2018 Nidahas Trophy: MS Dhoni to be rested for T20I Tri-Series

The upcoming T20I Tri-Series between Sri Lanka, India, and Bangladesh, called the 2018 Nidahas Trophy, will see a new-look Indian cricket team, which will be missing the star faces, including former India captain and current wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni. Moreover, as many as 5 slots in the Indian line-up will be vacant for new faces to fill in the role.

The Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) sources confirmed the development to the Times of India on Friday (23 February), which means upto 5 regular faces could be rested for the T20I Tri-Series, including MS Dhoni. The other players who are probable to miss out the 2018 Nidahas Trophy are; skipper Virat Kohli, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, and Hardik Pandya.

The move to rest they key players from the Indian team and bring in some new faces to send a new-look Team India to Sri Lanka for the T20I Tri-Series was made by the BCCI, keeping the hectic schedule of South Africa that these stalwarts will be coming off from.

India players rested after ‘hectic’ South Africa tour

The South Africa tour included the 3-match Test series (India lost 2-1), 6-match ODI series (India won 5-1), and the 3-match T20I series, the final match of which will be played on Saturday (24 February). Explaining the rationale behind resting the key players for the 2018 Nidahas Trophy (T20I Tri-Series), including MS Dhoni, who has been an integral part of India in the limited-overs format, BCCI told the Times of India,

“What is the point of sending these cricketers after such a hectic South African tour?”

Dhoni’s impact on Team India in South Africa

With Virat Kohli assuming Team India captaincy, MS Dhoni has been the quintessential deputy chief of the Men in Blue, giving key advices to the Indian bowlers from behind the stumps, turning crucial decisions in India’s favour with his top-class wicket keeping skills, and scoring tons of runs when the need of the hour be.

MS Dhoni outshined in the 2nd T20I against South Africa

In the 2nd T20I against South Africa, India lost the quick wickets through to the middle order, till Dhoni came on to the crease. In an adversarial situation when all; Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Suresh Raina, lost their wickets, it was the former captain cool and the fiery batsman, MS Dhoni, who chased balls off to the boundary, scoring a 28-ball 52-run knock with an excellent strike rate of 175+.

Speaking about MS Dhoni’s batting prowess, Sourav Ganguly had said earlier, that given that Dhoni has enough number of deliveries under his belt, the former captain has the potential to be ‘very, very dangerous’ for the opposition.

Replacement players for 2018 Nidahas Trophy T20I Tri-Series to be named on Sunday

The selectors of the Indian cricket team are scheduled to pick some new names on Sunday, which will replace the Indian players missing out the 2018 Nidahas Trophy T20I Tri-series tournament. With Kedar Jadhav also not in match-fit form, there could be as many as six openings for the new-look Team India.

Who would replace MS Dhoni?

Selectors of the Indian team, including chairman of the selection panel, MSK Prasad, had a chat with Delhi’s wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant at the Palam cricket grounds, after the conclusion of the Vijay Hazare match between Delhi and Andhra. It is being expected that Rishabh Pant will replace Dhoni in all likelihood.

READ: All you need to know about 2018 Nidahas Trophy: T20I Tri-Series tournament.