MS Dhoni’s recent form has been a point of worry for some time now and especially with the World Cup not too far away. Dhoni has already quit Test cricket and recently, he was not even picked for Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) against West Indies and Australia, signalling perhaps a goodbye to the shortest format too.
Dhoni is no more the finisher he was once was and in fact these days, the former India captain even struggles to time the ball perfectly. However, Dhoni does not wish to test his abilities in the ongoing Ranji Trophy for Jharkhand with reports stating that he does not wish to block a spot in the Jharkhand team as he doesn’t play Test cricket anymore.
Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar, who represented Bombay at the domestic circuit, feels the next few months will be crucial for Dhoni with the World Cup fast approaching.
“He (Dhoni) didn’t play the T20Is against Australia, before that he didn’t play the West Indies Tests, and then he is not playing the Test series against Australia. So, he last played in October and will next play in January, which is a huge gap. But if he doesn’t do well on tours of Australia and New Zealand, then there will be more questions asked on his place in the World Cup,” Gavaskar told India Today.
“As you grow older and if there is a gap in your [competitive] cricket, your reflexes will slow down. If you play any form of cricket at the domestic level, you get an opportunity to play long innings, which serves as a good practice for you.”
Shikhar Dhawan, who was off-loaded from the Indian squad after a below par Test series against England, has also chosen to stay away from representing Delhi cricket in the Ranji Trophy this season.
“We shouldn’t ask Dhawan and Dhoni ‘why you are not playing domestic cricket’. We should in fact ask the BCCI and selectors that why are they allowing players to skip domestic cricket when they are not on national duty. If the Indian team has to do well, players have to be in prime form and for that they have to play cricket,” Gavaskar said.