Mahendra Singh Dhoni has led India to 2 World Cup titles – the T20 World Cup in 2007 and the ODI World Cup in 2019. He is no longer the captain, but still has a vital role in the team.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Team India coach Ravi Shastri acknowledged the importance of having Dhoni in the team, as he has the ability to influence the game’s little moments. “He is right there, his communication has been fantastic. As a keeper, he has shown over the years that no one is better than him in this format, not just in taking catches, inflicting those run-outs or stumping, these are little moments in the game which can change it on the head and there was no one better than him,” Shastri said.
The former Indian captain has been in top form since the beginning of 2019 and has carried his form in the 12th edition of IPL as well. Dhoni amassed 416 runs at a mammoth average of 83.2 and a strike rate of 135. He led his team Chennai Super Kings to the final.
Dhoni is the only Indian captain to win all ICC trophies and his guidance to current skipper Virat Kohli in the upcoming World Cup will be crucial. Be it getting Joginder Sharma to bowl the last over in the 2007 T20 World Cup final or getting Rohit Sharma to open the innings – Dhoni’s intuitive decisions have often worked in India’s favour. And Kohli could draw on Dhoni’s experience during crucial moments of the game.
In nine ODI’s this year Dhoni has scored 327 runs with an average of 81.75 and a strike rate of 78.23. MS Dhoni retired from Test cricket in 2014 after playing 90 Test matches for the country. His retirement came as a shock to fans around the world. The 2019 World Cup could be the last hurrah for MS Dhoni in international cricket and he would be hoping to sign off on a winning note.
India World Cup Squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Ravindra Jadeja.