MS Dhoni drops another hint at quitting Test cricket


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As everyone was celebrating India’s historic victory at Lord’s, M.S. Dhoni’s statement on his Test future seemed to have gone unnoticed. “Don’t know how exactly it feels. It will be my last Test at Lord’s. Don’t see myself coming back here in I don’t know how many years. Definitely a memorable Test match,” Dhoni had said reflecting on Lord’s victory.

On a normal day, a hint like this would have kicked off a media frenzy but startlingly it seemed to have overshadowed by the historic occasion. It was not the first time Dhoni hinted at quitting the longer format. Feeling the pressure after India’s disastrous performance in Tests in England and Australia, Dhoni dropped a strong hint on the eve of the Perth Test in January, 2012.

“If I want to see the 2015 World Cup, I’ll have to retire from one of the formats. It’s too early right now. I am not that old. I am just 30. There is still time. We will see by 2013, and by 2013, I mean the end of 2013,” Dhoni had said.

“Also, if I play till 2014 and all of a sudden say I can’t survive till the World Cup, then you have a new wicketkeeper who has not played more than 30 international games. The player who is taking my place, should have played at least 60 to 100 ODIs before he goes into the World Cup,” he had gone on to explain. But nothing happened at the end of 2013.

Though Dhoni is considered as one of the finest leaders in shorter formats, his calibre as a Test captain has often come up for debate. He was severely criticised when India lost the 2011 Test series in England 4-0. After the Trent Bridge Test that ended in a draw, former Australia captain Ian Chappell said Dhoni was not good enough to be India’s Test captain, saying he was past his prime as far as leading the side and it was right time to hand the reins of the team to Virat Kohli.

“I think it’s time for Dhoni to go and may be it is right time for Kohli to come in as captain. Certainly, he (Dhoni) is not a Test captain. I think he is a good captain in shorter version of the game. I don’t think there would be a problem to give it Kohli now, though,” he said.

Chappell had also said Dhoni would have been sacked if he had been leading Australia. “He did nothing to inspire the team,” Chappell said.

While Chappell minced no words, another former Aussie skipper Steve Waugh labelled Dhoni street smart. “He’ll work that out. In a lot of ways it is not his decision; you have the selectors for that,” he said.