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MS Dhoni is not going anywhere, says Ravi Shastri

Dhoni was criticised heavily for his below-par show in the ODI series against England and the fan-made theories indicated that the game in Leeds might have been the 37-year old's final match for India.

Written by: Brett Ellis, New Delhi [ Updated: July 19, 2018 20:33 IST ]
Image Source : AP

MS Dhoni has Team India coach Ravi Shastri's backing

Team India coach Ravi Shastri has dismissed speculations regarding former captain MS Dhoni's future in limited-overs cricket following rumours about his retirement which appeared after he collected the match ball from the umpire at the conclusion of the third ODI against England at Headingley, Leeds. 

India lost the three-match ODI series 1-2 to England as the Three Lions made a remarkable comeback to even matters in the tour after earlier losing the T20I series. 

Many fans conjured theories that the Headingley ODI might be Dhoni's last match as he took the match ball from umpires Bruce Oxenford and Michael Gough after the Men in Blue lost the series decider to England.  

The former skipper poised similar actions before he announced his retirement from Test cricket. 

However, coach Shastri squashed all reports and told The Times of India: "That's rubbish. MS is not going anywhere."

"MS wanted to show the ball to Bharat Arun. He wanted to show him the wear and tear the ball had endured, to get a general idea of what the conditions were like," Shastri was quoted as saying by TOI.

Dhoni was the topic of discussion and he was once again scrutinised after his recent performances and the fan-made theories indicated that it might have been the 37-year old's final match for India. 

Dhoni received plenty of flak from certain quarters for his slow batting which confounded a number of viewers. During the ODI series, the former India captain scored a total of 79 runs off 125 deliveries with a Strike-Rate of 63.20 - a statistic alien to modern day finishers. A feature of his batting during this series has been the number of dot balls he consumed even when the team needed to score at a higher rate.

Earlier, former Team India opener and IndiaTV cricket analyst Virender Sehwag stated that Dhoni is not the same person as he was before. 

"I feel that Dhoni is not the same person that he was before. Age is surely catching up. He used to take the responsibility to take the match till the end. He could have converted the many dot balls he played into runs," Sehwag told IndiaTV. 

Meanwhile, former Team India captain Sourav Ganguly backed the 37-year old and said: "The people shouldn't boo Dhoni. He's one of the greats. I don't think we will ever find a player like him in the times to come. He got stuck out there, couldn't rotate the strike. He should start hitting because that's his natural game. One starts questioning his abilities, as to whether he can perform in the same fashion like he did before. In 2005, he used to hit bowlers in any conditions. In Pakistan, he went and hit sixes all around. The team management should sit and talk to him, give him the No.6 spot and tell him to get back to his natural game." 

India isn't slated to play any white ball cricket in the coming days as the Virat Kohli led team will face England in a five-match Test series, commencing from August 1.

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