After Virat Kohli, Ashish Nehra has now come out in support of the struggling MS Dhoni, stating that the latter should keep playing until at least the T20 World Cup in 2020. The recently retired pacer has also admitted that his decision to quit the game altogether wasn’t an easy one for him.
In Rajkot, Dhoni scored 49 runs off 37 balls at a strike-rate of 132.43 but his first 25 runs had come at a run-a-ball, which eventually took the asking rate beyond 15 runs an over. The former Indian captain struggled to hit the big shots against the spinners while at the same time, Kohli struck a brisk half-century. Dhoni's innings drew a lot of flak from some former Indian players including VVS Laxman and Ajit Agarkar, who went as far as to suggest Dhoni to call it quits from the shortest format of the game.
However, Kohli defended his former skipper stating that it was unfair to single out Dhoni's innings for India's defeat in the Rajkot T20I and hailed his former skipper as a valuable lower-order batsman, keeper, and an astute tactical leader. Now, Dhoni has found another supporter in Ashish Nehra, who believes that Dhoni should be allowed to retire on his own terms.
”In every house, you need an elder one and he is there. I hope until next two to three years or as long as his body allows he plays. Cricket is a game of conditions definitely and it is not easy to perform. If it was in mind or if I am coach or captain I will be in his head that he has to play. I am not saying he doesn’t perform he has to play. He is the first guy who will raise his hand and say I am retiring if he is not performing. But I personally feel we should leave at MS Dhoni and let him play cricket,” Nehra told ANI.
“He is one guy who is very honest with himself and the country. So, he should definitely play. I see him even to play T20 World Cup in 2020. If I can be a fast bowler at the age of 39. So, with MS Dhoni and his fitness, he can definitely play,” he added.
Last week, on November 1, Nehra walked into the sunset of his international career after playing the first T20I at his home ground in New Delhi. However, the pacer admitted that the decision to quit the game wasn’t an easy one for him.
“This was not an easy decision. Didn’t take it overnight, was waiting for the right time. I can say Indian cricket is in safe hands,” he said.