Dhoni skips West Indies tour to serve in Indian army

Dhoni skips West Indies tour to serve in Indian army

Former Indian captain MS Dhoni has made himself "unavailable" for India's upcoming tour of West Indies as he has chose to take a two-month sabbatical to serve his paramilitary regiment. With the selectors set to meet in Mumbai on Sunday to pick the squad for the Windies series, he has informed the board that he will be serving his army regiment for the next two months.

Dhoni's absence means that Rishabh Pant should take over as number one wicketkeeper for the the West Indies.

India's test wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, the favourite to fill in Dhoni's shoes in the limited overs formats, slotted into the role during the latter stages of the World Cup, while Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill are also in the mix. The Virat Kohli-side were eliminated from the showpiece event after going down against New Zealand in the semi-finals.

While all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been rested for the entire tournament, Jasprit Bumrah will only be available for the Tests.

India will start their West Indies tour from August 3 and will play three T20s, as many ODIs and two Test matches.

"Dhoni has made himself unavailable for the tour of West Indies as he will be spending two months with his paramilitary regiment", the official told PTI. Dhoni, who holds an honorary post of Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute regiment of the Territorial Army, will be with his regiment for the said duration.

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Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rahul Chahar, Navdeep Saini and Krunal Pandya are among the ones who have been playing for India "A" against West Indies "A".

He retired from Test cricket in 2014. With the T20 World Cup happening next year in Australia, the T20 cricket played in the series will be focused on more than the other two formats.

"Dhoni still has cricket left in him".

MS Dhoni is still fit to continue and if the Indian team wants the best out of him, the selectors should think of managing his workload properly, feels the former India captain's childhood coach Keshav Banerjee.

A sub-par World Cup for Dhoni has seen calls of his retirement grow and reportedly, Team India selectors have been looking to move on as well. They also made their comebacks in ODIs. I don't know what BCCI will do. Dhoni does not need to play every series. "That's how Rishabh Pant can also fit in".

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