Time has come for Indian cricket to look beyond Mahendra Singh Dhoni: Sunil Gavaskar

Former captain and batting legend Sunil Gavaskar reckons 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.

Rishabh Pant continues to be Gavaskar’s top-choice: However, there has been a discussion on the choices available as Rishabh Pant has not been able to seize his chances. But he continues to be 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 surely think about Rishabh Pant,” Gavaskar said.

If Pant doesn’t do well, then Sanju Samson is the next best choice: For Gavaskar, if Pant doesn’t do well, then Sanju Samson is the next best choice.

“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 a great contribution to Indian cricket but it’s now time to look beyond him,” the iconic opener said.

Gavaskar said Dhoni at least doesn’t figure in my team.

Pant’s inconsistency and poor shot-selection hurting team’s interest: However, Pant’s inconsistency and poor shot-selection are hurting the team’s interest as head coach Ravi Shastri had recently pointed out. Batting coach Vikram Rathour too reminded the team’s youngsters about the difference between a “fearless and careless” approach.

Gavaskar, on his part, wants to check whether the young keeper-batsman is batting at the correct number.

“What is Rishabh’s position in the batting order — No 4 or 5? Going into the World T20 in Australia, we will know his batting position better,” Gavaskar said.