Former India captain Kapil Dev has hailed MS Dhoni as one of the greatest serving cricketers that the country has produced. He added that the wicketkeeper-batsman remains among the biggest contributors to the sport.
With everyone holding different opinions on Dhoni and his inclusion in the team even with youngsters like Rishabh Pant in the fray, Dev believes it should be left up to the veteran to decide when to retire. MS has come under criticism in recent few years for decline in his much touted power-hitting abilities.
“I don’t have to say anything about Dhoni. I think he has served the country very well and we must respect him,” he told news agency IANS. “No one knows how long he wants to play and how long his body can continue to take the workload.”
“But, there is no other cricketer who has served the country so well as Dhoni. We should respect him and wish him good luck. I hope that he wins this World Cup too.”
With the World Cup set to commence on May 30, Dev, the 1983 World Cup winning captain, understands how difficult it will be for Virat Kohli’s side to replicate that feat. But also praised the team and wished them luck.
“This Indian team looks very good. However, it won’t be very easy. They have to play like a team. I hope that they will have no injuries. If they have a stroke of luck, they will definitely win,” he said.
On the squad itself, which includes Dinesh Karthik over Pant; and no Ambati Rayudu, Dev said, “The selectors have done their job. Let’s respect the team. They have picked Karthik over Pant, then it’s alright. We should just believe that the selectors have done a good job.”
India will play their first game at the ICC World Cup 2019 against South Africa on June 5.