Since Team India’s ouster from the semifinals of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s future in international cricket has become a hot topic of debate all around the country. All types of rumours and speculations are being made over Dhoni’s retirement from the limited-overs format and his after-life post cricket. But if the recent reports are to be believed, it is speculated that Dhoni might continue till ICC T20 World Cup in Australia next year.
However, there is no such official announcement has been made by Dhoni or BCCI around that decision. But the former World Cup-winning skipper has expressed his desire to continue in the coloured outfit. The buzz was Dhoni will hang up his boots after Team India’s final World Cup game in the campaign. India’s defeat to New Zealand in the knockouts further accentuated those claims as the former captain failed to take his team over the line in the crunch game.
Dhoni’s childhood coach Keshav Banerjee also feels that his ward has enough fuel left in his tank to continue playing the shorter format of the game. He feels MS should continue playing until 2020 ICC T20 World Cup.
“I believe Mahi should carry on playing in T20 format. ODIs are quite demanding with 50 overs of wicket-keeping and then batting. That is very tough on the body. Then there is the added pressure of helping out bowlers and fielders, so he is always in the thick of the action. Whereas in T20 it’s shorter and more direct (slam-bang),” Banerjee was quoted by Indianexpress.com.
“Dhoni’s current fitness levels show that he is good enough to play in the shortest format of the game. I think he can play in the next T20 World Cup and then take a call on his future,” Banerjee added.
The 38-year-old’s performance and his approach in the just-concluded ICC World Cup came under the scanner. He was widely criticized by several former greats for his sluggish batting and lack of intent during the coveted competition. Despite that, Dhoni managed to score 273 runs in 8 matches, the highest by any Indian middle-order batsman. Hardik Pandya (226) and Rishabh Pant (116) are behind him on the list.
The other argument behind Dhoni continuing to play in internationals is the pressure of franchise cricket. Hailed as one of the most successful captains and players in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL), Dhoni is a big brand for the popular franchise – Chennai Super Kings. CSK management has already announced that Dhoni will be playing in the next edition.