Dhoni to skip Hazare de­spite Prasad claim

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - HTSPORTSMAX - Press Trust of In­dia sports­desk@hin­dus­tan­times.com

HY­DER­ABAD: MS Dhoni will not play for Jhark­hand in Sun­day’s Vi­jay Hazare Tro­phy quar­ter­fi­nal against Ma­ha­rash­tra, the team coach said, af­ter chief se­lec­tor MSK Prasad had con­firmed his avail­abil­ity.

Jhark­hand chief coach Ra­jiv Ku­mar told re­porters in Bengaluru on Satur­day: “Dhoni feels 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 in his ab­sence. He does not want to up­set the team bal­ance.”

Dhoni, who aims to con­tinue un­til the 2019 World Cup in Eng­land, has strug­gled for bat­ting form, hav­ing played only 22 days of in­ter­na­tional cricket this year (15 ODIS, 7 T20s).

On Thurs­day, af­ter an­nounc­ing the ODI squad for the first two games against West Indies, Prasad told re­porters: “Dhoni is play­ing the knock-outs. About (Am­bati) Rayudu, I will check and get back.”

Jhark­hand topped the group league stage with 32 points. Lef­tarm spin­ner Shah­baz Nadeem claimed a List A world record haul of 8/10.

The Dhoni is­sue comes af­ter Prasad de­nied a lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion with play­ers fol­low­ing me­dia com­ments by opener Murali Vi­jay and mid­dle-or­der bats­man Karun Nair who were omit­ted from the Test squad.

The se­lec­tion of pacer Shardul Thakur has also come un­der cloud af­ter he broke down with a groin in­jury 10 de­liv­er­ies into his Test de­but against West Indies here.

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