Veteran India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh doesn’t see Mahendra Singh Dhoni playing for the Indian team again. Dhoni last played for India in the 2019 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand in July last year.
Asked about Dhoni’s India future during an Instagram chat with opener Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan said, “When I was in Chennai Super Kings camp, people asked me about Dhoni. I don’t know, it’s up to him. You need to know whether he wants to play for India again.
“As far as I know him, he won’t want to wear India blue jersey again. IPL he will play but for India I think he had decided World Cup (2019) was his last.”
For his part, India limited-overs vice captain Rohit said he has no idea “what’s happening” with elusive former captain.
“We don’t know what’s happening with him. We haven’t heard any news about him. The last match of the World Cup was in July. From there, till now we haven’t heard anything, I have no idea,” Rohit said.
In his signature tongue-in-cheek manner, Rohit said that anyone who wants to know about Dhoni should personally contact him.
“When MS Dhoni is not playing cricket, he goes out of radar. He goes underground. Whoever wants to know, you can directly go to him, you know he stays in Ranchi. You can’t go now but after the lockdown, you take a car, bike or flight go to his place and ask him ‘What are you going to do? Will you play or not?”
India overdependent on Rohit, Kohli
Harbhajan said the current team ends ups losing 70% of its matches as it doesn’t have match-winners lower down the batting order.
Harbhajan said the team is too dependent on skipper Virat Kohli and on Rohit.
“The current team relies too much on Virat and you (Rohit). After Virat and you are dismissed, we lose 70 percent of the matches. Lower down the order few (can) win matches,” Harbhajan said.
“In our time, we had the trust that someone will make runs even after top three is out, so that the match does not slip out of our hands.
“This is one area I think this team can work on. You need to find more match-winners,” said Harbhajan, India’s third highest wicket-taker in Test cricket.
He acknowledged Rohit’s unbelievable run of form in the World Cup last year and said if two more players had a good outing, India could have won the tournament.
“Like you (Rohit) had great World Cup (2019). But one had a great World Cup and we reach the semi-finals. Had we got three who did well in the World Cup, we could have won.”
He lavished wholesome praise on K L Rahul, saying he is someone who has the ability to bat at any position and perform.
Harbhajan urged the team management to give longer ropes to players.
“They play well in the IPL but I don’t see them playing like that for the national team. They are a totally different player in IPL. I think they are scared of their place being gone. If you give them a run of 9-10 games, they have a better chance to succeed,” Harbhajan said.