Nehra, who retired from all formats of the game last week at the age of 39, feels MS Dhoni can even play till the next T20I World Cup in 2020 if he's fit. Nehra added further that had he been the skipper or coach of the Indian side he would have asked Dhoni to continue for next two to three years.
"In every house, you need an elder one and he is there. I hope till next two to three years or as long as his body allows he plays. Cricket is a game of conditions definitely and it is not easy to perform. If it was in mind or if I am coach or captain I will be in his head that he has to play. I am not saying he doesn't perform he has to play. He is the first guy who will raise his hand and say I am retiring if he is not performing. But I personally feel we should leave at MS Dhoni and let him play cricket," Nehra told ANI.
"He is one guy who is very honest with himself and the country. So, he should definitely play. I see him even to play T20 World Cup in 2020. If I can be a fast bowler at the age of 39. So, with MS Dhoni and his fitness, he can definitely play," he added.
Nehra is not the only one who's come out in Dhoni's defence. Even skipper Virat Kohli after India wrapped up the T20I series against New Zealand 2-1 slammed the critics for constantly scrutinising Dhoni's performance as a batsman.
Kohli, during the post-match press conference after the third T20I, said, "First, I don't understand why are people only pointing him out, I'm not able to understand this. If I fail as a batsman three times, no one is going to point fingers at me because I am not over 35. The guy is fit, he is passing all the fitness tests. He is contributing to the team in every tactical way on the field. With the bat, if you look at the series against Australia and Sri Lanka, he did really well. In this series, he has not got much time to bat."
Even former India captain Sunil Gavaskar and former India wicket-keeper Syed Kirmani came out in support of Dhoni and said it's just not his batting, Dhoni is still India's best stumper in the limited-overs format and one of the finest cricketing brains in the side.