Should Dhoni Retire – This question keeps arising when ever Dhoni has a bad day at field. MS Dhoni is one of the greatest players to have graced the sport. He has entertained the Indian fans and spectators around the world since past 13 years. His aggressive and attacking play combined with the ‘helicopter shot’ lives in the memory of many.
But just like every good thing comes to an end, it seems Mahi’s time is also up. The former Indian skipper has amassed over 10,000 runs in ODI format with an average in excess of 50.
Cricket in India has never been forgiving and the criticism of Dhoni after the recently-concluded series against New Zealand is the perfect example. In many ways, he indeed is the best Indian captain ever, someone who has known when to walk away.
In recent times, Dhoni has struggled to rotate the strike and played too many dot balls even in ODIs. He is increasingly being seen as an accumulator rather than as the finisher that he was in his early days. In terms of fitness, Dhoni remains one of fastest while running between the wickets. In T20Is, where the power-hitting ability is vital, especially in the middle overs when the course of the game can be changed drastically. Over the years, we have seen that teams which perform well in the middle overs win the match more often than not.
As emotional fans, we do want to see MS Dhoni end his career on a high- a second World Cup in ODIs win, probably will be fitting. But then, sentimentality shouldn’t come in the way of getting the results that you want. As long as India keep winning, Dhoni’s experience does come into play. But a few losses and the Ranchi-born cricketer might face the brunt.
India still requires him in ODIs and he should unquestionably be a part of the Indian team for the 2019 World Cup. The 50-over format does give the top seven batsmen enough time to settle in and launch into the final overs. His lightning-fast wicket keeping skills and his sharp knowledge of the game often helps India get out of tricky situations.
Dhoni has not been at his attacking best but it will be up to him and the team management to consider his effectiveness in the T20I format. Although his contributions to India’s T20I wins have been significant, he might be better off narrowing his focus on ODIs for the remainder of his career.
Neither talent nor good judgement could save him from receiving a backlash but fortunately, he has found support from his teammates and former greats. Virat Kohli and Kapil Dev came out in support, stating how such quick criticism is unfair towards someone who has given so much to Indian cricket.