Amidst widespread criticism of his place in the ODI side, MS Dhoni has found support from Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar, who feels that he should definitely be playing next year's ICC Cricket World Cup in England, as the experienced wicketkeeper-batsman provides great tactical support to skipper Virat Kohli.
While Virat has already cleared that he is just resting from the T20Is against West Indies and Australia and remains an "integral part of the side", Sunil Gavaskar has further reiterated Dhoni's importance to the young side by saying, "There is no question. Because apart from the fact that he has got the experience, he is so useful to Virat Kohli. All the little things he does from behind, telling the bowlers where to bowl to which batsmen, making those slight adjustments to the field, that leaves Virat free to think of bowling changes or to think ahead."
"So he takes a big load of Virat and of course he is always by Virat's side when he seeks advice. That's invaluable," he added, "No amount of money can give you that experience. Just for that, he should be there for the 2019 World Cup."
Gavaskar also feels that Rishabh Pant getting to play as the main gloveman of the side will definitely help the youngster gain some invaluable experience at the international level.
"It is noble of MS Dhoni to make way for Rishab Pant because he clearly realises that he is not going to be there for the T20 World Cup in 2020. So he wants to give Pant opportunities," he assessed, "Pant has played IPL but not enough international T20s. The more he gets to play, that's better for him and that's the only feeling MS Dhoni has and he needs to be complimented on that,"
But he also opined that perhaps Dhoni should've continued with the T20Is in order to play as many games at this stage of his career as possible and advised him to reconsider the call not to play Ranji Trophy for Jharkhand.
"Because the World Cup is so close, I would like him to play a few more matches because once you go past the age of 35 your reflexes slow down," he expressed, "Therefore if you are constantly playing competitive cricket, your reflexes stay intact. Even if that may not be of the same grade but first-class cricket can keep you competitive."
"I am hoping that he will keep on playing because the larger picture is 2019. I know he thinks of not holding on to a place of a youngster for Jharkhand but for Indian cricket and the World Cup picture in mind he should play," and signed off.
(Inputs from India Today)