MS Dhoni thought this was the right time to step aside: Arun Pandey

MS Dhoni thought this was the right time to step aside: Arun Pandey

MS Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni. (Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Arun Pandey, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s long time friend, and associate feels that the decision was a well thought one and wasn’t taken suddenly. No one foresaw the decision from MS Dhoni and quite naturally everyone was surprised by the move. Pandey, who also manages Dhoni’s commercial interests, also accepted the fact that the star cricketer from Jharkhand has the habit of keeping his card’s close to his chest.

But he feels that the most successful Indian skipper would have definitely thought long about it before finally taking the call. “You don’t take decision like this overnight. It was well thought out. Dhoni thought this was the right time to step aside and continuing playing as wicketkeeper-batsman,” Pandey told PTI.

Talking more about Dhoni’s decision to step down, Pandey said: “His thinking was that he has built the crux of the team now (for future and next World Cup) and it is the right time to give up captaincy. He is not someone who would cling on to something. For him, the team’s interests are first and foremost.”

A debate around his captaincy future surely was brewing, especially in the past six months as Virat Kohli began to mature a leader. Many legends including Sourav Ganguly and Ravi Shastri had earlier backed Kohli to take over from Dhoni in all three formats. But, no matter what the expert’s opinions were, no one could never come to a conclusion and eventually had to wait for Dhoni to make the call.

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Pandey was asked what was playing on Dhoni’s mind, he replied in the negative and said that he took the decision after feeling assured that the core of the team had become strong enough to move ahead.

“Dhoni is beyond all this. A chunk of current cricketers playing for India blossomed under Dhoni. Now he thinks it is the right time to step aside for the larger interest of the team. Not many would do that but Dhoni has done that. It has always been India first for him,” added Pandey.