New Delhi, July 4: Reports are doing the round that Indian cricket team's final game in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 could well be Mahendra Singh Dhoni's last match in India colours.
MS Dhoni, who will turn 38 in a few days time, might hang up his boots after the showpiece event and bring curtains to an illustrious career.
A senior BCCI official has already hinted that the former India captain might surprise his fans with his decision once.
"You never know with MS Dhoni. But it is unlikely that he will continue to play for India after this World Cup. But since his decisions to quit captaincy from the three formats have been taken so suddenly, it is very difficult to predict at the moment," a senior BCCI official told PTI.
Dhoni of today isn't the same old cricketer that we are accustomed watching to as he's no more hitting those big strokes from the word go, instead he takes his time to settle down and plays dot balls in the process.
The right-handed batsman has scored 223 runs in seven games in the World Cup at a decent strike rate of 93 if one goes by the scorecards but what they don't reflect is his inability to rotate the strike and strike big. Some have attributed it to the lack of intent while the others have pointed out the his waning capabilities as a finisher, something that had once made him a top short format player in the world.
Having said that, Dhoni is still a vital cog in the current Indian side for he brings more than just batting on the table. The players believe that he is still the best judge of situations and does exactly what the situation demands him to do.
A member of Team India was as quoted by news agency IANS as saying, "Let's be honest. We are not England when it comes to batting. We have a tail and when Mahi bhai walks in, more often than not, he needs to keep that in mind. He doesn't have the freedom say a Ben Stokes has because England bat till almost number 10, we don't. We lost two wickets in the final over against Bangladesh the moment he got out."
The player went on saying that with his calm demeanour and vast experience, he has a soothing effect on Virat Kohli and his advice to the youngsters helps them a lot.
"As for his experience on the field, he is the man who has the answer to every question we have. If Plan A doesn't work, he gives you B, C and D. In fact, even during the game against Bangladesh on Tuesday, did you notice him constantly guiding Rishabh Pant and telling him about the areas he should target? You cannot buy that experience in the market," the player further added.
Another player said that Dhoni's presence ensures Kohli can field with an open mind in the deep during the death overs.
"Virat bhai can stand in the deep and cut the important boundaries because Mahi bhai is standing behind the wicket to guide the bowlers. The best part is that when we walk out to field, after a couple of overs he will tell the bowlers the exact areas to bowl on and how the bowler needs to work on his speed and variations. That is irreplaceable let me tell you," the player explained.
Players also believe that in a big tournament like the World Cup, his mere presence boosts the confidence of the team.
"We know Dhoni bhai is there. Be it the subtle changes in fielding or guiding us with the areas to target while batting, his suggestions are so accurate that you don't even blink an eyelid. If he says it, we just follow. He is almost like the fielding vice-captain who is constantly guiding not just us, but also Kohli when he feels the need to point something out to the captain," the player said.