While expressing his views on the Star Sports' show Cricket Connected, Ashish Nehra mentioned that the upcoming IPL would not have any significance on MS Dhoni's international career.
"As far as MS Dhoni's international career is concerned, I don't think this IPL has anything to do with it."
Ashish Nehra believes that if MS Dhoni would make himself available for international duty, he would be the first person to be picked in the Indian team.
"If you are a selector, captain or coach, then MS Dhoni, the most important player, if he is ready to play he will be my No. 1 name on the list."
The former CSK left-arm pacer claimed that as per his understanding, MS Dhoni has made up his mind not to play international cricket again even though the former Indian skipper has not announced it officially.
"As much as I know MS Dhoni, I think he has played his last game for India happily. MS Dhoni has nothing to prove and we all discuss these things as part of the media because he has not announced his retirement. I think he will take the call, only he can tell what is in his head."
Ashish Nehra on MS Dhoni's sustained high level of performances
Ashish Nehra observed that MS Dhoni's game has always been at the optimum level, with the Indian team's hopes riding on him in the last match he played against New Zealand - the 2019 World Cup semi-final.
"But for me, MS Dhoni's game never came down. We have discussed this earlier also that till the last game he played, India had hope to reach the World Cup final till the time MS Dhoni was there."
"The minute he got run out, everybody's hopes were gone. So, it shows where his game was even at that time. He knows how to run the team, he knows how to push youngsters forward."
Ashish Nehra signed off by iterating that the Chennai Super Kings captain's performances would not have any impact on his selection for the Indian team and that it is just a point of conjecture in the media.
"All those things, I don't need to repeat again and again but I don't think this IPL makes any difference in MS Dhoni's stature, his aura as a player and I don't think so a tournament like IPL should be MS Dhoni's selection criteria. It is just a talking point, may be."
MS Dhoni last played for India in the 2019 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand. He was run out by a direct throw from Martin Guptill for an individual score of 50 runs as India folded up for 221 runs, losing the match by 18 runs to bow out of the tournament.
Published 02 Aug 2020, 14:31 IST