He may be criticised for lack of intent, he may hog headlines over his impending retirement, but there is little doubt MS Dhoni is important to this Indian team, especially at this crucial juncture in the tournament. The seasoned campaigner was hit on his thumb in the match against England and he was even seen spitting blood in the game. There are now concerns over his availability for the match against Sri Lanka.
However, the team management has allayed all such fears as they believe the wicket-keeper batsman is fit to take part in the game against Sri Lanka. Although India have made it to the semi-finals, they still would want to beat Sri Lanka in this game and then hope South Africa down Australia, so that they go to the number 1 spot on the points table. As such, they will then face New Zealand in the semi-finals as opposed to England, if things stand the way they are currently.
'Amazing capacity to ignore pain'
A source from the team management has cleared all doubts over Dhoni's availability for the match. Speaking to the news agency IANS, he said the stumper is fit and available to take on Sri Lanka.
"Hai toh pahadi, woh yodha hai (he hails from the mountains and is a warrior). After more than 300 ODIs, do you think these little things even bother him? He has an amazing capacity to ignore pain. But more importantly, his finger is fine and there is nothing to worry about," the source said.
Earlier this week, a PTI report had said that India's last match at the World Cup could well turn out to be MS Dhoni's swan song in India colours.
"You never know with MS Dhoni. But it is unlikely that he will continue to play for India after this World Cup. But since his decisions to quit captaincy from the three formats have been taken so suddenly, it is very difficult to predict at the moment," a senior BCCI official told PTI.
However, there have been no such statements made from the Indian management and as of now, these are considered to be mere speculations. The wicket-keeper batsman enjoys the support of Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli as well as a number of players in the Indian camp.