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MS Dhoni would have played T20 World Cup had COVID-19 not happened: Former India selector Sarandeep Singh

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni
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Modified 21 Feb 2021
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Former Indian spinner and selector Sarandeep Singh has revealed that MS Dhoni was set to feature in the T20 World Cup 2020 had the COVID-19 pandemic not tanked its schedule.

In what seemed like a left-field call, MS Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket on 15th August 2020.

Unfortunately, the former captain's last action in international cricket remains the fateful run-out in the 2019 World Cup semifinal.

Many had hoped for a rousing comeback from the wicketkeeper-batsman in the World T20 in Australia, but it wasn't meant to be.

Interacting with Sportskeeda’s Indranil Basu in an SK Live session on Facebook, Singh remarked that he and the whole selection committee believed that MS Dhoni, after his influential and inspirational career, deserved the chance to end his journey on a high.

"Definitely, he would have played (had COVID-19 not interuppted). We were also thinking that he should have definitely played the World T20. He was fit. There was no reason for him to not play.
"We always see the fitness of the players first to see how long they can play. And Mahi was the fittest. He never took a break from practice. Even in optional practice, Mahi was there. And you see it never happened that he missed a game because of injury. That's why he got so much respect from everyone.
"We always felt that a player who played so much for India and won so many trophies - there's not a single trophy he hasn't won - deserved that chance. It was my personal opinion and opinion of everyone in the selection committee that MS Dhoni should have played the World T20," said Singh.

After 16 years of service to Indian cricket, MS Dhoni retired having won every ICC trophy on offer, the Test maze, 3 IPL titles and 2 Champions League T20 trophies.

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MS Dhoni ended his career with 16 international hundreds, a double ton, and over a hundred half-centuries.

His career ODI average of over 50, batting lower down the order, will remain one of the best for many years to come.

"MS Dhoni was always a team man who thought for the team ahead of himself" - Sarandeep Singh

MS Dhoni will be back in action in IPL 2021
MS Dhoni will be back in action in IPL 2021

Further in the interaction, Sarandeep Singh commended MS Dhoni for the smooth transition of captaincy to Virat Kohli.

Revealing a special conversation with the 39-year-old, Singh called MS Dhoni a 'team man' who always kept his team ahead of himself.

"Mahi is respected not only for his cricket but also because he is a good human being. He never feels that he has won everything. We have never seen a captain transferring his leadership duties to his deputy while being beside him in his journey. Many years after relinquishing his captaincy, he remained with Virat and helped him. Even bowlers like Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have achieved what they have because of his tutelage. The way he used to give them instructions behind the wickets, he actually taught them how to get themselves ready," said Sarandeep Singh.
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"So many times we asked MS Dhoni about what special advice he gives to the youngsters. He always said that 'I only ask them to not think too much, just read the situation. Because if you do that then decision-making becomes very easy.' ...Hardik, Bumrah, he helped everyone. He was always a team man who thought for the team ahead of himself," Singh concluded.

MS Dhoni has continued his journey with the Chennai Super Kings franchise in the IPL, leading them in the 2020 season.

He will be back in action again in the Chennai yellow when the next season begins in April.

Published 21 Feb 2021, 07:41 IST
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