New Delhi: Nothing concrete is yet to come out of MS Dhoni’s sabbatical from the Indian team but if his long-time India and Chennai Super Kings teammate Ashish Nehra is to be believed, the former India captain may have played his final game for the country. Dhoni has not played any form of cricket in over a year, his last game being the semifinal of the 2019 World Cup between India and New Zealand.
Speculations regarding Dhoni’s future continue to grow. It is believed that Dhoni could get one final run with the Indian team, most probably for the T20 World Cup next year, provided he has a good season with CSK in the IPL 2020. Nehra, however, reckons Dhoni’s India and IPL careers are not directly proportional and that we could well have seen the last of Dhoni in India colours.
“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,” Nehra said on the Cricket Connected Show on Star Sports.
Despite former India all-rounder Roger Binny claiming that Dhoni has ‘lost a bit of fitness’ and that he is ‘past his best’, Nehra, who played his final ODI under Dhoni – the semifinal of the 2011 World Cup against Pakistan in Mohali – is convinced that the former India skipper has not lost a beat, citing his fighting half-century against New Zealand that almost got India home. With growing speculation, Nehra expects Dhoni to take a call regarding his future – irrespective of whatever it may be – soon.
“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. 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,” Nehra said.
“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.”