Since the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been absent from the Indian Cricket Team. While the former captain was seen in Military training and golf court, speculations on the possible return of Mahi were on the rise. After BCCI prez Sourav Ganguly and Team India head coach Ravi Shastri, former cricketer and Dhoni’s teammate Joginder Sharma has now spoken up.
Back in November, Dhoni broke his silence on his plans for making a comeback by asking the media to have patience till January: “January tak mat poocho (don’t ask me till January).” While the former captain is yet to answer, Joginder Sharma has added his opinion, suggesting that Mahi might be thinking up differently.
Joginder, who was under Dhoni’s maiden captaincy in the squad that lifted the 2007 T20 World Cup, has always held massive respect on his compatriot. Currently a Deputy Commissioner of Police in the Haryana Police department, announced retirement from international cricket just after the final match against Pakistan.
In a recent interview, the 36 year old put in his opinion on Mahi’s plans on making a comeback to the Men in Blues squad: “Dhoni is very strong, both physically and mentally. There must be a lot of reasons behind the decision he has taken.”
“He has a family, a personal life, maybe he is preparing himself in a different way,” he added.
Joginder was Dhoni’s key to success in the final match against Pakistan. As India’s opponents needed 12 runs from 6 balls, the skipper chose the Haryanvi over the superstar Harbhajan Singh, surprising the audience of the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. However, Dhoni’s decision went in avour of India, as Joginder picked up the wicket of Misbah-ul-Haq, after dismissing Younis Khan earlier.
He continued: “Nobody expected us to make it to the knockouts of the World T20. But we were being led by someone who went on to become one of the best captains in the game…the result was that we won the trophy.”
In his short international spell, Joginder earned 4 ODI and 4 T20 caps. Along with the Indian Cricket Team, he also shared game time with Dhoni in five Indian Premier League seasons with Chennai Super Kings, from 2008 to 2012. Joginder continued to play domestic cricket for Haryana until 2017.