Reports: MS Dhoni likey to return in Januray 2020; preparing himself for IPL, T20 World Cup

The Statesman

The Statesman

Author 2019-10-24 15:30:00

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The former Indian captain is likely to return for the three-T20I series against Sri Lanka in January next year. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Ever since Mahendra Singh Dhoni took the two-month sabbatical to serve the Army after India’s defeat against New Zealand in the ICC World Cup 2019, speculations regarding his retirement have skyrocketed.

While many thought he would be making himself available for the Twenty-20 International (T20I) series against Bangladesh, a recent report of The New Indian Express has suggested otherwise. According to the report, the veteran cricketer is likely to make a return to the national team for their T20I series against Sri Lanka in January next year.

It is believed the cricketer has already started training at the gym of the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) International Stadium in Ranchi. He was also spotted at the stadium on Tuesday post-India’s victory against South Africa in the final Test of the three-match series.

Reportedly, the World Cup-winning captain was planning to train with the senior Jharkhand team. But, since the players would be leaving for Surat to participate in the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy he could be seen sweating with the Under-23 squad, which is having a camp for the national one-day tournament.

“He has started working on his fitness by training at the gym. He also plays badminton, tennis and billiards at the venue. They all are part of his preparations. He might start playing competitive cricket from January which means he will not be a part of the Jharkhand team for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy,” a source close to the developments was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Going by the report, Dhoni would not make himself available for the three-match T20I series against West Indies in December as well. The former Indian captain is likely to return for the three-T20I series against Sri Lanka in January next year. In case he misses that series as well he is expected to be open for selection in the touring Indian squad for five T20Is against New Zealand.

According to the source, for the time being, the 38-year-old is targetting the shortest format, keeping in mind next year’s World Cup in Australia. “He is preparing himself for the World T20 scheduled in Australia from October 18 to November 15. He might prefer the shortest format in days to come and will definitely play for Chennai Super Kings in IPL next year,” the source added.

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