Reports: MS Dhoni may carry on playing until the 2019 World Cup in England
Ever since he retired in an unusual manner from Test cricket in December 2014, speculation has been rife over how and when MS Dhoni will bid goodbye to the game altogether.
The 35-year-old, who is in 12th year as an international cricketer, nine of which he has led in coloured clothing, is without doubt in the final stretch of his career and a lot of experts have hinted that he should perhaps hand over the captaincy entirely to his Test counterpart Virat Kohli and look to make more sizeable contributions with the bat in hand.
That Dhoni wants to contribute with the bat can be taken from his desire to bat in the Top 4 as was seen in the ODI series against New Zealand where he came up the order and showed his value, making an 80 in the team’s win at Mohali and a 41 in Vizag on Saturday.
If sources close to the Times of India are to be believed, then Dhoni has already begun the process of forming the team for the 2019 World Cup and will assess the status of his ODI career, post the 2017 Champions Trophy. The source further confirmed that he was not looking to calling it quits from the 50-over format so soon.
In an interview to the newspaper, Ashish Nehra had said that age was not as a big a deal in this day and age and added that the limited-over skipper was fit enough to carry on till the next World Cup in England, three years down the line.
“I don't see any reason why Dhoni should retire from international cricket. After the New Zealand ODI series, he will get more than two months to rest and come back fresh for the ODIs against England. Dhoni will be fitter in the series against England than what you saw in the series against the Kiwis.
"By the time it's time for the 2019 World Cup, Dhoni's age would close to 38, but these days age isn't a factor.Look at Pakistani players like Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq. They are still playing international cricket past the age of 40. And as far as Dhoni is concerned, he is fit enough to go on till 2019,” The 37-year-old said.
While there is no doubt that Dhoni still is among the fittest members in the current setup, his ability to remain in top shape for extended periods will determine whether or not he could board that flight to the United Kingdom in 2019.
In order to ensure that happens, he has decided to represent Jharkhand in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and those matches should hopefully keep him in good stead.