There are only two players in the current Indian ODI team who are older than the 34-year-old captain MS Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh and Ashish Nehra, and so there are a lot of questions about how long he shall be in service. From how he behaved at the post-match press conference after the loss to West Indies, or from what he said to his players in the dressing room, the indications are that he has no plans of not being part of the team in the near future.
The message emerging from the conference is that he would attempt to play till the 2019 World Cup, and team sources say that his post-match speech in the dressing room was a man ‘staying rather than leaving’, according to Mirror reports.
Dhoni reportedly gave an animated speech after the whole team had reached the dressing room, reminding them that this was only their third defeat in the last 16 T20I matches – after the defeat to Sri Lanka in the first match of the recent tri-series and the defeat to New Zealand in the opening game of the WT20 opener.
He asked the team to not let the one defeat to deter their from. He predicted a bright future for the current batch of cricketers, pointing out how Indian cricket was closing in on a few summits of international cricket.
India are current No 1 in Tests and No 3 in ODIs India are currently No 1 in Twenty20Is.
There was no discussion on any long term plans like future tournaments, and Dhoni never seemed to suggest that he would bid goodbye to them anytime soon.
Team director Ravi Shastri, whose tenure also ended, said, “He is the best wicketkeeper-batsman in the world. He can walk into any national team, leave alone India.”
Dhoni has a lot on his plate. Such is the intense scrutiny heroes are put through in this country that he has to continue proving that he is what Shastri bills him to be until the day he finally decides to walk away. The period of judgement resumes with the IPL, where he has the task of leading Rising Pune Super Giants, one of the two franchises teams.
His next involvement with international cricket is likely to be against Zimbabwe. India are scheduled to play a series of three ODIs and three Twenty in June, soon after the completion of IPL. His next involvement with international cricket is likely to be against Zimbabwe. India are scheduled to play a series of three ODIs and three Twenty20s in June, soon after the completion of the IPL.