MS Dhoni cannot pick and choose series for India while the attention on Rishabh Pant is too much, reckons Gautam Gambhir. (Image credit: Twitter)
MS Dhoni has not played an international cricket game for over two months ever since India's semi-final loss to New Zealand in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 clash at Edgbaston. Dhoni chose to make himself unavailable for selection for the series against West Indies as he chose to serve with the Indian Territorial Army in Kashmir for two weeks. Dhoni also did not play in the three Twenty20 Internationals against South Africa and there are reports he might skip the Bangladesh series. BCCI sources have said Dhoni is suffering from injuries to his back and wrist and that is the reason for his unavailability.
However, Gautam Gambhir, the former India opener who announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in 2018, has said the selectors need to talk to Dhoni about his future. "Retirement is an individual call, I think for me selectors should talk to him (MS Dhoni) and ask him about his future plan. Ultimately for me, playing for India, you should not be picking and choosing series," Gambhir said.
Gambhir's statement that retirement is an 'individual call' has also found backing in Shikhar Dhawan, who said the call to retire rests firmly on Dhoni himself and he should take the call.
"Dhoni has been playing for so long, I feel he understands when he should retire. This should be his decision. He has taken very important decisions so far for India in his career and I'm sure he will make the call when the time comes. That's the quality of a big leader. He knows the potential of every player, and knows to what extent a player should be backed. He knows how to make a champion out of a player. India's success during his captaincy justifies this. His (Dhoni's) control is his biggest quality," Dhawan told in a TV show.
Both Dhawan and Gambhir backed Rishabh Pant to do well, with Gambhir stating that immense scrutiny of Pant will not help in his development. "There is too much attention that is being given to a new player. He is just 21, he has played for last two and a half years. He has got two hundreds in Test cricket. We should not be comparing him with anyone, the team management should be backing him in the right way. He is still young and he has got a long future ahead," Gambhir said.
Dhawan also said that Pant will have a long career for the Indian cricket team. "Rishabh is very talented and I am sure he will have a long career for India. He is trying hard. There are situations when you don't score, but then you learn from them. It happens with everyone and I'm sure he will learn from it. He (Pant) is a good player and we need to back good players. Even I went through rough patches in my life, and I still do. It is part and parcel of this game," Dhawan added.