No signs of ageing, Dhoni still has cricket left in him: Raina

New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) Veteran India batsman Suresh Raina on Tuesday said M.S. Dhoni was trying to innovate a lot while batting during the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) camp which got cancelled midway due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been a lot of debate about Dhoni's future if the Indian Premier League (IPL) does not eventually see the light of the day due to the lockdown getting extended till May 3.

“He was batting really well. Cricket is still left in him. He has looked innovative. We played practice games and those sixes are as big as they were. Three hours of batting in the evening, that too, in Chennai heat is not easy and we did that (during the camp). If you ask me, Mahi bhai is batting brilliantly,” Raina said in an Instagram Live session.

“His body is not showing signs of ageing. He was looking different and was trying to do something else, something different, new. So people will get to know when they see him,” said Raina who won the 2011 World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy under Dhoni's leadership.

Raina further said he is still hopeful of a comeback in the T20 team ahead of the World Cup, slated to be held in October. The 33-year old also slammed the selectors for not providing enough reason as to why he was dropped after the England tour in 2018.

“I have played for 14-15 years. Under Mahi bhai then dada (Sourav Ganguly)..they always used to tell me what was wrong. Virat (Kohli) also does that but the selectors don't all the time.

“They should have taken more responsibility (when dealing with) senior players. You need to know the reason why you are not batting in nets one fine morning. Someone has to give us detail where to bat, what to do?” said Raina who has played 18 Tests, 226 ODIs and 78 T20s for India.

Putting his weight behind young wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant, Raina said he is lacking in confidence at the moment and seniors need to guide him.

“Rishabh Pant is very talented. Someone has to step up and guide him. When I used to play, Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh) paa used to tell me you make mistakes and we will guide you. So Rishabh should be backed. He has hundreds abroad and he is not a fluke player. Somewhere I think he is not getting confidence..he is missing something,” he said.

Asked about Yuvraj's comments on the current Indian team not having enough role models, Raina said: “We had seniors at that time. Viru (Virender Sehwah) paa had told me when IPL started, the money you get invest well. Look after family and loved ones. They used to advice us like big brothers. Paaji (Sachin Tendulkar), Viru paa, Rahul Dravid.”



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