Former Indian captain and wicket-keeper MS Dhoni, is feeling the heat with former players stating retirements on his career. With the COVID-19 pandemic potentially ruling out any IPL auction this year, the door might just be shutting on Dhoni.
The recent incident happened with Gautam Gambhir, who spoke to Star Sports Cricket Connected, said; “If the IPL does not happen this year, then it will become very difficult for MS Dhoni to make a comeback. On what basis can he be selected since he’s not been playing for the last one or one and a half years.”
Dhoni, now 38, hasn’t played any form of cricket since India’s semi-final defeat in the hands of New Zealand from the ICC Cricket World Cup in July 2019. Since then, Rishabh Pant and then KL Rahul have taken over keeping duties in white-ball cricket. KL Rahul, however, has been an “apt replacement” in the eyes of the former left-hand opener.
“The apt replacement for Dhoni could be KL Rahul. Ever since he has donned the keeper’s gloves in white-ball cricket, I’ve seen his performance, both batting, and keeping. Obviously his keeping is not as good as Dhoni’s, but if you are looking at T20 cricket, Rahul’s a utility player, can keep and bat at No. 3 or 4.”
It’s not only Gambhir. Former Indian cricketer Madan Lal said the same.
“See, there are problems for MS Dhoni. He has not played cricket post-World Cup. If the IPL does not happen, problems for MSD will further increase. I don’t know what the team management, Ravi Shastri, Virat Kohli or the selectors are thinking.”
Former Pakistan fast bowler, Shoaib Akhtar also said that Dhoni should have hung up his boots.
“This guy has served to the best of his ability. He should leave cricket with dignity. I don’t know why he dragged it for so long. He should have retired after the World Cup.”
Aakash Chopra was another person who said that he felt that “Dhoni played his last game against New Zealand in 2019 world cup.”
“We are moving on” were the words of India chief selector MSK Prasad on MS Dhoni.
As there are people who believe Dhoni is done in international cricket, some still believe MSD has a lot to offer.
Former England captain and commentator Nasser Hussain said Dhoni shouldn’t be ‘pushed into retirement’.
“Once Dhoni is gone, there is no getting him back. There are some legends of the game, appreciating while around because they are once-in-a-generation cricketer and don’t push him into retirement too early. Only Dhoni knows his mental state and in the end, the selectors select and players turn up when asked to.”
Along with Hussain, VVS Laxman also expressed that Dhoni can play longer.
“I think, playing for CSK will keep him going because he’s supremely fit and age is just a number, and especially when someone like MS Dhoni is not only physically fit, but mentally very astute as a captain as a leader he enjoys leading the CSK franchise.”