New Delhi, April 12: Former India opener Aakash Chopra believes that contrary to the popular beliefs veteran India cricketer MS Dhoni has made up his mind and he will no longer sport India colours. The cricketer-turned commentator feels Dhoni will take a silent retirement from international cricket just like he made his debut in 2004.
Many believe Dhoni - who last played an international game back in July last year during the ICC World Cup 2019 semi-final against New Zealand - will be back in the Indian side if he has a decent IPL 2020.
However, the novel coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent three-week lockdown in the country eclipsed hosting of the cash-rich league, which was scheduled to begin on March 29. The tournament was later deferred till April 14 but as the lockdown is likely to be extended as the number of Covid-19 cases is on the rise, the BCCI might postpone it for a later date after June.
Such a development would certainly dampen Dhoni's chances if at all he is aiming for a return because a good show in the IPL for his franchise Chennai Super Kings was the only possible way for him to remain in the national reckoning.
But Chopra feels otherwise and during an interaction with former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja, on the latter's YouTube channel, said, "Dekhiye, sabse badi baat jo rahi hai na ki Dhoni ne kisiko kuch bataya nahi hai abhi tak. Hum sabne maan liya hai ki woh shayad abhi bhi aasakte hain, IPL acha raha toh aa jayengey wapis. Lekin mujhe lagta hai ki unhone mann bana liya hai. Ab woh khelne wale nahi hai India ke liye dobara. Unless, Sourav Ganguly, Virat Kohli or Ravi Shastri phone uthaye aur kahe ke ki "partner, please yeh World Cup nikal lo humare liye, tab koi chance hai. Varna I don't think he will play. He doesn't need any grand farewell. Woh chupke se aaye the aur waise hi chale jayengey. (Look, the most important thing with Dhoni is that he hasn't cleared his intentions to anyone. Everybody is guessing that he might come into the side if he has a decent IPL. I think, he has already made up his mind. He's not going to play for India anymore. Unless he gets a call from Sourav Ganguly, Virat Kohli or Ravi Shastri urging 'partner, please play the T20 World Cup for one last time'. Otherwise, I don't think will play. He doesn't need any grand farewell. He came silently, and go back that way.)"
When asked who according to him was a better captain Sourav Ganguly or Dhoni, Chopra went with the former and even claimed that Dhoni reaped the benefits from the team that was nurtured by Gangly.
"I would prefer the Sourav Ganguly era because when he was made the captain of the Indian side, the team was recovering from the match-fixing scandal - which was the darkest period in Indian cricket. Bringing everyone together, instilling the confidence in his teammates, and preparing a world-class side was never going to be easy. But Ganguly did it all..."
Chopra adds further, "While Dhoni, on the other hand, had several big stars at his disposal who were nurtured by Ganguly. I am not taking the credit from Dhoni's leadership, but in a way, he reaped the benefits of a world-class team that was prepared by Ganguly."