It is not doubt that former India captain MS Dhoni is a shrewd tactician which is why when he appeared at an event in Mumbai on Wednesday for a commercial product launch, Dhoni predicted that he would be asked about his sabbatical.

“Don’t ask me till January”, said Dhoni as he sought to steer clear of queries on his ongoing break from cricket, which has fuelled intense speculation about his future in the game.

“January tak mat poocho (don’t ask me till January),” said Dhoni about his absence from the field since India’s semi-final ouster from the World Cup in July, could even be thrown at him.

Going by what he said, it looks like Dhoni might take a call about his international career in Janaury next year.

Earlier, a source close to the former India captain said he will take a call on his future after next year’s Indian Premier League (IPL). The 38-year-old, who leads Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, will miss the limited-overs home assignment against the West Indies starting December 6 and comprising three T20 Internationals and an equal number of one-dayers.

National selection committee chairman MSK Prasad has already made it clear that the panel has “moved on” and Dhoni is aware of its intent to blood youngsters such as Rishabh Pant keeping in mind next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

Dhoni was seen training with Jharkhand’s under-23 team in Ranchi some days back, triggering a fresh round of speculation on a possible comeback.

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has stated that Dhoni will get the respect that a player of his stature deserves and had ruled out an immediate retirement by the celebrated wicketkeeper-batsman.

“You know champions don’t finish quickly,” he had stated when he took over as the Board President last month.