The semi-final of the Vijay Hazare trophy, scheduled later today, has been postponed Image: Getty
Mahendra Singh Dhoni could continue in international limited overs cricket until the 2019 World Cup if he succeeds in the coming ICC champions Trophy, reckons his childhood coach Keshav Banerjee.
The iconic wicketkeeper-batsman, who announced his retirement from Test cricket in December 2014, stepped down as the captain of India's limited overs sides earlier this year. Recently, he was also removed as the captain of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rising Pune Supergiants, which raised huge questions about his future.
Though the 35-year-old continues to play ODIs and T20Is, many feel that his best days are behind him.
Dhoni has enjoyed a highly successful career, captaining India to glory in the 2007 World Twenty20 championship, 2011 World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy. India will defend the Champions Trophy in June.
The Ranchi star was also a central figure in the country, achieving the top-ranked status in Test cricket.
"Now, Dhoni's only focus is on the Champions Trophy. Success in that tournament would help him continue in international limited overs cricket till the 2019 World Cup," said Banerjee speaking to the media on the sidelines of the launch of the under-14 Yo Cup.
Mahi's childhood coach also praised the former Indian captain's will power and ability to analyse the game. "With age, it's not possible to maintain the same strike rate as when you were younger. But Dhoni still has a sharp brain. The two qualities which set him apart from the others is his will power and ability to analyse a game," he said.
Lauding Dhoni, Banerjee said that as a youngster, the cricketer was known for his punctuality. "And even today, he has not changed a bit," he added.