLs, and then we will take a call about his future as a cricketer," Laxman said on the same show.

Laxman said that the new selection committee chief Sunil Joshi will have to discuss Dhoni's future with him. "Dhoni will be very clear, as far as his plans are concerned. The new selection committee will have to sit down with Dhoni," said Laxman.

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First Published: 14 April, 2020 07:26 IST

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