"Can Retire Whenever He Wants": Shane Warne Hits Out At MS Dhoni Critics
Shane Warne found it strange that there were people who were unsure about MS Dhoni being in the India World Cup 2019 squad.
MS Dhoni will be a key player for Team India at the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales and despite being 37 years old, the former India captain is showing little signs of slowing down. MS Dhoni retired from Test cricket in 2014 but continues to be an integral part of the Indian team in the shorter formats. However, there are still some who feel MS Dhoni's best years are behind him and he could be a liability with the bat going forward and therefore should give his place away to youngsters like Rishabh Pant. Australia legend Shane Warne though is bewildered by such talk and said that "Dhoni can retire whenever he wants because he has been that good".
"MS Dhoni has been a terrific servant for Indian cricket, he has given his everything to Indian cricket. I can't believe some people questioned that MS shouldn't have been there for the World Cup. The thing about retirement is that it is better they say why are you than why don't you. Dhoni is the only person who knows when the right time is and as a player you know. And whether that is after the World Cup or five years after the tournament he will know when the right time is. Dhoni can retire whenever he wants because he has been that good," Shane Warne told IANS.
MS Dhoni had a tumultuous 2018, which led many to feel that the end was nigh for the former India captain. The wicketkeeper/batsman played 20 ODIs for India in 2018, scoring just 275 runs at an average of 25 without a single half-century or hundred to his name. In that one-year period, MS Dhoni's highest ODI score was an unbeaten 42.
But MS Dhoni came roaring back in 2019, letting his bat do the talking even as critics pointed to his poor 2018 form to lead calls for a World Cup omission.
In the nine matches that MS Dhoni has played in 2019, he has scored a whopping 327 runs at an average of 81.75 with a high-score of 87 not out.
At the beginning of the year, MS Dhoni played an instrumental role in India's first bilateral ODI series win in Australia. Dhoni slammed three successive half-centuries in Australia, amassing a total of 193 runs in three matches.
Even when Australia toured India, MS Dhoni played the first three matches, scoring a total of 85 runs at an average of 42.50. He was rested for the final two ODIs, and his presence was missed sorely as Rishabh Pant failed to step up to the plate behind the stumps. Australia beat India in both those matches, going on to win the ODI series.
MS Dhoni took his good form with the bat into the Indian Premier League (IPL). In IPL 2019, MS Dhoni was the top run-getter for Chennai Super Kings, who reached the final of the final of the tournament. Despite being missing a couple of matches through injury, Dhoni amassed 416 runs in 15 matches (12 innings) at an average of 83.20 and a strike rate of 134.62.
The likes of Shane Watson (17 innings), Suresh Raina (17 innings), Ambati Rayudu (17 innings) and others all played more than Dhoni but failed to have the same impact.