‘Gut feel is MS Dhoni’s India ambitions might be over’ - Harsha Bhogle
With the country under complete lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the chances of the 13th season of Indian Premier League being held are becoming bleak. IPL was originally scheduled to begin on March 29th but was pushed to April 15th. MS Dhoni, who has been away from competitive cricket since India’s exit from the ICC World Cup last year, was set to lead his beloved Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, in a bid to stake claim for a place in India’s T20 World Cup squad. But now with IPL on the verge of being called off, there are speculations Dhoni might find it hard to make a return to the Indian team.
Speaking to Cricbuzz, well known cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle said: “It’s absolutely impossible to know what Dhoni is thinking, don’t think even Dhoni’s shadows know what he is thinking. That’s how close he keeps his cards to his chest.”
“But this is my gut feel. I had said it when he gave up the captaincy, or when he walked away from Test cricket... just like that Dhoni won’t grandstand his exit. One day you will realise that Dhoni is gone. That he has quietly slipped away and doing his own thing and that is why my gut feel is that his India ambitions might be over. I don’t think Dhoni would be looking to September-October, October-November for the ICC T20 World Cup. Maybe, if he had a great IPL, he might. But my gut feel is that it was beyond him.”
Bhogle further added that Dhoni would still want to contribute to his IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings.
“I still do believe so that Dhoni wanted to turnout desperately for CSK and there is a reason I think that way. Last year towards the end of the IPL, towards the end of the league stage, I got an opportunity of doing a couple of post match presentations and there was Dhoni and he wasn’t holding back at the presentations which were normally three to four minutes but this one went on, seven to nine minutes almost and when Dhoni is in that talkative mood you don’t stop him,” he said.
“I asked him what it feels to be called Thala by the CSK fans and what it meant to someone who was always associated to Ranchi to be associated with Chennai and for the first time I saw a little bit of softness behind this facade that tells you nothing,” he further added.
“He talked about the great honour of being given this title, he said that when people give you that title it says how much they love you and he said there is a lot of gratitude, ‘I feel so greatly and when I am among these fans I just feel different.’ I thought there was this slightly softer side of Dhoni and that’s why Dhoni still wants to give back to CSK, even if I am not sure he wanted to go out there and play for India again.” he signed off.