Why was MS Dhoni dropped from T20Is? Virat Kohli has the answers
India skipper Virat Kohli clears mystery surrounding the omission of MS Dhoni from the shortest form of the game
India captain Virat Kohli yesterday reiterated that Mahendra Singh Dhoni remains an integral part of the ODI team and the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman decided not to play the upcoming T20s only to make way for the much younger Rishabh Pant. "I think the selectors have already addressed this if I'm not wrong. And he's been spoken to, firstly... So, I don't see any reason why I should be sitting here and explaining that. I think the selectors have come out and explained exactly what happened," said Kohli at the post-match press conference after guiding India to another series win at home.
"I was not part of that conversation so... It is what the selectors explained. I think people are putting too much variables into the situation, which is not the case I can assure you of that. He's still a very integral part of this team and he just feels that in the T20 format, someone like Rishabh can get more chances." Dhoni has been dropped for the upcoming T20 series against the West Indies and Australia and there is a possibility that he never plays for India again in the shortest format. "He anyway plays the ODIs for us regularly, so... from that point of view, he's only trying to help the youngsters; nothing that other people are thinking and I as captain can certainly assure you of that," Kohli said.
Chief selector MSK Prasad had said they were looking at the second wicketkeeper's role. "He [Dhoni] is not going to play the six T20Is [West Indies and Australia] because we are looking at the second 'keeper's slot. So, I think we will retain Rishabh [Pant] and Dinesh Karthik. So, they will be getting a chance to keep and bat. It is not the end of Dhoni in T20Is," Prasad had said last week in Pune.
On the areas of concern for the team in the run-up to the World Cup in England next year, the India skipper said it was about putting in consistent efforts on the field. "If we can be consistent as a fielding side, it can give us more consistency overall in our skills department as well. In the field, we can still improve a lot. We have spoken to the people in the practice sessions who need to do the extra effort to sharpen their fielding, and they are putting in that extra effort. "That is the only area we feel we can get better at. Obviously, batting and bowling are big variables. Fielding is controllable and you need to get that from all the players."
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