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Published On: Sun, Sep 8th, 2019

Should Dhoni continue? Anil Kumble ‘not sure’

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msdhoniNEW DELHI : Former India captain and coach Anil Kumble is “not sure” whether Mahendra Singh Dhoni fits in the current set-up and wants the selectors to have a “conversation” with him before preparing for a send-off befitting his contribution.
Dhoni’s future in international cricket has been a subject of debate and there are enough indications that the selectors are looking ahead.
“I’m not really sure. I think Pant has certainly made a lot of claims as a keeper-batsman, especially in the T20 format. So, it’s important to have a conversation and you need to have a proper send-off, he certainly deserves that,” Kumble told CricketNext when asked if he would like to see Dhoni continue in top flight cricket. It’s for MSK Prasad’s committee to decide whether they want to look back or move forward.
MS Dhoni led India to victory in the inaugural edition of the ICC T20 World Cup in 2007 and continues to captain the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, the 38-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman doesn’t seem to be a sure-shot selection in the team for the T20 World Cup 2020, to be held in Australia next year.
MS Dhoni opted for a two-month sabbatical from cricket after an under par showing in the World Cup 2019 and thus missed out on a spot in the squads for the T20Is against the West Indies and South Africa. Former India captain and coach Anil Kumble believes MS Dhoni deserves a “proper send-off” whenever that happens, adding that the selectors need to streamline approach ahead of the T20 World Cup.
“MS Dhoni certainly deserves a proper send-off, whenever he decides to move on from the sport. But for the team’s sake, the selectors need to sit down and have a discussion around what the plans are because it’s important that things be communicated,” Kumble told CricketNext in an interview.
“I think the selectors will have a take a call as to which is the likely team that you’d want in the World Cup because the World Cup is just a year away,” he added. Recalling India’s campaign in the 50-over World Cup, where India were knocked out in the semi-finals, Kumble said: “You’d want a consistent team to be playing right throughout and that’s exactly what didn’t happen in the 50-over competition.”
India were without a designated number four batsman throughout the World Cup and Kumble believes an issue like this would hamper the team chances even more in the shortest format.

“There were a lot of changes leading up to the World Cup. We were still not sure about who that number 4 would be, the whole World Cup we kept on discussing who should bat at number 4, and that’s not what you want leading up to the 20-over World Cup. You’d want all those roles and responsibilities to be fixed and make sure that you have back-ups for certain positions, just in case somebody gets injured or if somebody’s out of form,” he said.

After registering a 3-0 whitewash against the West Indies in the Caribbean, India’s next T20I assignment will be against the visiting South African team. The opening T20I of the three-match series will be played in Dharmasala on September 15. The second and third matches will be played on September 18 and 22 respectively.(With Agency Inputs ).

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