Need to have a proper send-off: Anil Kumble opens up on MS Dhoni’s future
India wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s future in international cricket has been a matter of debate. And the selectors have indicated with their selection that they are looking forward. The strategy is to back youngsters, and it is being said that Dhoni may soon bid farewell to the game.
When asked if he would want to see MS Dhoni continue in competitive cricket, this is what former India captain and coach Anil Kumble had to say –
“I’m not really sure. I think Pant has certainly made a lot of claims as a keeper-batsman, especially in the T20 format. So, it’s important to have a conversation and you need to have a proper send-off, he certainly deserves that,” Kumble told CricketNext.
“But having said that, Pant has also shown some inconsistency. That’s a call the selectors need to make. Today, in spite of all of that, are you going to back him (Pant) or someone else, or would you look back. I wouldn’t but I think it’s important that the selectors take a call on that,” he added.
India’s highest wicket-taker across formats also said that the selectors needed to discuss and take a call in the next two months.
“…For the team’s sake, the selectors need to sit down and have a discussion around what the plans are because it’s important that things be communicated. If the selectors believe that Dhoni is in the scheme of things for the T20 World Cup, then I think he should be playing every game.”
“If he’s not, then it’s important that they have a discussion around how they need to make this happen. I think they need to do that in the next couple of months.”
Besides, Kumble expressed his uncertain opinion about whether Rohit Sharma should be sent at the top to open the innings in Test cricket.
“You only know when you actually do that but I am not really sure about pushing Rohit at the top unless it is a desperate situation.”
He counter-questioned if India were in a desperate set of circumstances.
“Yes, are we in a desperate situation where we are looking for an opener in someone who has done well at the domestic level, is it worth considering that or should Rohit… Yes, he is a high-quality player sitting on the bench, should he be pushed at the top?”
The 48-year-old also felt that the team management should somehow include Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing XI for the red-ball format.
“He is still the best spinner that you have. Yes, there have been a few incidents where he has had injuries and not performed to his potential, but Ashwin is your number one spinner in the team. He should be a part of the squad, he should be in the playing XI, you have to make a way of getting him in,” the legendary leg-spinner concluded.
Dhoni did not feature in the squad for India’s upcoming three-match T20I series versus South Africa at home, starting September 15.
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