MS Dhoni has made himself unavailable for selection in the three-match Twenty20 series against South Africa. (Image credit: Twitter)
MSK Prasad, the chief selector, has dismissed news reports that MS Dhoni was retiring from the game in the near future. Speaking after announcing the squad for the three Test series against South Africa, Prasad said he was not updated about Dhoni's retirement. "No update on MS Dhoni's retirement, the news is incorrect," Prasad said. There were rumours circulating on social media that Dhoni was soon announcing his retirement after Virat Kohli shared a photo of them helping India to victory against Australia in the 2016 World T20 clash in Mohali. While Kohli had tweeted respect for Dhoni for making him run like a fitness Test in his superb 82, social media users once again raised a false alarm and said Dhoni was retiring soon.
KL Rahul was dropped for the upcoming three-Test series against South Africa. Rahul, who managed just 101 runs in four innings in the West Indies, was not picked in the 15-man squad which was announced by the BCCI. However, the squad sees the inclusion of Shubman Gill, one of the current group of youngsters who has been making big impressions for India A.
Shubman, who was the star during India's victorious Under-19 campaign in 2018 in New Zealand, has been in sparkling form for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy as well as for India A. In the recently concluded first unofficial Test match, Shubman managed to score 90 in the first innings on a tricky pitch.
In the tour of West Indies, Shubman became the youngest Indian to score a First-Class double ton by emulating Gautam Gambhir's feat
Apart from Rahul's omission, the inclusion of Rohit Sharma was an indication by the MSK Prasad-led selection panel that he might be opening the batting with Mayank Agarwal for the Tests. Speaking on Rohit's inclusion, Prasad said, "(We) want to give Rohit Sharma an opportunity to open the innings in Tests."
Rohit has not played a Test since the Boxing Day Test against Australia in Melbourne in 2018 and Indian cricket team fans will be hoping Rohit achieves success opening the batting in Tests just like he did in ODIs. The three-Test series against South Africa begins on October 2 and the first game will be played in Vizag followed by matches in Pune and Ranchi.