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Anil Kumble suggests selectors to give MS Dhoni a proper send-off, plan team for T20 World Cup 2020

Anil Kumble suggests selectors to give MS Dhoni a proper send-off, plan team for T20 World Cup 2020

New Delhi, Sep 8: Former India captain and ex-head coach Anil Kumble believes that the selectors should have a thorough conversation with veteran MS Dhoni to decide upon his future for a legendary cricketer like him deserves a proper send-off.

The legendary off-spinner has opined that the selectors will have to take a call on Dhoni's future and if the team management finds him in it's scheme of things for the T20 World 2020 then the 37-year-old must be given more opportunities to play.

Dhoni took two-months' break from competitive cricket as India toured West Indies and the former captain hasn't been named in the 15-member T20I squad against South Africa at home. The three-match T20I series with the Proteas starts September 15 and Rishabh Pant remains the first-choice wicketkeeper for the Men In Blue.

In an interview with CricketNext, Kumble stressed that the team management will have to prepare the team for the next T20 World Cup and they should look to sort out the number four conundrum as soon as possible.

Prepare a team for the future

Prepare a team for the future

"I think the selectors will have a take a call as to which is the likely team that you'd want in the World Cup because the World Cup is just a year away," Kumble said. "You'd want a consistent team to be playing right throughout and that's exactly what didn't happen in the 50-over competition.

"There were a lot of changes leading up to the World Cup. We were still not sure about who that number 4 would be, the whole World Cup we kept on discussing who should bat at number 4, and that's not what you want leading up to the 20-over World Cup. You'd want all those roles and responsibilities to be fixed and make sure that you have back-ups for certain positions, just in case somebody gets injured or if somebody's out of form.

Discuss with Dhoni about his retirement

Discuss with Dhoni about his retirement

"So, yes, there will be some discussions about an exit plan. But having said that, MS Dhoni certainly deserves a proper send-off, whenever he decides to move on from the sport. But for the team's sake, the selectors need to sit down and have a discussion around what the plans are because it's important that things be communicated.

"If the selectors believe that Dhoni is in the scheme of things for the T20 World Cup then I think he should be playing every game. If he's not, then it's important that they have a discussion around how they need to make this happen. I think they need to do that in the next couple of months. Like I mentioned, he certainly deserves a proper send-off, whenever that happens but the communication needs to be come from the selectors.

"I think Pant has certainly made a lot of claims as a keeper-batsman, especially in the T20 format. So, it's important to have a conversation and you need to have a proper send-off, he certainly deserves that. So, I think you need to have a proper conversation around how you want to do that.

Pant's inconsistency is a headache for selectors

Pant's inconsistency is a headache for selectors

"But having said that, Pant has also shown some inconsistency. So, that's a call the selectors need to make. Today, in spite of all of that, are you going to back him or someone else, or would you look back? I wouldn't but I think it's important that the selectors take a call on that."

Ashwin still the best spinner

Ashwin still the best spinner

While there is suspense over Dhoni's immediate future in limited overs cricket, Ravichandran Ashwin too seems to have gone out of favour in the Test series. The 32-year old has 342 wickets in 65 Tests at an impressive average of 25.43, but he is no longer first-choice spinner in overseas conditions. Kumble believes the team management needs to find a way to get their "number one spinner" back into the mix.

"He is still the best spinner that you have," Kumble insisted. "Yes, there have been a few incidents where he has had injuries & not performed to his potential, but Ashwin is your number 1 spinner in the team. He should be a part of the squad, he should be in the playing XI, you have to make a way of getting him in.

"I strongly believe that the team certainly can have two spinners in the squad, because both Ashwin & Jadeja are wonderful batsmen.

"Ashwin has had four Test hundreds, Jadeja has been really consistent with the bat. He did that again in the West Indies, he's a wonderful bowler too & both of them in tandem can certainly be handful for the opposition. So yes, when India travel outside, it's not always that you get 4 bowlers to pick up 20 wickets.

Pleased with Jasprit Bumrah's rise in stature

Pleased with Jasprit Bumrah's rise in stature

Having first seen Bumrah emerge during his stint as mentor for the Mumbai Indians, Kumble has closely followed the slinger's career and was mighty impressed with his performances in the Caribbean. Kumble believes the 25-year-old can go on to become the "greatest ever fast bowler from India."

"I think he is an amazing cricketer, you know for a young boy who walked into Mumbai Indians in the IPL when I was part of it, he has just grown in stature, grown in his skill set, he is much stronger, fitter and he has added a bit of pace," Kumble said.

"He is a lot more consistent, he knows how to get a wicket. It is not just about the skill set you have or you possess the ability to bowl in, away or a bouncer. I think the ability to bounce back and what to do when I think Bumrah has done that brilliantly and he is a great student of the game, he understands the nuances, he bowls differently to different batsmen assesses those conditions really quickly and that has been the ability of Jasprit Bumrah in this series.

"In all the three formats, India depend a lot on Bumrah. To have that ability to do that consistently and carry that burden, he just needs to remain fit and then continue to work on that and he is a wonderful student of the game. He understands better than any other bowler and you can see that in his development. So, yes, he certainly has the quality to go on and become the greatest ever fast bowler from India."

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Story first published: Sunday, September 8, 2019, 19:31 [IST]
Other articles published on Sep 8, 2019
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