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MS Dhoni Should Go "Without Being Pushed Out", Says Sunil Gavaskar


Sept. 20, 2019

MS Dhoni has been out of the Indian team for a while and though he has not yet announced his retirement, it has become a topic of discussion almost on a daily basis.
MS Dhoni's future with the Indian cricket team has been a hot topic ever since India exited the World Cup 2019 in England and Wales. While the former India captain took a temporary sabbatical from the game and is yet make an appearance after ICC's showpiece event, the speculation surrounding MS Dhoni's retirement has only grown. India great Sunil Gavaskar is of the opinion that it is time for India to look beyond MS Dhoni, and that the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman should leave on his own without being pushed out.
Gavaskar feels in Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson, India have able replacements for MS Dhoni.
Asked if Dhoni should be picked for the Bangladesh tour, Gavaskar replied in the negative.
"No, we need to look beyond. Mahendra Singh Dhoni at least doesn't figure in my team. If you are talking about the T20 World Cup, I will certainly think about Rishabh Pant," Gavaskar told 'Aaj Tak '.
"If I need to have an alternate option, then I will think of Sanju Samson because Sanju is a good keeper as well as a good batsman.
"If I have to think of the T20 World Cup, I would think about youth as we need to look forward. Dhoni has made great contribution to Indian cricket but it's now time to look beyond him," the former India captain said.
Later, on the 'India Today' channel , Gavaskar said: "I think he (Dhoni) should be going without being pushed out."
Dhoni, who is yet to announce his international retirement, took a two-month sabbatical from the sport after the ODI World Cup.
Pant's inconsistency and poor shot-selection is hurting the team's interest as head coach Ravi Shastri had recently pointed out. Batting coach Vikram Rathour too reminded the team's youngsters about the difference between a "fearless and careless" approach.
Gavaskar, on his part, wants to check whether the young keeper-batsman is batting at the correct number.
"What is Rishabh's position in batting order -- No 4 or 5? Going in to the World T20 in Australia, we will know his (batting) position better," Gavaskar said.
But Gavaskar acknowledged that there will be scrutiny since he started his international career on a rousing note.
"The way he (Pant) started his career in Tests, it was so good and it is obvious that he will be scrutinised. I think whatever is happening is for his good as he can rectify the mistakes he is making."
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