The national selection committee was left deeply embarrassed after Mahendra Singh Dhoni declined to play Vijay Hazare. Chief national selector MSK Prasad confirmed that MS Dhoni will turn out for Jharkhand in the Vijay Hazare quarterfinal, the veteran keeper-batsman has opted out if it.
Jharkhand coach Ravi Kumar said Dhoni had cited Jharkhand’s good form in the ongoing 50-over tournament as a reason to not play in the knockout fixture – against Maharashtra in Bengaluru on Monday (October 15).
Jharkhand have enjoyed a fabulous run in the tournament so far, winning seven out of the nine fixtures and topping Group C with 32 points.
“Dhoni feels that it would not be fair for him to join us at this stage, given that the team has done so well and reached the quarter-final stage in his absence. He does not want to upset the team balance,” Jharkhand coach Kumar said.
Dhoni has featured in 15 ODIs in 2018 so far, scoring just 225 runs at an average of 28.12. Such ordinary returns at a time when India are without a concrete middle-order solution around his batting position at No.5 has made matters worse.