Legendary Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni is likely to retire from international cricket after India’s last World Cup 2019 game, according to a report by PTI news agency. “It is the worst kept secret in Indian cricket right now but India’s last match in the ongoing World Cup, in all likelihood, will also be Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s last game in India colours,” the report said.
Quoting a senior BCCI official on the condition of anonymity, the report said that if India qualify for the World Cup finals and win the tournament, it will be an ideal setting for the wicket-keeper batsman to announce his retirement.
“You never know with MS Dhoni. But it is unlikely that he will continue to play for India after this World Cup. But since his decisions to quit captaincy from the three formats have been taken so suddenly, it is very difficult to predict at the moment,” the official said.
Dhoni has scored 223 runs in seven games at a decent strike rate of 93 plus if one goes by the scorecards but what they don’t reflect is his inability to rotate the strike and strike big. Some have attributed it to the lack of intent and some have pointed out the his waning capabilities as a finisher, something that had once made him a top short format player in the world.
With the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly also being critical of his approach, the team management knows only too well that they can’t carry their “beloved captain” beyond the marquee tournament.
“The team management had to take a call in 2017 after the Champions Trophy. They decided that they will invest another two years in Dhoni till the 2019 World Cup. India have reached the semi-finals despite his lukewarm performances so he has been carefully shielded,” a former India player said, adding that “No one can ask him to retire but obviously he has got the drift that post World Cup, things won’t be the same."
(With inputs from agencies)