It’s Dhoni’s decision whether he wants to come back or not: Ravi Shastri

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Indian cricket team head coach Ravi Shastri on Wednesday said the availability of MS Dhoni depends on whether the former skipper wants to come back in the team or not. Dhoni extended his break after the Cricket World Cup and made himself unavailable for selection on the West Indies tour and the home series against South Africa.

Shastri though, made it clear that Dhoni himself has to decide on when he wants to start playing cricket again and let the selectors know about his future plans.

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Dhoni has not played competitive cricket since the World Cup in England where he had an ordinary campaign with the bat and behind the stumps. He is likely to be available to play for India only in December when the West Indies tour the country for three T20Is and as many ODIs.

Rumours have been doing the rounds about his impending retirement from the sport ever since India crashed out of the World Cup in the semi-finals with the team now looking to groom Rishabh Pant as his replacement in limited-overs cricket.

“Whether he wants to come back, that’s for him to decide. I have not met him after the World Cup. He has to first start playing and let’s see how things go. I don’t think he has started playing after the World Cup. If he is keen, he will definitely let the selectors know.

“He will go down as one of our greatest players, very, very high up the list,” Ravi Shastri said.

Shastri also spoke about the selection of wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha and explained why the Bengal cricketer was preferred over the dynamic Rishabh Pant, who has scored Test hundreds in England and Australia.

“Saha was injured and that was the reason Pant came into the Test side. Saha is the best ‘keeper’ in the world, and at home, where the bounce can be variable, his ‘keeping is invaluable.