MS Dhoni
File photo of MS Dhoni.IANS

Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar stated that Mahendra Singh Dhoni should retire now as his time is up. The 70-year-old former cricketer believes that the time has come when Dhoni needs to step out from the national side by himself and not get pushed out as he needs to make way for the future of Indian cricket.

The former cricketer also mentioned that youngster Rishabh Pant is a very good prospect for the Men in Blue and said that the 21-year-old is currently facing the second-year blues.

According to the 70-year-old legendary batsman, the second year of the career of a cricketer is always tough as people get to know about the strengths and weaknesses of that particular cricketer. So Gavaskar thinks that Pant should keep his chin up and continue his fight.

"Dhoni's time is up. With due respect, the time has come. India should look beyond. With the greatest of respect to Dhoni, I think he should be going without being pushed out," Sunil Gavaskar told India Today.

"Pant is a very good prospect. Look, the second year is always tough whether it is batsman or bowler and that's what he is finding out. People have a better idea about your strengths and weaknesses and therefore the bowlers will bowl accordingly. So I think he is facing second season blues. He has to keep his chin up," he added.

Dhoni Pant
Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Rishabh Pant.Twitter/BCCI

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's retirement rumours have been making the rounds post ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Cricketing fans all over the world were pretty much tensed about the future of the World Cup-winning captain after he took a sabbatical from international cricket post the quadrennial event.

The 38-year-old cricketer was not part of the Caribbean tour and was also not included in the squad for the T20 international series against South Africa.

Indian chief selector MSK Prasad confirmed that Dhoni was not available for selection but there is a huge question mark on whether he will return or not.

Moreover, the selectors have made it official that Dhoni will not be the first choice wicketkeeper keeping the future of Indian cricket in mind. Prasad has earlier stated that Pant will be the first choice wicketkeeper and Dhoni's job is to guide the 21-year-old till he become mature enough to cope up with the responsibility.

Gavaskar further told India Today that the decision of hanging up the boots should be taken by the former captain himself and as long as the 38-year-old cricketer plays for the nation he will be an asset for the team.

The Men in Blue will fight it out against South Africa in the final T20 fixture of the three-match series on September 22 in Bangalore. Team India took a 1-0 lead in the series after winning the second match comfortable riding on a prolific batting display of captain Virat Kohli.