What’s the story?
Former India batsman Mohammad Kaif has said that MS Dhoni was still good enough to represent India in all three formats of the game. Speaking post his side’s 78-runs loss at the loss of the Dhoni-led Jharkhand in the Vijay Hazare Trophy game in Kolkata, the 36-year-old felt that the former skipper was still hitting the ball hard and hailed him as a naturally gifted player.
“I have been watching Dhoni from his debut match and always felt you cannot become a ‘Dhoni’ just by practice.He has natural abilities which you saw today. I believe he is still good enough for all formats of the game. He is still hitting the ball hard,” Kaif said.
In case you didn’t know...
In December 2014. Dhoni retired from Test cricket after the third Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The 35-year-old at the time was among the rare leaders who was captaining his country across all three formats of the game and citing the reason that it was getting increasingly difficult for him to give his best in all three formats, the Ranchi-based cricketer decided to give up the longer format of the game.
The heart of the matter
On Sunday, Dhoni produced one of his best performances in his domestic cricket career, making a 107-ball 129, which helped his side recover from a disastrous position of 57 for 6 and reach 243 all out.
Dhoni put on a huge 151-run stand with Shahbaz Nadeem, who contributed 53 runs of his own as Jharkhand forged a sensational comeback in the game after finding themselves in the doldrums for the most part of the 1st 25 overs.
Later, Nadeem carried that confidence into his bowling as well, picking up figures of 3 for 36 in 7.4 overs and was well backed up by Varun Aaron, who delivered an economical spell of 3 for 26 in his 7 overs.
Kaif later also tweeted in praise of Dhoni, stating that his performance on Sunday was a great learning curve for his bowlers and praised the wicket-keeper batsman for his ability to strike it clean after being in a disastrous position early on.
While it is true that Dhoni remains one of the fittest cricketers in the present Indian setup, at the age of 35, it will be difficult for him to play all three formats. While there is no doubting that when he gave up Test cricket in 2014, most cricket fans felt he had in it him to play for a year or two more in whites, the question, in hindsight, to ask would his effectiveness as a cricketer had remained the same had been on the constant cricketing treadmill that so many cricketers are on right now.