India news January 12, 2012

Dhoni could give up a format in 2013

MS Dhoni, India's World Cup winning captain, has said he might have to give up one of the formats if he is to lead India's title defence in 2015. He said, however, that such a decision would be made only at the end of 2013, by which time Dhoni will be 32. He will be 33 by the time the World Cup starts in Australia, where India currently find themselves 2-0 down in the Test series.

"If I want to see the 2015 World Cup, I'll have to retire from one of the formats," Dhoni said. "It's too early right now. I am not that old. I am just 30. There is still time. We will see by 2013, and by 2013, I mean the end of 2013."

Dhoni didn't rule out the possibility of not even making it to the World Cup. "That's something I need to see," he said. "I will take it as the time comes. What I really meant was by 2013 I would have to see where I stand when it comes to my body, whether I will be able to survive until the 2015 World Cup. Of course form is a factor.

"Also, what I need to see is, if I play till 2014 and all of a sudden say I can't survive till the World Cup, then all of a sudden you have a new wicketkeeper coming in who has not played more than 30 international games. So by end of 2013 I need to decide if I am fit enough to proceed in one of the formats. It's not personal interest. What I want is an individual who, if he is taking my place, should have played at least 60 to 100 ODIs before he goes into the World Cup. It's what my personal thinking is. We will see accordingly. Lots of time before that."

Dhoni has captained India in 36 Tests. No other wicketkeeper has captained a side in more than 16 Tests. Dhoni has captained in 175 games across formats. The next highest is Kumar Sangakkara, with 66.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo