Former Indian left-arm pacer Ashish Nehra feels that the IPL 2020 will not change the former Indian World Cup-winning captain MS Dhoni’s mind about his international cricket future.
MS Dhoni hasn’t played a recognised cricket match since July 2019 after the semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 against New Zealand. While he has continuously made himself unavailable for the national team selection after that tournament, he hasn’t openly clarified about his international cricket future yet.
While the IPL 13 was originally scheduled between 29th March and 24th May 2020 in India, Dhoni was ready to return on the field as the captain of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). But the COVID-19 pandemic delayed his return on the field as the IPL 2020 was postponed indefinitely.
Now, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is planning to organise the IPL 2020 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from September to November 2020. So, the cricket world is getting excited to see again Dhoni on the cricket field. The questions are also arising about his future in international cricket.
Ashish Nehra believes that the IPL 2020 will not change Dhoni’s mind anyway. If Dhoni and team are ready, the wicketkeeper-batsman can continue his international career.
Nehra recently said on Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected, “As far as MS Dhoni’s international career I don’t think this IPL has anything to do with it. If you’re a selector, you’re a captain, you’re a coach and MS Dhoni the most important thing if he is ready to play like he will be my number one name on the list.”
“As much as I know MS Dhoni, I think he has played his last game for India happily. MS Dhoni has nothing to prove. And we all discuss these things as media people you can say and everybody because he has not announced his retirement, so that’s where maybe I think he will take a call and only he can tell what’s in his mind.”
MS Dhoni’s game never came down: Ashish Nehra
During Dhoni’s last international match, the Indian team were in deep under pressure during their chasing of 240 runs target as they were once battling on 92/6. However, the Indian fans were still hopeful for some magic due to the presence of Dhoni.
Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja fought brilliantly from that situation and their 116 runs partnership helped the Indian team to return to that game strongly. While Jadeja scored 77 runs off 59 balls, Dhoni was run out for 50 runs off 72 balls, but India ultimately lost that World Cup 2019 semi-final match by 18 runs.
Mentioning his last international match, Nehra wants to show how Dhoni’s presence was important for the Indian team.
Nehra added, “For me, MS Dhoni’s game never came down. We have discussed this earlier as well, that in the last game that he played, India had hope to reach the World Cup final till the time MS Dhoni was there and the minute he got run out everybody lost hope.
“So it shows where his game was even at that time. He knows how to run the team, he knows how to push youngsters forward and all these things I don’t need to repeat again and again but I don’t think this IPL makes any difference in MS Dhoni’s stature or his aura as a player. I don’t think a tournament like the IPL should be MS Dhoni’s selection criteria, it’s probably just a talking point.”