The two-time World Cup-winning India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni may soon end his ODI career, as revealed by their head coach Ravi Shastri.
Besides talking about MS Dhoni’s career, Shastri also touched upon a few other topics such as the ICC’s four-day Test proposal which, according to him, is ‘non-sense’. ‘I have had conversations with MS and that is between us. He has finished his Test career, he may soon end his ODI career… In all probability, he will finish one-day cricket’, said the coach in an interview.
‘People must respect that he’s played non-stop in all formats of the game for a while. At his age, probably the only format he’ll want to play is T20 cricket which means he’ll have to start playing again, get back into the groove because he’s going to play in the IPL, and see how his body reacts. Shastri also said that Dhoni, now 38 years old, can still be a part of the national team that will compete in the T20 World Cup – that is if he performs well during the upcoming IPL season. ‘So he will be left with T20, he will definitely play the IPL. One thing I know about Dhoni is that he will not impose himself on the team. But if he has a cracking IPL, well, then…’, said Shastri.
Dhoni last played for India during the semifinal of the World Cup against New Zealand where he scored a half-century but was run out. He also said that when players will be selected for the team participating in the T20, form, and experience are the main factors that will be looked at. ‘We will have to consider a person’s experience and form. They will bat in the number 5-6 position. If Dhoni plays well in the IPL then he does put himself in contention.
Currently still undecided on his future in cricket, Dhoni has played in 350 ODIs, 90 Tests, and 98 T20Is for India. He also had a hand in dismissing opponents, getting 829 dismissals behind the stumps. His career is decorated with various milestones including leading India to the 2007 World T20, the 2011 World Cup, and the 2013 Champions Trophy.
As for four-day Tests, some of the game’s greats such as Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar, and Shastri himself do not agree with the idea. ‘Four-day Test is nonsense’, said Shastri. If this goes on, we may have limited-overs Tests. There is no need to tamper with five-day Tests. If at all they want to tamper then let the top six sides play five-day Tests and the next six be allowed to play four-day Tests. If you want to preserve Tests then let the top-six play more against each other. You have a shorter format to popularise the game’.
Words: Carlos Corpus