Former Indian captain MS Dhoni’s international return has remained a massive question over the past year. While India has found workable replacements since his exile, MS Dhoni’s composure and temperament is an asset for the Indian team.
Ahead of the next T20 World Cup slated to happen in 2021 in India, Aakash Chopra remains confident that the hosts don’t need the keeper-batsman.
The T20 World Cup scheduled initially in Australia this year had to be postponed to 2021 due to the risk of COVID-19. With the tournament happening a year later, it allows MS Dhoni to stake his claim for the showpiece event by doing well in IPL and potentially for India as well. It was in July 2019 that the 39-year old featured in his final competitive game and scored a rusty half-century in a losing cause.
Aakash Chopra said that the tournament would take place in India and since 2021 is a long way, the men in blue should be fine. The former opening batsman highlighted that even if available, it is more than a year to go and Virat Kohli’s men have to get used to it and will be. Hence, Aakash backs the team to do well even without the former skipper.
In MS Dhoni’s absence, the selectors persisted with Rishabh Pant for some time. However, his inconsistent returns with the bat led to the rise of KL Rahul, who batted outstandingly in the five T20Is in New Zealand this year.
“I think we can manage without him, let’s be honest. Because we are talking about 2021. It is in India and you definitely want Dhoni to be there in the team and want him to play. But even if he is available, we are talking about 2021. It is still more than a year to go when that World Cup will happen in India. So, we have to get used to manage without him and I think will get used to it by then. So I feel his presence is not so important that if he is not there you will not win the World Cup,” Aakash Chopra told in his Youtube channel.
But first thing, does MS Dhoni want to play?: Aakash Chopra
The cricketer-turned-commentator went on to raise the question of whether the veteran wishes to play for India anymore. With the right-handed batsman keeping mum about his future, several cricketers have speculated that he might have played his final game for India. The 42-year old is also one of them.
“But first thing, does Dhoni want to play? I have been saying this like a broken record that I feel he doesn’t want to play,” he added.