If director Neeraj Pandey wishes to make a sequel to M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story, he will get enough material to tell India’s former captain’s story from 2011 World Cup till the upcoming 2019 World Cup as his career has never been short on drama, humour, and thrills. Cricwizz helps out Pandey charts out a script for the sequel of MS Dhoni, the man who is a pale shadow of the batsman he was in his prime.
Date: September 2007
Occasion: World T20 in South Africa
Deadlock: BCCI reluctant to send India to World T20 in South Africa, but relent after other nations vote in favour of the tournament.
Shocker: Star players such as Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, and Sourav Ganguly opted out of the tournament, seemingly not in favour of the shortest format of the game.
Resolution: BCCI appoints MS Dhoni who has never captained a team before as skipper of India for the World T20.
Result: Dhoni leads India to a memorable World T20 triumph, beating Pakistan in the final by just 5 runs.
Present: Dhoni has retired from Test cricket, retains his place in ODIs, but gets dropped from T20Is as young
keeper-batsmen such as Rishabh Pant, Ishant Kishan impress, while his own form with the bat is patchy and unimpressive.
Current situation: Dhoni has the backing of captain Virat Kohli, coach Ravi Shastri to continue till 2019 World Cup, but his future in T20Is is bleak or the end.
So, is it the end of MS Dhoni’s T20I career?
Dhoni in all likelihood won’t continue further after the 2019 World Cup and would call it a day from all forms of international cricket. He has the backing of Kohli and Shastri for the 2019 World Cup as Dhoni brings to the table smart, match-winning keeping and captaincy experience to help out the skipper in field placements.
World T20 in 2020
And with the next World T20 set to happen only in 2020, BCCI and Dhoni himself do not see the keeper-batsman playing a role in that tournament. Hence, dropping Dhoni from the T20Is against West Indies and Australia looks like a smart move from BCCI to phase out Dhoni from the shortest format and give his successors such as Pant enough exposure to cement his place. Besides, they can always go back to experienced Dinesh Karthik if Pant fails to live up to expectations.
Had Dhoni asked BCCI to ignore him?
It may be also that Dhoni would himself have told BCCI to not to consider him for the T20I matches now as his sole focus is 2019 World Cup now. Even Kohli-Shastri would not mind Dhoni just playing the ODIs till his likely farewell in 2019 World Cup.
It may be recalled Dhoni has retired abruptly from Test cricket in 2014 tour of Australia. And he might have done the same with his T20I career as well. Dhoni does not crave for a farewell match. He would, however, like to sign off his career in the 2019 World Cup and see India lift the World Cup once again while he is still wearing the blue jersey.
But Dhoni may face the ODI axe too
If Dhoni continues to falter with the bat in ODIs, he may soon see himself relieved from his 50-overs duties as well. But with Pant yet to blossom in limited-overs cricket, Dhoni might just breathe a little easy and would retain his place in ODIs, thanks to his keeping and captaincy experience.
But the sword lies sharp on Dhoni’s neck in ODIs as well. The onus is on Dhoni to turn it around and show he is good enough to be India’s main keeper-batsman for 2019 World Cup. Will he survive till then?
Climax for M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story sequel
Dhoni might just see himself make it to 2019 World Cup and play a pivot role in India’s campaign and sign off his career just like a big six similar to his 2011 WC final six. Or, he would drag on, play the World Cup, and sign off in a disappointment, thanks to his fading batting prowess. But can Dhoni write his own climax to the sequel?