MS Dhoni has played his last game for India happily: Ashish Nehra

Nehra also pointed out that irrespective of Dhoni's performance and form in this year's IPL, he will be the first pick if he makes himself available for the Indian team.

Ashish Nehra and MS Dhoni
Ashish Nehra and MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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The world is yet to witness the comeback of MS Dhoni. The former Indian skipper, who last played a competitive game in July last year, has kept mum over his international future. Dhoni last braced the field during India’s semi-final defeat against New Zealand. Amid his truancy from the Indian side, Dhoni’s international future has been a big topic of debate in the cricketing fraternity.

Former India fast bowler Ashish Nehra, who played under Dhoni in the Indian team as well as Chennai Super Kings, has said that the Ranchi stalwart has already played his last game for India. According to Nehra, the world won’t witness Dhoni in the Indian side again and his international future has become a hot topic just because he hasn’t formally announced his retirement yet.

Nehra also pointed out that irrespective of Dhoni’s performance and form in this year’s IPL, he will be the first pick if he makes himself available for the Indian team.

“As much as I know MS Dhoni, he has played his last game for India happily. MS Dhoni has nothing to prove and we, in the media, discuss all these things because he hasn’t announced his retirement. Only he can tell what’s in his head,” said Nehra, on Star Sport show ‘Cricket Connected’.

“See as far as MS Dhoni’s international career is concerned, I don’t think this IPL has anything to do with it. If you are a captain, a selector or a coach and if MS Dhoni is ready to play, he will be my number one name on the list,” he added.

For me, MS Dhoni’s game never came down: Ashish Nehra

Dhoni’s half-century in the 2019 World Cup semi-final had certainly elevated the hopes of Indian fans. However, the wicketkeeper-batsman failed to cruise past the finishing line as he got run out at a crucial moment, denting India’s slim chances of progressing into the final of the showpiece event.

Recalling Dhoni’s semi-final knock against New Zealand, Nehra said that India had hopes of reaching the final until the ‘Mahi’ was at the crease. “For me, MS Dhoni’s game never came down, till the last game he played India had hoped to reach the World Cup final, till the time MS Dhoni was there. The minute he got run out everybody’s hopes were gone. It shows where his game was even at that time,” said Nehra.

Nehra, who bid adieu to international cricket in 2017, also highlighted that the upcoming IPL won’t make any difference to Dhoni’s stature. Nehra feels the tournament can’t be the selection criteria for a player like Dhoni.

“He knows how to run the team, he knows how to push youngsters forward, all those things I don’t need to repeat again and again. I don’t this IPL makes any difference to his stature, his aura as a player and I don’t think so that a tournament like IPL should be MS Dhoni’s selection criteria,” opined Nehra.