No one has the right to talk about his retirement: Afridi on Dhoni
Shahid Afridi and MS Dhoni (Getty Image)

Former Pakistan allrounder Shahid Afridi has come out in defence of MS Dhoni, saying that it is only up to the former India captain to decide when it’s time to go. Afridi pointed out that after what Dhoni has done for India in his 14-year-long international career, nobody has a say in his retirement but Dhoni himself.

“What Dhoni has done for team India nobody else can and nobody has the right to tell him when to retire. 2019 Dhoni needs to be there for India to have good chances” Afridi told Times Now in an interview.

The selectors dropped Dhoni from India’s T20I squads for the series against West Indies and Australia, prompting many to believe that perhaps it’s the end of the road for India’s most successful captain. Virat Kohli, however, made it clear that the move was made keeping in mind to test out young Rishabh Pant, considering he is the one touted by many to replace Dhoni as India’s option behind the stumps. Even if that is not the case, Dhoni has only been ignored for the T20s, and is a sure contender for India for next year’s World Cup.

Dhoni, since leading Chennai Super Kings to a third IPL triumph earlier, has been ordinary with the bat. In the three-match ODI series against England, Dhoni scored 79 runs at an average of 39.30, followed by another below-par series in the Asia Cup, where in four innings, he managed just 77 runs at 19.25. Against West Indies too, Dhoni scored 50 runs from three innings, that led many to believe that he may be in the twilight of his career.

Afridi also added that among the current crop of cricketers, he likes India captain the most, although there is one aspect of Kohli that Afridi feels he needs to get better at.

“Virat Kohli is one of my favourite players but he needs to improve as a captain. India-Australia series is going to be a very exciting contest and this Indian team has what it takes to beat Australia in Australia, but the team needs to play together,” Afridi said.