Indian cricket coach Ravi Shastri has confirmed that MS Dhoni will play the 2019 World Cup after the former Indian captain posted some match-winning knocks in the ODI series against Sri Lanka. However, Dhoni has not been in the same form in T20Is as compared to ODIs.
Dhoni recently has moulded his batting to be more of a grinder and accumulator than the big hitter he was known for in his prime days. He looks to take control of the innings through deft touches and glances for singles and twos early in the innings. When the things are under control, he looks for the big hits. But even then, he finds difficult to connect the big hits on a regular basis.
This is a departure of Dhoni of the past when he used to slam the bowling attack throughout the duration of his innings to dictate terms to the opposition. He was the boss then, but now he is playing the anchor role to rally the lower-order.
This strategy may work in the 50-overs format where there is enough time to settle down and play out the overs from the attacking bowlers. ODIs give you the liberty to take on the weaker bowling options and make hay. Hence, Dhoni has been able to reinvent himself recently in the 50-overs format as he has played some sensible knocks and controlled innings to take India across the line.
However, T20 cricket demands aggression, agility, and more importantly, scoring at a brisk pace in this format. There is no time to settle down and play out the balls and wait for the loose deliveries. Of late, Dhoni has struggled to get going in T20 cricket at the international level or in the IPL. He has not been able to stamp his authority on the opposition attack and hence, bowlers had the better of the former Indian skipper.
Dhoni will be targetting 2019 World Cup finish to his glorious career. His services are more required in the 50-overs format where an experienced hand in the lower-order can bail the team out in tough situations. And Dhoni has fulfilled this responsibility in the ODI series against Sri Lanka and Australia.
And hence, it’s time that Dhoni hangs up his boots in T20Is as the next T20 World Cup is in 2020, three years later. It’s the right time to groom a young keeper in the shortest format who will be ready to take Dhoni’s place once he calls time in the 50-overs format.
What do you think?