Cricket World Cup

'There is no other cricketer who has served India so well as Dhoni' - Kapil Dev

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Former India captain Kapil Dev lavished praise on MS Dhoni calling him the greatest servant of Indian cricket and hopes he can win the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 for the country.

Dhoni has been terrific form of late, and recently smashed a 48-ball 84* in Chennai Super Kings' last-ball thriller against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, his highest score in the competition. Not only has his IPL form been spectacular, his exploits in one-day internationals this year have been praise-worthy as well. In the nine ODIs he has played this year, he has scored 327 runs at an average of 81.75, including three back-to-back half-centuries in Australia in January.

Kapil lauded Dhoni's efforts and believes the wicket-keeper batsman is the biggest contributor in Indian cricket's illustrious history. "No one knows how long he wants to play and how long his body can continue to take the workload. But there is no other cricketer who has served the country so well as Dhoni," Kapil told IANS. "We should respect him and wish him good luck. I hope that he wins this World Cup too."

The 1983 World Cup-winning captain further added that he has faith in Dhoni's abilities and the veteran gloveman deserves all the respect that has come his way. "I don't have to say anything [more] about Dhoni. I think he has served the country very well and we must respect him."

Kapil also spoke about India's chances at the World Cup and believes the team can do well at the tournament if they have no injuries along the way. "This Indian team looks very good. However, it won't be very easy. They have to play like a team. I hope that they will have no injuries. If they have a stroke of luck, they will definitely win."

The cricketer-turned-expert was asked about Rishabh Pant's exclusion from the World Cup squad. Pant was dropped in favour of the more experienced Dinesh Karthik. However, Kapil urged to show faith in the selectors' judgement.

I don't have to say anything [more] about Dhoni. I think he has served the country very well.

Kapil Dev

"The selectors have done their job. Let's respect the team. They have picked Karthik over Pant, then it's alright. We should just believe that the selectors have done a good job."

India start their World Cup campaign on 5 June in Southampton against South Africa.

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