Monday, 25 June 2018 02:26 GMT

UAE- Dhoni will probably play the 2019 World Cup, says Azharuddin

(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin feels that MS Dhoni will call it a day only after the World Cup in England in 2019.

As has been the case for over a while now, voices are growing louder on louder on ex-India skipper Dhoni's utility in India's limited-overs teams, especially the abridged format - T20s. And those voices have echoed yet again during the T20 series against the Kiwis. Once known as the best finisher in the world, MSD has not been the same Dhoni of yore and former India batsman VVS Laxman and former opener Aakash Chopra, now television pundits, have questioned his selection.

But Azharuddin, one of the most successful Indian captains, believes that the decision should be left to the man himself and felt that Dhoni would go on and figure in the 2019 World Cup. Dhoni himself has said repeatedly that he would like to see out the showpiece event to be held in England.

"I don't know what is going through his mind so I really don't know. I think it should be left to him but as far as I can read it, I think he will probably go on and play the 2019 World Cup. It appears that way to me," Azharuddin told the Khaleej Times in an interview on Thursday.

Azharuddin, who played 99 Tests and 334 one-day internationals, was in Dubai as a speaker for the UAE-India Economic Forum 2017, where he delivered a speech titled: 'Two Nations: One Passion - How Cricket Brings Together Both Nations.'

Azharuddin also weighed in on India-Pakistan cricket ties, saying that it was up to both the governments to decide on it.

"It is up to the governments of the two countries. It is not the players who decide. The two governments decide on that. Opinions of anybody, to be honest, doesn't matter. We can say that this is my opinion but that opinion will not be taken into account because since it is at the diplomatic level. The higher ups of the two countries will decide. There are so many issues. Sport is one thing but at the end of the day, there are so many different issues, security and various other factors. So, everything put together, it is not very easy," said the 54-year-old.

Azharuddin was one of that rare breed of players blessed with wristy batsmanship along with ML Jaisimha and VVS Laxman and he said that he see shades of himself and the other two in current Indian captain Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane.

"It comes naturally. You can't say that you have to practice to become wristy. Sometimes, things come naturally to you and you improve upon it. That is most important. I was lucky to have that talent. I only came to know that I was a wristy player when I scored my first hundred. Before that, I didn't know anything at all. "Now, most of them have become very wristy. Virat Kohli, (Ajinkya) Rahane, they have become very wristy and have used it very well. The game is changing and there is so much of wrist involved nowadays," observed Azharuddin.

Azharuddin is one of the few batsmen to have begun and ended their Test career with a hundred and although he finished up one short of 100 Tests, he had no regrets on how his career played out.

"I don't regret it. I'm very happy that I played 99 Test matches and I was very happy to score a hundred in my first match and hundred in my last Test. So, I'm very happy and I don't have any complaints or regrets. That was how my career was supposed to end. It is destiny. You have to carry on and accept it," he said.


UAE- Dhoni will probably play the 2019 World Cup, says Azharuddin

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