New Delhi: Former India captain Kapil Dev, who won the World Cup in 1983, said as a fan he would love to see MS Dhoni play the T20 World Cup in October but it was completely the team management’s call.
“As his fan (I would love to see him play the T20 World Cup). But as a cricketer, it is dependent on the management. If he hasn’t played for one year what do you expect. I think he has to play more matches.
“He should play more matches to be in the team. Otherwise you are being unfair to other players. It shouldn’t be that there are different parameters for different players,” said Kapil.
Dhoni has not played any form of competitive cricket since India’s semi-final exit in the World Cup in July 2019. He last played a T20I against Australia in Bengaluru in February 2019 and his last T20 match was the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) final between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians.
He will be returning to action during this year’s IPL which starts March 29. However, Kapil said that he will not be watching the cash-rich league for Dhoni.
“It’s not just Dhoni playing the IPL,” said Kapil. “I am a person who looks at who is the next new young player coming up who we can look up to for the next 10 years. Dhoni has already done so much for the country. He is on his last leg. So whatever he plays, we should feel happy.
“I’m his fan and I love to see him. But I am not watching IPL just for him, I’m seeing for the next generation. IPL is for the next generation and I look for that.”
The fact, however, remains that the last time India had won an ICC tournament was in the captaincy of Dhoni. The 38-year-old resigned as captain of the limited overs side in January 2017 after having retired from Test cricket in 2014.
Under him, India had won the inaugural World T20 in 2007, the 2011 World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy. Under his successor Virat Kohli, India fell short in the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy and the semi-final of the 2019 50-over World Cup.
Kapil, who famously captained the Indian team to victory in the 1983 World Cup, said that Kohli’s men have to find their own way to win tournaments such as the World Cup and that it would be wrong to compare the efforts that have to be put in by different generations of cricketers.
“They have to set up in their own ways. Let’s not compare us to current cricketers. They are the best right now and they have to find their own way to reach the top. There is no single method which can be used to win.
“You need a commitment from the players and in that particular month, you need a stroke of luck also. But nothing can be achieved without hard work and commitment,” said Kapil.