Will the 2019 World Cup Be All About Doing It for Dhoni?


Will the 2019 World Cup Be All About Doing It for Dhoni?

Illustration: Shruti Yatam


ven before this year’s IPL begins, the Chennai Super Kings are already trending. The returning outfit is going to practice in an open bus, with their beloved adopted son and captain MS Dhoni back at the helm. For two years, he was an uneasy fit in the Rising Pune Supergiants team, putting up with barbs about his leadership, his form, and his value to the team. Stripped of his captaincy humiliatingly before the 2017 edition, he must have been waiting to return to the arms of his beloved CSK, and CSK has been waiting impatiently for him. But playing for the national side is a different ball game.

We’re a little over a year away from the 2019 World Cup, and MS Dhoni’s place in the side is yet not fully assured. After Dinesh Karthik’s show-stealing last-ball six at the Nidahas Trophy final, which stole victory from under the Bangladeshis’ noses, Karthik’s stock price has suddenly shot up. As Dhoni’s career enters its final stretch, he finds his irreplaceable aura diminishing. If Dhoni makes it, it will be his fourth and final tournament. Since 2014, when he abruptly retired from Test cricket in the middle of a series, and then gave up Team India’s captaincy in all formats in 2016, it seems as if he has been shedding all the baggage and getting ready for his final act in cricket – the 2019 World Cup.