New Delhi: Former captain and batting legend Sunil Gavaskar believes that time has come for Indian cricket to look beyond Mahendra Singh Dhoni and invest in youth going into next year’s World T20 in Australia. However, there has been a raging debate on the options available as Rishabh Pant has not been able to grab his opportunities. But he remains Gavaskar’s “top-choice” going into the marquee event next year.
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’. For Gavaskar, if Pant doesn’t do well, then Sanju Samson is the next best option. “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 iconic opener 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 but the current selection committee has already indicated that it doesn’t want to look behind.