india cricket team MS Dhoni
I don’t see MS Dhoni playing the next World Cup: Gautam Gambhir
MS Dhoni (AFP Photo)

Former India international Gautam Gambhir doesn’t see MS Dhoni playing the next World Cup saying the time has come to move forward.

Speculations over the future of Dhoni continue with the former captain on an international break stretching back to India’s World Cup semi-final defeat in July this year. Since that, Dhoni has skipped two straight series against West Indies and South Africa with latest reports claiming he might not be available till November meaning he will skip the Bangladesh series and the ongoing domestic one-day tournament Vijay Hazare Trophy.

Gambhir though feels that while retirement is a purely individual call, country should take precedence when making such decisions as preparing youngsters for tournaments like the world cup should be of prime importance.

“I feel that retirement is a very individual decision,” Gambhir told The Indian Express. “Till the time you want to play you are allowed to play, but you do have to look at the future as well. I do not see Dhoni playing the next World Cup.”

He continued, “It is not about Dhoni staying on for the next cricket World Cup, it is about winning the next cricket World Cup. You might want to give the opportunity to Rishabh Pant or Sanju Samson, any young cricketer… They should get the opportunity… I think personally, if you ask me, I think it’s time for Indian cricket to look beyond Dhoni.”

Gambhir says the Indian team management has to be courageous enough to let go of any player who they don’t see fit in their plans for the future. “So, whoever is the captain, Virat (Kohli) or anyone else, should have the courage to say so, that this player is not fitting into the scheme of things. It’s time for some of the youngsters to get groomed in the next four-five years, because ultimately it is not about Dhoni, it is about the country,” he said.