MS Dhoni to decide ODI future in 2013: India captain MS Dhoni has said the chances of him being available to defend India’s World Cup title in 2015 aren’t guaranteed, and that he will take a call two years prior to the tournament in Australia-New Zealand. Dhoni, who has been around since 2005, has been captaining India in all three formats, in addition to his role as wicketkeeper-batsman.
“If you see 2015, three and a half years to go, I don’t really know where I will stand. Everything needs to go off well and then close to 2013, I will have to take a call whether I can be 100% available for the 2015 World Cup,” Dhoni told the news channels.
“Because at the end of the day you don’t want a wicketkeeper part of the side who has not played at least 100-odd games – at least close to 80-100 games going into the World Cup. So that’s a call that needs to be taken. But if everything goes off well, 2013 end will be the time where we will have to carefully study the body and see what can be done.” Dhoni was speaking after receiving the news channel’s Indian of the Year – Sports award for 2011.
India’s packed schedule in recent years, with the IPL thrown in, has compelled Dhoni to prioritise and take adequate rest before important tours. This year, he skipped the one-dayers in the West Indies after an exhausting World Cup and the IPL, as well as West Indies’ return series (ODIs) in India which concluded recently. Parthiv Patel took over the gloves in both.
Dhoni’s trophy cabinet in limited-overs cricket includes the World Cup, the 2007 World Twenty20, plus two IPL titles and the 2010 Twenty20 Champions League. The 2011 World Cup remains his most significant achievement till date, smashing an unbeaten 91 in a tense final against Sri Lanka in Mumbai, sealing the victory with a six.
The normally phlegmatic Dhoni didn’t hide his emotions, as television cameras managed to capture scenes of several of his team-mates openly crying with joy. Reliving the moment, Dhoni admitted that he too cried, though away from the camera.
“Yes I did (cry) you don’t really have footage of that,” Dhoni said. “It’s very difficult to control an emotion like that. I was controlling it, quickly. I wanted to go up to the dressing room and I see two of my players crying and running onto me. Fortunately, all of a sudden, I started crying and I looked up and there was a huddle around me.
“It was one of the biggest things for us as Indian cricketers. The last time we won the proper 50-over version was 28 years back. So most of the people part of the side wanted to win the World Cup and as soon as we got into a position where we saw the World Cup coming into our dressing room, that was the time when emotions started to flow. If you see before the post-match presentation, almost each and every player cried.”
Dhoni’s unconventional batting style, full of improvised strokes, has won him plenty of attention over the years. One of his patented strokes is the ‘helicopter shot’, which he sometimes employs to dig out yorker length deliveries, in which he twirls the bat above his head in the follow-through.
He said it originated from his tennis-ball cricket days in Jharkhand.
“We played on a 16-18 yard wicket with a tennis ball and most of the times the bowler tried to push in a yorker,” Dhoni said. “That was the kind of shot that you needed to hit it for a six because in tennis ball cricket, you don’t have to middle it. Even if you are using the bottom-most part of the bat, if you hit it quite well, it always goes over the boundary.
“I think I became better. I never practiced it, I used it in the games. And not to forget, I’ve quite often hit my left ankle doing that. Over the years you get better and better and I’ve seen a few other people trying to copy it.”