Will the 2019 World Cup Be All About Dhoni?

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Will the 2019 World Cup Be All About Dhoni?

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

W

e’re a few months away from the 2019 World Cup, and MS Dhoni has cemented his place in the squad, rolling back the years with back to back fifties as India won its first bilateral ODI series in Australia. 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.

His first two World Cups couldn’t have been farther away from each other in terms of results. By 2007, with his hard-hitting exploits, Dhoni had already laid to waste the dreams of Dinesh Karthik and Parthiv Patel of being the first-choice keeper. But the tournament itself was an unmitigated disaster. Dhoni, who was then building a house in Jharkhand, had irate fans who shamelessly pelted stones and vandalised his house. It got so bad the team had to be whisked out of the airport under the cover of darkness and with heavy police security to protect them from seething mobs while returning from the tournament.

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