Mumbai: Its just not stopping. Will he? Will he not? The form of MS Dhoni has kept Indian cricket fraternity guessing and speculating about his presence in the 2019 World Cup.
Dhoni was just too good in the recently concluded ODI series in Sri Lanka, where he scored 162 unbeaten runs from 4 innings at a strike rate of over 82. More importantly, he also proved the fact that he is the best wicketkeeper against spin by being the first cricketer to effect 100 ODI stumpings.
And after seeing this performance, Ravi Shashtri has pretty much announced that the team management cannot even think of removing the former captain. Dhoni at 36 is amongst the fittest players in the group. Shastri cited the same and his current form as a reason.
Shastri compared Dhoni with the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and Kapil Dev and said his achievements need to be respected. “Where else will you find a legend like M.S. Dhoni? Dhoni is in the same league as Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar or Kapil Dev. We have to respect his achievements,” Shastri said.
Before taking a closer look at the statement, one needs to realize that Shastri has worked with Dhoni as captain in his previous assignment as team director (in between 2014 to 2016). The former Indian all-rounder replaced Anil Kumble as the head coach after the latter resigned due to his indifferences with captain Virat Kohli. Shastri has always been vocal in Dhoni’s support and lauded the Ranchi-based cricketer’s performance in Sri Lanka. He also hailed him as the best wicketkeeper in India in ODIs.
“A player is evaluated on the basis of his current form and fitness and Dhoni has both. If you see his wicketkeeping, he is the best in ODI cricket. His fitness is superb, he batted well in Sri Lanka. And let me tell you, it was just a trailer what you saw in Sri Lanka now wait for the movie. If he continues to play like this, there no question of not having him in the team for the 2019 world cup. You can’t even think of a team without Dhoni,” he added.
On the other side of the coin, selectors have closed doors on 2 of India’s finest ODI cricketers — Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina. Shastri assured that the doors are not closed on anyone.
“Doors are not closed. They will be inducted only after they are declared fit. I have a problem. The amount of cricket that we are playing, we need at least 20 to 25 players. It is very difficult for a single player to play all forms of cricket. Players need rest.”