Dhoni should keep playing if he feels fit: Gautam Gambhir
Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir on Saturday said Mahendra Singh Dhoni should keep representing India if he feels hit. He believes age should not decide his playing span, stating people must not force him to retire. India's World Cup-winning captain hasn't been around competitive cricket since July 2019. Since then, several speculations regarding his retirement have taken rounds.
"Age is just a number, I think if you are in a very good form, if you are hitting the ball well, if he is enjoying the game and he can still win the game for the country at number six and seven," said Gambhir.
MS Dhoni has not featured in any competitive cricket since India's exit from the 2019 ICC World Cup. He served the Indian army for two weeks as a part of his prolonged sabbatical and later made himself unavailable for several bilateral limited-overs series. Earlier this year, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) removed the 39-year-old from list of centrally contracted players.
In March, Dhoni took part in Chennai Super Kings' practice sessions in order to prepare for Indian Premier League. However, the COVID-19 pandemic led to tournament's postponement, which quashed his hopes of returning to action. Meanwhile, Dhoni will now eye a comeback as IPL is set to be played in UAE from September 19 to November 8.
Gambhir asserted Dhoni shouldn't pay heed to opinions regarding his retirement. "If he is in great fitness and form, he should continue playing because no one can actually force anyone to retire," added Gambhir. "A lot of experts can put a lot of pressure on people like Dhoni because of their age and stuff but again it's an individual decision."
Dhoni was in sublime form in limited-overs cricket last year. He averaged 60 in ODIs, scoring 600 runs from 18 matches and was also named the Player of the Series in Australia. In the IPL, he amassed 416 runs in 15 matches at an average of 83.20. It remains to be seen if plays for Team India again.