Former India wicketkeeper Ajay Ratra has said Indian Premier League 2020 seemed decisive for MS Dhoni’s international career but the postponement of the 13th season of IPL has made things difficult for the World Cup-winning former captain.
Ajay Ratra, who played 6 Tests and 12 ODis under Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy, said it’s difficult to guess what is coming next from MS Dhoni and that the veteran wicketkeeper is unpredictable when it comes to making decisions about his future.
MS Dhoni has not played international cricket since India’s exit in the World Cup 2019 semi-final. Dhoni took a sabbatical from competitive cricket and was gearing up to make his return in IPL 2020.
Even as speculations were rife about his international future, Indian team management, especially head coach Ravi Shastri, did not rule out chances of Dhoni’s comeback, saying a good performance in IPL 2020 can be his way back to the senior national team.
However, IPL 2020 has been postponed until further notice due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Dhoni had attended Chennai Super Kings’ training camp in March before it was suspended due to the pandemic.
“You see, Dhoni is a very unpredictable person whom you can’t judge what’s coming next,” Ajay Ratra told MyKhel.
“But yes there has been a long time since he played competitive cricket. IPL 2020 seemed quite decisive for his international career. The team management would have closely monitored his performance and also how other wicketkeepers would’ve done during the IPL.
“Unfortunately, IPL getting postponed indefinitely makes it (Dhoni’s comeback) difficult but you never know with Dhoni.”
Saha a better option than Pant in Test cricket, says Ratra
Meanwhile, Ajay Ratra also said Wriddhiman Saha is too good a wicketkeeper-batsman to miss out on opportunities in overseas Tests. Ratra also pointed out that Rishabh Pant needs to improve his wicketkeeping skills if he is to find a permanent spot across all three formats of the game.
Notably, KL Rahul piped Rishabh Pant as the first-choice wicketkeeper during the limited-overs leg of India’s tour to New Zealand earlier this year. In the Tests, India made a surprise call as they preferred Pant over Wriddhiman Saha who is considered their red-ball specialist.
“Wriddhiman Saha has a brilliant pair of hands against the spinners but if you look at his career, he has taken some spectacular catches off fast bowling as well. This means he could be equally good gloveman in the overseas conditions as well,” Ratra said.
“But I believe that the team management is thinking in terms of making batting stronger overseas because conditions are tougher there. Rishabh (Pant) has done exceedingly well overseas as a batsman.
“Having said that, I believe Wriddhiman is also a decent batsman and he can be a part of the playing XI in overseas games. I feel that the team management should also consider playing a technically more sound wicketkeeper in overseas conditions because he too can change the course of the game with his catches and fielding. And Wriddhiman fits the bill.
“As far as Wriddhiman’s batting is concerned he’s not that bad a batsman. He has three Test centuries to his name and has made vital contributions with the bat whenever needed. Therefore, I would say, Saha looks a better option in Test cricket.”