Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar backed MS Dhoni to play the 2019 World Cup in England for his experience and support to Virat Kohli.
- Sunil Gavaskar said that MS Dhoni should play the 2019 World Cup because of his rich experience
- He added that Dhoni being there helps Virat Kohli immensely
- However, he added that Dhoni needs to play domestic cricket to stay sharp
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar walked on the same lines as the current skipper regarding Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s importance to the Indian cricket team in limited-overs cricket.
It was Virat Kohli first who cleared the air with his “MS Dhoni is integral part of the side” message after the fifth and final ODI against West Indies and now Gavaskar too has joined the ‘Dhoni for 2019 World Cup’ chorus.
When asked if he should be a part of the 50-overs squad for the 2019 World Cup in England, Gavaskar said: “There is no question. Because apart from the fact that he has got the experience, he is so useful to Virat Kohli.”
But, Gavaskar advocates Dhoni’s presence for the counsel he provides to Kohli.
“All the little things he does from behind, telling the bowlers where to bowl to which batsmen, making those slight adjustments to the field, that leaves Virat free to think of bowling changes or to think ahead. So he takes a big load of Virat and of course he is always by Virat’s side when he seeks advise. That’s invaluable. No amount of money can give you that experience. Just for that he should be there for the 2019 World Cup,” Gavaskar argued.
On the selectors laying a new path for Indian cricket in T20 action by leaving Dhoni out for Rishabh Pant, Gavaskar believes Dhoni would have been part of decision making.
“It is noble of MS Dhoni to make way for Rishab Pant because he clearly realises that he is not going to be there for the T20 World Cup in 2020. So he wants to give Pant opportunities. Pant has played IPL but not enough international T20s. The more he gets to play, that’s better for him and that’s the only feeling MS Dhoni has and he needs to be complimented on that,” he said.
But Gavaskar did feel Dhoni not playing T20s would rob him of some match time and advises him to reconsider his call not to play Ranji cricket.
“Because the World Cup is so close, I would like him to play a few more matches because once you go past the age of 35 your reflexes slow down. Therefore if you are constantly playing competitive cricket, your reflexes stay in tact. Even if that may not be of the same grade but first class cricket can keep you competitive.
I am hoping that he will keep on playing because the larger picture is 2019. I know he thinks of not holding on to a place of a youngster for Jharkhand but for Indian cricket and the World Cup picture in mind he should play,” he observed.