MS Dhoni astonished the world last week by stepping down as India’s One-Day International (ODI) and T20 International (T20I) captain. But, according to reports, it is believed that he was asked by the selectors to resign from his post.
The BCCI announced on Wednesday that the 35-year-old had decided to step down as the captain of ODI and Twenty20 sides but would continue playing. Dhoni will now play under the captaincy of Virat Kohli in the limited-overs team, beginning with the series against England, which starts from January 15.
A report by the Hindustan Times suggests that Dhoni may have not taken the decision himself, rather it may have been forced upon him by the Indian selectors.
"Sources in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) told Hindustan Times that Mahendra Singh Dhoni did not step down on his own. Selection committee chairman MSK Prasad had met the 35-year-old in Nagpur during last week’s Ranji Trophy semifinal between Jharkhand, Dhoni’s home state, and Gujarat," says the report.
However, Prasad refuses asking Dhoni to step down. “There was no pressure on Dhoni to resign from captaincy. It was his personal decision. He informed me during the Ranji Trophy semi-final between Jharkhand and Gujarat in Nagpur,” said Prasad.
“I salute him for his sense of perfect timing. He knew that Virat [Kohli] is now a proven customer who has done exceptionally well as a leader in Tests,” he added.
Dhoni, who retired from Test cricket in 2014, was reportedly told that he will be 39 when the ICC World Cup 2019 gets underway and it is the right time to hand over full leadership to Kohli.
Dhoni has been picked in the squad against England and will also lead the side in one of the warm-up matches. Considered as the most successful Indian captain, he has led India to all major ICC trophies and helped the nation achieve the No.1 Test status in 2009.