A little more than a week ago, the rumour mills were churning when Virat Kohli posted on social media a tribute to former skipper MS Dhoni. A week later and the rumours seem true. It is common knowledge that MS Dhoni went on a two-month sabbatical after the World Cup. However, he has further extended it till November.

The 38-year old wicketkeeper is Lieutenant Colonel (Honorary) in the Territorial Army. From July 31 to August 15 he was stationed in the Kashmir Valley as part of Victor Force. For his service, he was excluded from India’s Twenty20 International (T20I) and One Day International (ODI) team for the tour of West Indies.

A Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) source told PTI, “It’s highly unlikely that Dhoni will be available against Bangladesh (away series). In BCCI, we prepare a 45-day match schedule (international and domestic), training, anti-doping whereabouts chart for all senior and A team cricketer. There is nothing marked against Dhoni.” Also, he will not play the Vijay Hazare National One-Day championship for Jharkhand. 

MS Dhoni has kept the cricket fans on the edge. Since the World Cup, the rumour of his retirement has been doing the rounds. The speculations increase every time he does not participate in a tournament. Even Sunil Gavaskar chimed in weighing in on Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s retirement. He said on national television, “I think he (Dhoni) should be going without being pushed out. We need to look beyond Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He, at least, doesn’t figure in my team.”

On the same note, Rishabh Pant has been filling in for Dhoni for a while now. It is an amazing opportunity for him and a great way for Pant to showcase his talent. He has big shoes to fill and the newly appointed batting coach, Ravi Shastri wants him to improve his form.

It is a point, no one can replace this legendary cricketer. Even Dhoni’s wife, Sakshi Dhoni put the rumour mill to rest. He said in a tweet, “It’s called rumours!”

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