Batting great Sourav Ganguly has called for Mahendra Singh Dhoni to be ditched as India’s limited overs captain unless selectors are convinced he can lead the team into the 2019 World Cup.
After India’s semi-final exit at the recent World Twenty20, Dhoni tried to brush off suggestions that he might struggle to make the next 50 over World Cup being held in England in July 2019 when he will turn 38.
But Ganguly, who was Dhoni’s predecessor as captain of both the Test and one-day side, cast doubt on whether the man known as ‘Captain Cool’ had the staying power to remain at the helm for another four years.
“The selectors need to find an answer to whether they see Dhoni leading Indiai n 2019. If the answer is no, then find a new captain,” Ganguly told the India Today television network on Tuesday.
“If the answer is yes, which I will find very, very surprising, Dhoni continues.”
Dhoni, a wicketkeeper-batsman, stepped down as India’s Test captain in December 2014 after leading his country to a record 27 victories and was succeed by Virat Kohli.
However, he stayed on as ODI and T20 skipper, leading the team in last year’s World Cup as well as the recent World T20, which India hosted.
When quizzed on his future after India’s defeat to the West Indies in the World T20, Dhoni asked his questioner: “Do you think I am unfit, looking at my running? Do you think I can survive until the 2019 World Cup?”
Although his acumen as a Test captain was often questioned, Dohni is seen as one of the greatest skippers in short-form cricket after leading India to victory in the inaugural World T20 in 2007 and the 2011 ODI World Cup.
Since the World T20, Dhoni has struggled in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), with his Rising Pune Supergiants team languishing near the bottom of the table.
Ganguly, however, said that even if Dhoni was replaced as skipper, he still merited a place in the team, and insisted that he had great respect for his successor’s achievements.
“There’s no disregard to him (Dhoni), he has been one of the greatest captains of the country,” said Ganguly.