Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s future as an international cricketer has been the subject of immense speculation ever since he took a sabbatical from the sport after India’s exit from the 2019 World Cup.
What will Dhoni do now? Will he come back in the Indian team or has he played his final game in international cricket? These questions have been puzzling fans all over the world while the former captain maintains silence over the matter.
The forced break in cricket due to the coronavirus pandemic has only made matters worse for Dhoni, many cricket pundits feel he can make his case strong for a comeback in the national team if he performs well in the upcoming Indian Premier League in September.
IPL 2020 is perhaps he final route for Dhoni to get back in the Indian team set up, but his former teammate Ashish Nehra believes the upcoming T20 tournament should not impact the Chennai Super Kings captain’s international future.
Nehra says that the 13th edition of the IPL should not be looked at as a platform which determines Dhoni’s future in international cricket.
“As far as MS Dhoni’s international carrier I don’t think this IPL has anything to do with it. If you’re a selector, you’re a captain, you’re a coach and MS Dhoni the most important thing if he is ready to play like he will be my number one name on the list.
“As much as I know MS Dhoni, I think he has played his last game for India happily. MS Dhoni has nothing to prove. And we all discuss these things as media people you can say and everybody because he has not announced his retirement, so that’s where maybe I think he will take a call and only he can tell what’s in his mind,” Nehra said on Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected.
“If MS Dhoni is ready to play, he’ll be my No. 1 name on the list” Ashish Nehra
— Star Sports (@StarSportsIndia) August 2, 2020
Dhoni’s form as a finisher and middle-order batsman was already being questioned even before the World Cup but Nehra feels the the 39-year-old’s prowess with the bat never declined.
“For me, MS Dhoni’s game never came down. We have discussed this earlier as well, that in the last game that he played, India had hope to reach the World Cup final till the time MS Dhoni was there and the minute he got run out everybody lost hope.
“So it shows where his game was even at that time. He knows how to run the team, he knows how to push youngsters forward and all these things I don’t need to repeat again and again but I don’t think this IPL makes any difference in MS Dhoni’s stature or his aura as a player. I don’t think a tournament like the IPL should be MS Dhoni’s selection criteria, it’s probably just a talking point,” Nehra said.