Azhar feels it’s for Dhoni to make a call on retirement


Even though India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has said that he would like to carry on till the 2019 World Cup, there are talks doing rounds that it is time he hangs up his boots.

On Tuesday, former skipper Sourav Ganguly had asked the selectors if they would be going in with Dhoni as leader in the next World Cup. If no, then they should find a new captain.

However, former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin said here on Wednesday that Dhoni should be given an option to quit on his own terms.

It is Ganguly’s opinion. This should be Dhoni’s personal decision and we should respect it. All depends on how he feels and sees future. We should give him a chance considering he has been one of finest captains ever. He has won all major tournaments and got India to No. 1 position in all formats of the game,” said Azharuddin.

Azharuddin said that Dhoni has been going through tough times. “Don’t forget his performances. Some times it gets very hard. People go through ups and downs. He may not been in fine form, but he has been a pillar of strength to players who played under him,” he said.

The Hyderbadi, who has played 99 Tests and 334 ODIs, backed Virat Kohli to be Dhoni’s successor.

“I have always said Virat Kohli is ideal. I don’t think there are any doubts that he will be the next captain. He is already captain in Tests, but in T20s and ODIs too, he is going to be the next captain.”

Asked about lack of faith shown by Dhoni in India’s best spinner R Ashwin, Azharuddin felt the bowler has to get back to getting wickets.

“With de respect, Ashiwn has to produce results. He has been a great bowler, but at the end of the day it is the results that matters. If you get that, then captain will also give you bowling. At the same time Dhoni has always helped players and youngsters. There have been times where he has let youngsters go bat before him. Bowlers have to perform if they don’t then they will lose confidence of the captain,” he said.

With the BCCI yet to appoint coach after team director Ravi Shastri’s term came to an end after the World T20, Azharuddin said he expects a foreign coach to take over.

“Nowadays everybody looks to have a foreign coach. I don’t think there will be anybody from India. There will be someone from outside, but it also depends on the captain,” said Azharuddin.

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