Sehwag on Dhoni’s future: Virender Sehwag has approved of MS Dhoni continuing as India’s wicket-keeper until the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Virender Sehwag, former India swashbuckling opener, has advocated for Mahendra Singh Dhoni, saying that the former Indian captain and current wicket-keeper batsman should be India’s first-choice wicket-keeper in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
In the last year or so, a lot of opinions have been given birth to regarding the future of Dhoni in the national side. There is no hiding to the fact that Dhoni is past his peak and that his big-hitting abilities have also been at loss of power. That being said, thinking him of not representing the country seems to be too harsh on the 37-year old wicket-keeper.
Dhoni has had a stellar record in ODIs, scoring 10,046 runs at an average of 51.25 and a strike rate of 88.13. After resigning from the captaincy (first week of January last year), Dhoni has played 38 matches, scoring 936 runs at an average of 55.05 and a strike rate of 82.10. The numbers are worth the praise for a wicket-keeper batsman who bats in the middle order.
However, Dhoni’s numbers have received a bit of a hit this year. In the nine ODIs that he has played this year, he has scored 148 runs at an average of 37 and a strike rate of 70.47. These numbers might not be doing justice to his reputation, but are still worthy of continuing with a wicket-keeping batsman.
Speaking on a TV show at India TV, Sehwag gave reasons as to why Pant should not be rushed into the team right away. “In my personal opinion, MS Dhoni should continue till the 2019 World Cup. Even if you play Pant in ODIs from now, he won’t be able to play more than 15-16 ODIs till the World Cup which is far less compared to Dhoni, who has played over 300 ODIs. I would want Dhoni to continue till the World Cup”, he said.
Further praising Dhoni’s contribution on the field, Sehwag was quoted, “Pant is someone who can hit sixes at his will, but when you talk about Dhoni, he has won matches single-handedly for the country. So Pant has the right kind of the temperament to be a perfect heir for him. I want Dhoni to hand the baton to Pant when he hangs his boots.”