India Door Will Definitely Shut on MS Dhoni If he Doesn’t Do Well in IPL: Dean Jones
MS Dhoni (© AFP)

Former Australia international Dean Jones reckons that for MS Dhoni to make his India comeback, a good IPL is a must otherwise the doors will be ‘definitely shut’. On Friday, IPL chairman Brijesh Patel confirmed that this year’s T20 tournament will get underway from September 19 in the UAE meaning MS Dhoni will make his competitive return having stayed away from the game for over a year now.

Dhoni last played for India at the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup semi-finals when they lost to New Zealand. And since then, he has been on a sabbatical. However, he had started practising with his IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings in March before the annual league was indefinitely postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

IPL was being considered the stage where Dhoni was to make his claim for a place back in the India’s limited-overs squad. In his absence though, India have shuffled between Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul with the latter making quite an impression with his ability to keep the wickets and bat at different positions.

“At the moment it looks like the Indian selectors are going with Rishabh Pant and K.L. Rahul,” Jones told The Times of India. “If Dhoni has a wonderful IPL then he’s away, but if he doesn’t do well in the next IPL then perhaps his door is definitely shut. But, he’s left the door open.”

However, Jones said that the break extended break could work in the favour of the 39-year-old even though at his age, it usually is tough to come back. This break might be fantastic for him. He has had a really good break and if he wants to come back out of this — trust me as you get older it gets more difficult to come back from a break,” he said.

According to Jones, India’s biggest issue is the absence of a dependable finisher, a role Dhoni made his name synonymous with.

India though have experimented with the likes of Hardik Pandya, Pant and even Rahul.

“He (Dhoni) is an absolute superstar. He is a ‘great’. So, I have always felt, with the greats, to tend to let them do what they want to do, but at the moment they are leaning towards K.L. Rahul and Rishabh Pant. But, India’ biggest problem is still a finisher. Who is your finisher? Hardik-Pandya — yes. Just comes down to your balance — who’s hot and who’s not,” Jones said.