For a fraction of second, one would feel that MS Dhoni will be captaining the Indian side for one last time and reach the magical milestone of captaining India in 200 ODIs. But, sadly that’s not the reality. He won’t be captaining India, rather India A in a practice match against the visiting England ODI side in Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai. Something that youngster KL Rahul can co-relate – 199!
Nevertheless, it’s a moment to rejoice and emotional celebration for Dhoni fans as they will be witnessing their just-retired captain leading the Men in Blue for one last time, though it will be an unofficial match. Apart from Dhoni, his good friend and staunch U-19 days opponent Yuvraj Singh is also making a comeback after March, 2016. Yuvi is expected to feature as a key member in Virat Kohli’s scheme of things for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy in England.
Another veteran in Delhi speedster Ashish Nehra is also staging a comeback and is expected to lead the bowlers pack in the T20 team. All these veteran cricketers – Dhoni, Yuvraj and Nehra need practice as they have been out of action as Team India has been busy playing Test cricket. Apart from them, Shikhar Dhawan is also making a lucky comeback as Rohit Sharma continues to remain injured, reported DNA.
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The main attraction in the practice matches will be Dhoni and his captaincy as spectators will get to see him as skipper for one final time. Dhoni had earlier startled the cricket world when he retired from Test cricket during India’s tour of Australia in 2014-15.
For the new captain, Virat Kohli the first thing that comes to mind when one mentions about MS Dhoni is ‘captain’, reports DNA. Thus, it will be an occasion to remember when Dhoni leads some of the senior team members for a much-needed match practice against Eoin Morgan’s England ODI side, that has been better in shorter formats over the years.
While Dhoni has trained regularly midway, done his nets and travelled Ranji match venues with his state team Jharkhand, nothing can replace serious match practice than this, which will help him get going before the first ODI starts in Pune on January 15.
India A (first match): Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Mandeep Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ashish Nehra, Mohit Sharma, Siddharth Kaul.
England: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings (Kent), Jos Buttler Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey and Chris Woakes.