MS Dhoni clears the air over retirement speculations

Aug 08, 2018, 14:26 IST | Subodh Mayure

Negating retirement talk, MS Dhoni says he asked for the ball after final ODI to help pacers understand reverse swing in English conditions ahead of 2019 World Cup

MS Dhoni clears the air over retirement speculations
India's wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni during a promotional event in Bandra yesterday. Pic/Shadab Khan

Team India's wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni has cleared the air over his retirement. Recently, after India lost the third and final ODI against England at Leeds, Dhoni was seen asking the ball from the umpire. Dhoni hadn't fared too well with the bat in the series and many thought this was a sign that he was going to quit soon and so wanted the ball as a souvenir. However, yesterday, Dhoni revealed that he wanted the ball to assist India's fast bowlers in overcoming issues concerning reverse swing as India prepare for next year's World Cup in England.

England factor
"Since we will be playing the World Cup in England, we must know what we have to do to get the reverse swing going. The opposition is getting it, so we should also get it at some point or the other. That's why I did that [took the ball from umpire]," Dhoni said on the sidelines of a promotional event in Bandra yesterday.

"After 50 overs, the ball is useless to the ICC [International Cricket Council], so I requested the umpire for the ball and gave it to our bowling coach and said we need to work on it to know how we can get it scuffed up a bit more so that we can get a bit of reverse swing going. That will help the fast bowlers get those yorkers or wickets towards close or after the 40-over mark. That will help us restrict the opposition in the last 10 overs," added Dhoni, who led India to the Word Cup title in 2011.

'Kohli is the best'
Replying to a question on skipper Virat Kohli, who surpassed Australia's Steven Smith to become the No. 1 Test batsman, Dhoni said: "He [Kohli] is the best. He is close to being a legend... the way he has batted everywhere. In the last few years, he's been brilliant. He keeps taking the team forward and that's what you want from a leader," said Dhoni.

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