As Team India is billed among favourite teams for the upcoming 2019 World Cup, India’s chief of selectors MSK Prasad believes senior campaigner MS Dhoni will be the quintessential figure for the Men in Blue in the upcoming 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.
Apart from his suggestions to the young bowlers, the 37-year-old has been seen advising regular skipper Virat Kohli on the field. Prasad has admitted the fact that Dhoni has a lot in him who could deliver on his given day.
“Undoubtedly. He is going to be the most important guy for India in the World Cup: be it in his advisory role to Virat, be it with his wicketkeeping, be it with is on-field mentoring of young players…,” Prasad told ESPNcricinfo.
Even though many believe that Dhoni’s reflexes are on the decline, but he has recently delivered goods by smashing three consecutive fifties against Australia before done a brilliant job while donning the gloves on Kiwis shores.
MSK is happy for MSD:
Also, Prasad expressed satisfaction on Dhoni’s recent performance. He added the expectations have always been there when a player of Dhoni’s calibre has plenty on offer in the national team. He has echoed the voice of India’s skipper Kohli regarding the potential and charisma.
“As Virat said, and I agree, the expectations on Mahi are so high. And the moment he does not do that, some people feel his reflexes have declined. But the way he has prepared and the way he has played in the recent series. I am very happy,” Dhoni stated.
Also, ahead of the ODI showpiece, India has been clinical owing to the all-round show apart from committing a few glaring mistakes, and this is acceptable to some extent.
As Dhoni is set to play his fourth World Cup, Prasad reiterated Dhoni had strengthened himself by playing quality knocks. Prasad is hopeful to see Dhoni continuing to give his best in the cricketing carnival.
“The way Mahi has played in the last couple of series, in Australia and New Zealand. The message is very, very clear: now he has decided to play his natural way. This is the Dhoni that we know. We will be very happy if he can replicate those fearless knocks, using that brutal force he has within him,” Prasad on Dhoni’s resurgence.
No doubt over ‘keeping skills: Prasad
However, the players will give a healthy competition in the much-awaited event following a remarkable show, particularly in limited-overs cricket.
“So much so, Dhoni has enough time to back himself in the upcoming IPL edition. Dhoni will lead Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as the domestic professional league will kick off on March 23,” Prasad said.
Besides, the 43-year-old Prasad stressed the management is not concerned whatsoever about Dhoni’s wicket-keeping role. However, he said they are a bit concerned about his batting form. He added it’d been part and parcel and if Dhoni shrugs it off at length, he will be unstoppable with the bat.
“There are two aspects about Dhoni: one is his wicketkeeping and the other is his batting. We have never had any doubts about his wicketkeeping. With regards to his batting, we were a bit worried about his form,” Prasad concluded.
Anyway, the Ranchi-born star has a significant role to play beyond his recognition which will eventually help Team India’s cause in the ICC’s coveted event which will commence on May 30 in London.