Cricket news: Will the unpredictable MS Dhoni play his last game for India in the Champions Trophy?

Ashim Sunam
MS DHoni, India cricket, Champions Trophy, Virat Kohli, Jharkhand cricket

MS Dhoni, one of the best players India have ever produced, has been plying his trade in the limited overs format alone, after retiring from Test cricket. The Jharkhand man gave up his ODI and T20 captaincy as well, opening the door for Virat Kohli to lead Team India.

Read: Ashish Nehra doubts if Dhoni will play till 2019 World Cup

Now, the golden question remains – how long will MS Dhoni continue to play for India?

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Dhoni's childhood coach Keshav Banerjee has the answer, and he believes that the former captain is completely focussed on doing well in the upcoming Champions Trophy. If the player finds considerable success in the ICC event, which is slated for June in England, Dhoni could go on to play in the 2019 World Cup as well.

"At the moment, his sole focus is on the Champions Trophy. If he's successful there, he would go on till the World Cup 2019," NDTV quoted Banerjee as saying.

Dhoni, who will turn 36 in July, has shown signs of age catching up with his batting, with those hard-hitting, quick-scoring knocks coming not quite as often as they used to.

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"It's natural that with age, you would not hit the same strike rate," Banerjee said. "But his will power and game-analysing sense are the two qualities that make him special. He's out there playing domestic one-dayers (Vijay Hazare Trophy) to keep himself in shape ahead of the Champions Trophy. 

Dhoni is someone known to make sudden decisions regarding his career. Dhoni resigned from Test cricket midway through the tour of Australia in 2014. Even when Dhoni resigned as India ODI and T20 captain, no one saw it coming. Hence, it would not be surprising if Dhoni suddenly decides to call it a day from all forms of the game too.

"He never liked to be pushed so he called it quits before any one could point fingers at him in the Tests format. He never kept anyone in the loop, even his best friend or parents did not know when he quit Tests," Banerjee said.

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However, if we look at his recent performances for India in the ODI series against England, Dhoni, batting higher up the order, has looked better with the bat. 

Though Dhoni might not be the India captain, the wicket-keeper batsman has been passing key inputs to Kohli when required for the team's success. India cricket fans will want to see him for a longer period, especially in the 2019 World Cup, where his experience will come in handy.

Dhoni is still one of the fittest cricketers in the team, and he looks healthy enough to play for quite a few more years.

But, with Dhoni, expect the unexpected.

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