Ever since MS Dhoni has stepped down as captain of the Indian Cricket team, there has been a lot of specualtion about whether he would be play till the 2019 World Cup. All through his career Dhoni has been someone who doesn’t yearn the limelight, someone who keeps to himself and always keeps the interests of the team first. You never know what Dhoni could be thinking next, never know what he has in mind for the future, but when you want to get inside the mind of a cricketer who doesn’t reveal much, you just have to listen to what his childhood coach has to say.
Keshav Banerjee, Dhoni’s childhood coach, the one who persuaded him to take up wicketkeeping while he was the school team’s goalkeeper, feels that result of the Champions Trophy will have a huge bearing on whether Dhoni makes himself available for the 2019 World Cup or not.
“At the moment, his sole focus is on the Champions Trophy. If he’s successful there, I think he would go on till the World Cup 2019. It’s natural that with age, you would not hit the same strike rate. But his will power and game-analysing sense are the two qualities that make him special. He’s out there playing domestic one-dayers (Vijay Hazare Trophy) to keep himself in shape ahead of the Champions Trophy,” Banerjee said at the launch of an under-14 tournament.
MS Dhoni is currently playing for Jharkhand in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, trying to get some much needed match practice before the IPL. With him being off captaincy across all formats and in the IPL too, Dhoni can finally bat like his old self, as there is much less responsibility on him now. He has been spending his time mentoring the youngsters from Jharkhand and will look to do that in the Pune camp as well.
“He never liked to be pushed so he called it quits before anyone could point fingers at him in the Tests format. He never kept anyone in the loop, even his best friend or parents did not know when he quit Tests, Banerjee added.
Banerjee believes that Dhoni is still at the top of his game and will continue to play till he thinks so, but once people start pointing fingers that is when MS feels that it is time to quit. He always wants to win and so a great performance from India is very necessary if he aims to play the 2019 World Cup.
If Dhoni does want to retire, he should do it right after the Champions Trophy, so that Virat Kohli can dig deep and get an experienced player in the middle order(and a wicketkeeper too). Personally I feel that Dhoni should continue playing till the next World Cup because currently there is no wicketkeeper-batsman in this country who even comes close to where MS is.