3 challenges MS Dhoni faces on the road to World Cup 2019
MS Dhoni is the first captain to win the ICC World T20. He achieved yet another outstanding feat by hitting the winning runs in the 2011 World Cup finals. He made the World Cup dream of Sachin and countless Indians come true, and paid a splendid tribute to the Master Blaster.
All these reasons made the former captain a hero in India. The 37-year-old is still more famous than most of the young players. People want to see him keep playing; it would be a heartbreaking moment when he bids adieu to his international career and his IPL team Chennai Super Kings.
Many expect the ICC World Cup 2019 to be Dhoni's last tournament. If that is indeed the case, the 2011 World Cup-winning captain would be hoping to end his illustrious career on a high.
Dhoni might be looking to repeat the heroics of 2011, but he has quite a few challenges along the way. Here is a look at three of them.
#3 The challenge of preserving his timing and reflexes
Age is just a number when it comes to legendary performers. Even at 37, MSD is still faster than any other batsman at the crease. He is a great wicketkeeper behind the stumps. His experience would prove to be crucial for Team India.
Nevertheless, he should be reminding himself that he needs to be at the top of his game at all times. His IPL 12 performance would be closely monitored along with the remaining international performances before the World Cup.
Dhoni was good during the recently concluded Australian tour and New Zealand tour, but he has not silenced his critics for good. This is what Sanjay Majrekar had to say about Dhoni after the 3rd ODI match against Australia:
"[Dhoni is] clearly not at his prime... The software - his intention, his mind is still at its prime. He knows exactly what is needed. The hardware is not quite keeping in touch with the software. The hardware was a lot better 5-10 years back. He would hit sixes at will... he doesn't have that ability or the confidence now but he finds ways to stay there till the end."
Critics and experts see a need for MSD to turn the clock back in time. By no means is his spot in the World Cup playing XI in doubt at the moment, but that should not make him complacent.