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One can never write off champions players like MS Dhoni, remarks Ricky Ponting

"Things can turn around in this game pretty quickly and one thing I've learned in this game with champion players is to never write them off," he quoted.

Ricky Ponting
Former Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Australian cricketer Ricky Ponting has come in support of the former Indian skipper MS Dhoni. Dhoni has been under the scrutiny for many reasons in the recent times. Many pundits have questioned in inconsistency in the shortest format of the game. Some have even gone on to point that he is perhaps not fit for the T20s. But truth be told, Dhoni is a champion player and that needs no testimony.

As per the recent quotes in cricket.com.au, Ricky Ponting remarked that all these claims are the downside of having an illustrious career. He noted that even he has been through the same. When a big player goes through a lean patch, everybody come down very hard at them. However, he believes that Dhoni is more than capable to pull things back in his favor soon.

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“I think it’s a downside of having the great success that he’s had over a long period of time. I’ve been there myself and when you start to slide just a little bit, criticism is going to come your way. And to be fair, he probably hasn’t had much negativity come his way over the past 15 or 20 years. So it’ll be really interesting to see how he handles that over the coming weeks,” quoted Ponting.

He further cited that there is one thing that he has learned over the years in his career. One should never write off champion players. He reflected back how the likes of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne went through the same but came back as stronger individuals.

“Things can turn around in this game pretty quickly and one thing I’ve learned in this game with champion players is to never write them off. They always find a way to keep coming back. It happened with (Glenn) McGrath and (Shane) Warne and all those great players that I was lucky enough to play with. He’ll find a way and he’ll win games for his team,” said Ricky Ponting.

Talking about MS, Ponting pointed out that Dhoni has been under immense pressure ever since he has taken up the captaincy. He has been phenomenal as the leader of the national side. At present, he might not be at his very best but is certainly doing a decent job in whatever capacity he is playing for the team.

“I’m pretty sure he’s got quite a thick skin. He’s grown up with unbelievable pressure on him as captain of India for a long time. He’s had some great moments in his career and right now he’s probably not playing at his absolute best, but it’s still there. I’m not ever going to tell anyone when it’s time to go or retire. That’s up to the champions to make their own mind up,” said the former Australian skipper.

It was surprising to see MS Dhoni being sacked as the captain of the Rising Pune Supergiant in the IPL this year. Commenting on his IPL career, Ricky Ponting made a bold remark by saying that this could be his last IPL. It is just a gut feeling that he is getting at the moment.

“If you think about Dhoni and his age, this might well be his last IPL. There’s no basis to me saying that. It just seemed like a strange time to move him on as captain if he wasn’t coming towards the end. Obviously, they’ve made a decision that they think is right for that team and Steve Smith taking over was what the hierarchy and the coaching staff thought was the right thing to do,” he quoted.

Lastly, he ended up by saying that he does not see an Indian team heading into the Champions Trophy without the services of MS Dhoni. Dhoni is expected to play a crucial role in India’s title defence at the ICC mega event this June. Having the experience of Dhoni in the middle order will be a big positive for the side.

“I think he can be an important player in that Indian team, especially with his experience. Batting in the middle order, he’s someone who can really control a one-day innings. And that might be what you need in England. If the ball does a bit early on, there’s a chance India could lose top-order wickets and you’d need someone in the middle order to guide the ship,” concluded Ponting.

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