India cricket team’s coach Ravi Shastri has quashed all social media talk of MS Dhoni retiring over an innocous moment following the third ODI against England. Video grab of Dhoni taking the ball from the umpire led many to believe that the veteran is going to retire – much like how he took the stumps following India and Australia’s Test draw in 2014. A few days later, he surprisingly announced retirement from the longest format of the game.
Dhoni asked for the ball from umpires Bruce Oxenford (Australia) and Michael Gough (England) as the teams walked back towards the pavilion. India lost the third ODI by 8-wickets and with that the series 2-1 for first bilateral series lost since 2016.
Shastri dismissed all speculation on Dhoni’s retirement on Wednesday. “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 clarified to Times of India.
Even with social media rife with speculation that former India captain will soon bid a final goodbye to all formats, Shastri ended that with one line. “That’s rubbish. MS is not going anywhere,” Shastri confirmed.
Dhoni had come under fire during the England ODI series for slow scoring rate. His 59-ball 37 runs at Lord’s in the second ODI frustrated many fans with some in attendance even booing him.
Shastri clarified that if criticism has to come Dhoni’s way, he might as well endure it. But it wouldn’t make him any less important, given what he brings to the squad. “But right now, all this clamour is nonsense. He just wanted to show the ball to Arun to just have a look at it after close to 45 overs had been bowled,” he said.