India’s limited over skipper M S Dhoni, who recently led the team to a series win over New Zealand, will most likely to take a call on his ODI career after the 2017 Champions Trophy, a TOI report said.
“Dhoni had expressed the desire to assess his form and fitness at the end of 2016, but after the New Zealand series win, he is already looking at the 2017 Champions Trophy ,” TOI quoted a close source as saying.
India are scheduled to play the Champions Trophy next year in England in June.
However, his former teammate and fast bowler Ashish Nehra backed Dhoni to continue playing for India until the 2019 World Cup.
"Dhoni would be 38 by the time the 2019 World Cup is staged, but these days age isn't a factor. Look at Pakistani players like Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq. They are still playing international cricket past the age of 40. And as far as Dhoni is concerned, he is fit enough to go on till 2019," Nehra told TOI.
Former selector Vikram Rathore too batted for Dhoni to play on till the next 50-over World Cup.
While speaking to the newspaper, Rathore said: "Dhoni can definitely play on if he wants to. I don't see any issue with his fitness. He is actually looking fitter than what I have seen him earlier. If Nehra can come back at the age of 37, Dhoni can also do it. Remember, age is just a number."
Meanwhile, Former team director Ravi Shastri also joined the chorus and said: "Dhoni is on par with greats like Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar. He is a big player and has it in him to play till the 2019 World Cup.”
“He is the kind of player who won't be around if he is not able to deliver for India. He has played cricket on his own terms and will continue to do so," Shastri added.
Former wicketkeeper Kiran More also shared his views on Dhoni’s fitness and said: "Fitness is the key issue when it comes to international cricket. Dhoni does not need to worry about that. His chances of playing till 2019 are bright. India will need Dhoni and I am sure he is not going to walk away just like that."
The 2019 Cricket World Cup will be hosted by England and Wales, from 30 May to 15 July.