Mumbai, May 12: While one of his predecessors questioned whether India's ODI and T20 captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has the ability to lead the team in the 2019 World Cup, another said the wicket-keeper captain has achieved a lot in his career and should be allowed to take a call on his future.
The former captain who favoured a change of guard at the helm is Sourav Ganguly, currently the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal. The other one who still wants to give Dhoni a chance is Mohammed Azharuddin.
Azharuddin, who captained India for a major part of the 1990s and led the team in three World Cups, said he respected Ganguly's "personal" opinion but also felt that the final call rests with Dhoni himself. "Dhoni should be given a chance to decide when to retire," 53-year-old Azhar said on the sidelines of an event.
"He (Dhoni) deserves that chance. He has been one of the finest captains ever. He has won all major tournaments, got India to the No.1 position in all formats of the game. I think we should not forget his performances," Azharuddin was quoted as saying.
Azharuddin has played 99 Tests for India before getting banned by the country's cricket board for his alleged role in match-fixing scam 16 years ago. Incidentally, Azhar played his last international match in 2000 under Ganguly's captaincy while the latter ended his international career when Dhoni was the captain.
Azhar also defended Dhoni on the recent dip in his form as a big-hitting batsman and one of teh best-ever finishers in the limited-over format. The former captain, who was known for his wristy batting, said every player went through such a phase in their career.
Azhar had led India in three World Cups in 1992, 1996 and 1999 but could not take the team to the final even once. His best performance as a captain in the World Cup was in 1996 when India made the semi-final but lost to eventual champions Sri Lanka.
Ganguly, on the other hand, led India in only World cup in 2003 in South Africa and guided his side to the final which was won by the mighty Australians.
MS Dhoni, on the other hand, has led India to their second World Cup victory in 2011 besides winning India's first T20 world Cup in 2007.