The quintessential team man, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is not returning to India ahead of the fourth and final Test versus Australia in Sydney from January 6. After he was not spotted in a Team India group picture with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Thursday, there were reports that Dhoni was going to return to India.
Team India director Ravi Shastri has told ESPNCricinfo that Dhoni "will be in Australia but not with the team." Shastri added that Dhoni will be on standby for Wriddhiman Saha, who is expected to don the big gloves at Sydney. "If needed, of course (Dhoni will be available)," Shastri said.
In a shocking decision, Dhoni quit Test cricket at the end of the drawn Boxing Day Test. He will continue to play ODIs and T20, according to a BCCI press release. (The untold story behind MS Dhoni quitting)
Dhoni has refused to talk about his Test retirement so far. It has only fuelled speculations that all is not well in the Indian camp. Shastri has strongly denied it but hinted that Dhoni's current form could have been a reason.
India have already lost the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after losing the first two Tests at Adelaide and Brisbane. Dhoni didn't play the first Test and the team was led by Virat Kohli. Dhoni held on to salvage a draw at MCG.