MS Dhoni’s spot in the side for the 2019 World Cup in England has been a source of considerable debate, but India cricket team coach Ravi Shastri has given the strongest hint that he is a certainty to be picked in the squad.
In an interview with India TV, Shastri said on current form and fitness, it is impossible to ignore Dhoni for the 2019 World Cup. “With the lind of form and fitness he is showing currently, how can one even think of not picking Dhoni for the 2019 World Cup?
“For me, the two most important things in ODIs are current form and fitness. Dhoni is supremely fit while in ODIs, he is the best wicketkeeper in the country. During the Sri Lanka series, what you saw with his batting was just a trailer. The full movie will be out soon,” Shastri said.
During the recently concluded series against Sri Lanka, MS Dhoni smashed 162 runs in the five ODIs and was not dismissed even once. His brilliant work behind the wickets ensured India achieved a 5-0 whitewash in the series in addition to the 3-0 whitewash in Tests.
Ever since he took over as coach of the Indian cricket team before the start of the Sri Lanka series in July, Shastri has been full of praise for MS Dhoni. In one interview, he said that people who think Dhoni was finished were mistaken.
“Dhoni is a massive influence on the team. He is a living legend in the dressing room and an ornament to the game. By no means or by any stretch of imagination he is finished or even half finished yet. If anyone thinks so, they are mistaken and they have another one coming. There are in for some surprises. The old dog has plenty to offer,” Ravi Shastri had said.
In another interaction, Ravi Shastri said that stepping away from Test cricket did Dhoni a lot of good. “Stepping away from Test cricket has been good for him. Going around all the world as wicketkeeper in all three formats is tough. Indian cricket has been lucky that Wriddhiman Saha has stepped up to the role admirably,” Shastri said.
India’s next assignment will be against Australia where they play five ODIs and three Twenty20 Internationals. The first ODI will begin on September 17 in Chennai.
In the last series played between the two sides in India in 2013, MS Dhoni was the skipper and he led the team to a 3-2 series win in the ODIs in addition to a win in the one-off T20I.