Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir feels that it is the right time to groom youngsters keeping the 2023 World Cup in mind. Gambhir expressed his opinion amidst rumours surrounding Dhoni’s retirement from international cricket after India’s exit from World Cup 2019 in the semi-final against New Zealand.
“It’s important to look into the future. And when Dhoni was the skipper, he invested in the future. I remember Dhoni saying in Australia that me, Sachin and Sehwag can’t play the CB series together as the grounds were big. He wished for young players for the World Cup. It’s necessary to take practical decisions than being emotional,” Gambhir was quoted as saying in TV9 Bharatvarsh.
The 37-year-old named a few wicketkeeper-batsman who can be groomed to replace Dhoni including Sanju Samson whom he lauded for his century in IPL 2019 and backed to solve India’s number four conundrum.
“And it’s time to groom youngsters. Be it Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan or any other wicketkeeper, whoever is believed to have the potential should be made the wicket-keeper. Give him chances for one and half-years and if he doesn’t perform, then others should be tried out as well. Then one would get to know who the keeper for the next World Cup is,”
However, his opening partner Virender Sehwag had a different opinion. “It should be left to MS Dhoni to decide when to hang his boots. The duty of the selectors is to reach out to Dhoni and inform him that he is no more being seen as India’s wicket-keeper batsman going forward. I wish the selectors had asked me as well about my plans so I would also have been able to inform them,” Sehwag said during a panel discussion.” Sehwag said during a panel discussion.
Gambhir also explained why Dhoni should be credited for all the success and he has achieved in his captaincy career. He believes that former captains Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid were impressive during their tenure as well.
“If you see the statistics, then he (Dhoni) is the best captain. But that doesn’t mean that other captains have done badly. Sourav Ganguly has done good captaincy; we have won outside under him. Under Virat Kohli’s captaincy, we have won ODI series in South Africa and Test series in Australia.
“It is true that MS Dhoni has won us two World Cups (2007 and 2011) but it is not fair to give all credit to the captain for success and criticise only him when it doesn’t go your way. Dhoni has won the Champions Trophy and World Cups but other captains have also taken India forward. Captains like Anil Kumble have done the job though not for long; Rahul Dravid also led India to win in England,” added the two-time IPL winning captain.
The 37-year-old cricketer-turned commentator also commented on skipper Virat Kohli’s captaincy in recently concluded World Cup 2019. He was impressed by Kohli’s attacking captaincy but felt that he was benefitted by the presence of Dhoni and opener Rohit Sharma who has won four IPL titles as Mumbai Indians’ skipper.
Under the 38-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman’s captaincy, India have won 110 out of 200 ODIs, 27 out of 60 Test matches and 41 out of 72 T20Is.