3 reasons why MS Dhoni could be prolonging his international career
MS Dhoni has arguably been the biggest match-winner for India in ODI cricket.
In 2004, he came into an Indian side that was critically weak in chasing down targets. India in the early 2000's showed enough promise with youngsters, but somehow got overawed in big moments barring the exception of Natwest series.
Dhoni showed nerves of steel during these critical junctures and forged strong partnerships with Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh, and the trio would close out games for India. The team became a strong chasing unit and had 17 successful chases in the 2005-06 season.
When Dhoni was handed over the reigns of captaincy, he became a master strategist and created a roadmap for the Indian team. He forged a core group that went on to win multiple significant trophies for India. Once the seniors phased out in the 2011-12 season, he inducted a group of youngsters who have gone onto become a force in world cricket.
Dhoni relinquished his captaincy at the right time to give enough space for the rampaging Virat Kohli to build his own core group for the 2019 World Cup.
Dhoni in his current role has been more of the torchbearer, guiding young bowlers and strategizing with the team management. However, can this legacy be enough for him to secure a berth in India's World Cup 2019 squad? Only time will tell.\
Here are three reasons why he might be prolonging his international career
#3 The desire to win another ICC Trophy
Dhoni has been a critical figure for India in ICC Tournaments. Barring the exceptions of ODI World Cup in 2007 and World T20 in 2009 and 2010, he has been pivotal to India's performance over the years in these marquee tournaments.
As the whole world knows, Dhoni is the only captain in history to win to the three major ICC tournaments. Under him, India had exceptional campaigns in 2014 World T20, ODI World Cup in 2015 and 2016 World T20, even though they could not emerge as the winners.
He somehow has it in him to raise his game and also the team's morale during big tournaments, which has made India the most consistent team in the last decade.
When India bowed out of the 2015 World cup after the defeat to Australia in the semi-final, there was a speculation that Dhoni would retire. However, he put those rumours to rest, when he announced his intentions to captain India in ICC World T20 2016.
When India lost to Windies in the semifinals, an Australian reporter in the post-match press conference overtly asked Dhoni "When are you going to retire?". Dhoni gave him a tongue-in-cheek reply by calling him to the presser podium and reiterated that he was fit and that he could continue till the 2019 World Cup.
With Kohli at the helm, the team composition for the 2019 World Cup seems promising and experts have touted India as one of the favourites. Their recent form in white ball cricket gives Dhoni a hope wherein India can go all the way in the tournament and he can retire on a high.