Stephen Fleming has stated that he does not know what Mahendra Singh Dhoni will do after the World Cup and he has not talked to the CSK skipper about it. He also implied that the onus is on the 37-year-old and his motivation which will enable him to take a call on his future as a cricketer.
There were a lot of talks about MS Dhoni’s retirement even before the 2015 World Cup but the legendary cricketer has done phenomenally well to survive until the 2019 World Cup which is scheduled to be played in England and Wales between May 30 and July 14.
The former India captain silenced his critics by winning the IPL last year for his franchise Chennai Super Kings, not just with his captaincy skills, but also with the bat, as he smashed 455 runs at a strike rate of over 150 while remaining unbeaten for nine times in 16 matches. He proved his credentials yet again in ODI cricket by starting the year with three back to back fifties against Australia Down Under and not to forget his lightning-fast glove work.
“I certainly was hoping he would get through to the World Cup, and he’s going to do that. [He’s] absolutely as strong as he can be. What he wants to do after that, I’m not sure. It’s certainly not a discussion that I’ve had; discussions have been around whether he’s going to make it to the World Cup. And he’s answered that pretty emphatically these last 12 months, six months in particular. I’d love him to carry on with Chennai [Super Kings] to the end of this cycle and then assess, but it’s really a question for him and his motivations. He’s playing well; he’s leading well
The former New Zealand captain also praised veteran India spinner Harbhajan Singh for his match-winning performance against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL opener on March 23. The “Turbanator” was given the ball in the powerplay overs and he took the opportunity with both hands to quickly dismiss RCB’s star batsmen Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali which resulted in the Bengaluru-based franchise being wrapped up for a total of 70 with only one batsman scoring in double digits.
“My thoughts [about Harbhajan] are very, very good. He was fantastic in the first game. And it just shows experience is very important. We place a high premium on experience of Chennai [Super Kings] and again it came to the fore. So, there are a lot of left-handers in the Delhi side which is the consideration we had when we played the last game against [Royal Challengers] Bangalore, and that would be another discussion point,” the
The slow pitch at Chepauk on the eve of the first match became the point of discussion and even Dhoni and Kohli expressed their displeasure. The ball was spinning big even when there was dew, which made it very difficult for the batters, which was evident as CSK took over 17 overs to chase down the small target of 71.
“The last game was a difficult one for the batters, and the bowlers excelled. It’s okay to have those every now and then. My first look at [the pitch tells me] it’s reasonably dry. Given the fact that we use spinners as one of our tactics, that would be the consideration but we are also pretty well balanced. There is also a little bit of assistance for seam bowling as well; we have got bowlers who can exploit that,” stated Fleming, as he signed off.
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