Breaking his silence for the first time on retirement talks, India veteran MS Dhoni has dismissed the reports as rumours and also took a jibe at his critics by saying that a lot of people wanted him to retire before the World Cup game against Sri Lanka at Headingley in Leeds on Saturday.
Dhoni came under severe criticism for his approach while batting during the matches against Afghanistan, England and Bangladesh.
Also, former India cricketers including Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly pointed fingers at Dhoni’s ‘lack of intent’ in the match against England, which India lost by 31 runs. Dhoni and Jadhav had scored only at a run-a-ball when the required rate was touching 13 runs per over in the last 5 overs.
Despite facing a lot of criticism from various quarters, Dhoni has received the backing from the team management, captain Virat Kohli and vice-captain Rohit Sharma.
On Friday, Dhoni, as per an ABP News report, said that he has no plans of retiring anytime soon, however, he was certain that some people wanted him to leave before the Sri Lanka match.
“I don’t know when I will retire. But a lot of people want me to retire before tomorrow’s game (against Sri Lanka),” Dhoni told ABP News.
Dhoni reportedly confirmed that his indication was not towards any member of the Indian cricket team nor the coaching staff.
The speculations about his retirement were fuelled after a PTI report had said that India’s last match at the World Cup could well turn out to be Dhoni’s swan song in India colours.
“You never know with MS Dhoni. But it is unlikely that he will continue to play for India after this World Cup. But since his decisions to quit captaincy from the three formats have been taken so suddenly, it is very difficult to predict at the moment,” a senior BCCI official told PTI.
Dhoni has scored 223 runs in 7 innings at a strike rate of 93 in the 2019 World Cup 2019 but the problem has been his inability to rotate strike in the middle overs against the spinners. Dhoni has the worst strike rate against spin bowling in the ongoing World Cup.