MS Dhoni Likely To Retire After World Cup 2019
India’s MS Dhoni bats during the Cricket World Cup match between India and West Indies at Old Trafford in Manchester, England. (Source: PTI)

MS Dhoni Likely To Retire After World Cup 2019

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India’s last match in the ongoing World Cup, in all likelihood, will also be Mahendra Singh Dhoni's final game in India colours.

If India qualify for the finals and go on to win the World Cup on July 14 at the Lord’s, it would be ideal setting for a fitting farewell to one of the legends of Indian cricket.

It’s unlikely that he will continue to play for India after this World Cup, a senior Board Of Control For Cricket In India official told PTI on condition of anonymity. The official said that since his decisions to quit captaincy from the three formats of the game have been taken so suddenly, it’s very difficult to predict at the moment.

The current selection committee, which is likely to stay till the October annual general meeting, will start the changeover process with an eye on the ICC World T20 in Australia next year.

When the new selection committee takes over, the possible replacements for the shorter formats will be identified with reasonable time left for the World T20s.

However, with India qualifying for the semi-finals at the World Cup here, neither the team management nor the BCCI wants to talk about sensitive issue.

Dhoni has scored 223 runs in seven games at a strike rate of 93 plus if one goes by the scorecards but what they don’t reflect is his inability to rotate the strike and strike big.

Some have attributed it to the lack of intent and some have pointed out the his waning capabilities as a finisher, something that had once made him a top short format player in the world.

With the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly also being critical of his approach, the team management knows only too well that they can’t carry their “beloved captain” beyond the marquee tournament.

His on-field contribution is still immense as every player who has appeared for media interactions has pointed out.

A former India player said on the condition of anonymity the team management had to take a call in 2017 after the Champions Trophy. The management, the former player said, decided that they will invest another two years in Dhoni till the 2019 World Cup.

He said India have reached the semi-finals despite his lukewarm performances so he has been carefully shielded. The former player said even as no one has asked Dhoni to retire, he must have got the drift that after the world cup things won’t be the same.

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