Mahendra Singh Dhoni has made it clear that he is not hanging up his wicket-keeping gloves now and is willing to play on. He has only asked for a break from duty with the national limited-overs teams. His phenomenal achievements for Team India for whom he has won two World Cups (the 50 overs event in 2011 and the T20 worlds in 2007), which are the jewels in his crown as one of world cricket’s most successful captains, should be considered. He should be allowed to choose when he would like to retire. Regardless of his batting form that has been dipping somewhat in recent times, Dhoni is still India’s first choice wicket-keeper. He also takes a lot of the burden off Virat Kohli by managing the field placements and advising the bowlers. His mentoring presence and his glove work have contributed immensely lately even if his batting strike rate has not.
As Dhoni, 38, cannot be far away from calling it a day, he deserves a sentimental send-off in a home game like the one organised for Sachin Tendulkar, whose contribution to the game and to India was recognised in a celebratory farewell Test match held in Mumbai. A similar event in Ranchi at a time of Dhoni’s choosing would be the most appropriate way to acknowledge his contribution. The story of Dhoni, a trailblazing cricketer from the hinterland who began his career as a railway ticket examiner and went on to be one of has been the grandest fairy tale. When the selectors sit to pick the team to the West Indies today, they would have to begin to focus on the future and show clear direction in a youth policy aimed at the 2023 World Cup.