Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir has always been one to speak his mind when it comes to issues related to cricket or not. With his former teammate and captain MS Dhoni’s cricket future slowly becoming one of the favourite debates among the country’s cricket fans, Gambhir himself has not been untouched by it.
In an interview with The Indian Express, Gambhir was asked about his views on Dhoni’s retirement, especially when the wicketkeeper-batsman has made himself unavailable to play for India since the team’s exit from the World Cup in July 2019.
While calling the decision to retire ‘very individual’ in nature, Gambhir still doesn’t see Dhoni playing the next World Cup (2020).
“I feel that retirement is a very individual decision. Till the time you want to play you are allowed to play, but you do have to look at the future as well. I do not see Dhoni playing the next World Cup,” said Gambhir in pretty clear terms.
“So whoever is the captain (then), Virat or anyone else, should have the courage to say so, that this player is not fitting into the scheme of things. It’s time for some of the youngsters to get groomed in the next four-five years because ultimately it is not about Dhoni, it is about the country,” he added.
For Gambhir, it was now time to give more opportunities to young wicketkeepers like Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson rather than holding on to the veteran Dhoni.
“It is not about Dhoni staying on for the next cricket World Cup, it is about winning the next cricket World Cup. You might want to give the opportunity to Rishabh Pant or Sanju Samson, any young cricketer They should get the opportunity I think personally if you ask me, I think it’s time for Indian cricket to look beyond Dhoni,” said Gambhir.
Earlier, Dhoni’s former India teammate Yuvraj Singh had sided with his World Cup-winning captain when he was posed the same question.
“I think it’s unfair to him. The guy (Dhoni) has done so much for Indian cricket. He has been the most successful Indian captain, so you got to give him time,” Yuvraj said here on the sidelines of ‘The Sports Movement’ summit organized by India On Track.
“He needs to decide when he wants to go out. He needs to take that call. If he wants to still play, that’s his call and we need to respect that,” he added.