Sunil Gavaskar has stated that the time has come for MS Dhoni to take retirement from international cricket without being pushed out. Gavaskar told India Today that Team India should look beyond the former World Cup-winning captain from now on. However, his comments come at a time when MS Dhoni’s future has become a debate in Indian cricket.
MS Dhoni has made himself unavailable from selection and didn’t play a single game since the ICC World Cup 2019 semi-final defeat to New Zealand. He was not a part of India’s tour to West Indies as well as the home series against South Africa. Instead, he was spending time with the Para Regiment of the Indian Army in Kashmir.
“Nobody knows know what is in MSD’s mind. Only he can clarify what he thinks his future with Indian cricket is. But I think with him being 38 now, India should be looking ahead. Because by the time the next T20 World Cup comes around he will be 39 years old,” Sunil Gavaskar told India Today.
Although, Gavaskar said that Dhoni’s presence is always valuable for the side – be it scoring runs, stumping or giving inputs to the bowlers.
“His value to the side is always going to be fantastic. Not just the runs he will score or the stumpings he will effect. But his overall presence on the field will be calming for the captain because the captain gets the benefit of his views. So that is a huge plus. But I do believe the time has come,” Gavaskar said.
MS Dhoni’s absence shifted the spotlight to Rishabh Pant who has become a first choice wicket-keeper across formats. The team management is also grooming him for the future and he has a lot of potential too. However, he has to face a lot of criticisms from everyone for his poor shot selection. Although, it was worth noting that Gavaskar urged the team management to be patient with him.
“It was a bad sight to see his dismissal in Mohali. It wasn’t a bad shot. It’s just that he hit it straight to the fielder. And that’s what can happen when you are going through a bad patch. So my suggestion is don’t be too hard on him. Just be patient with him. Having said that having him a slot down the order at no.5 will do him a world of good,” Gavaskar said.