MS Dhoni has revealed preparation for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 was the reason he asked for the match ball last month.
Dhoni, 37, was seen asking umpires for the match ball at the end of the third ODI with England at Headingley, prompting rumours of an impending retirement on social media.
However, the legendary India wicket-keeper – who hit the winning runs in the 2011 World Cup Final - put those fears to bed, confirming he’s got an eye on next year’s World Cup.
"Since we will be playing the World Cup in England, we must know what we have to do to get the reverse swing going,” he said at a promotional event in Bandra.
“The opposition is getting it, so we should also get it at some point or the other. That's why I did that [took the ball from umpire].”
India fell to a 2-1 ODI series defeat to No. 1 ranked side England, but Dhoni is hoping his request to see the ball will help improve their death bowling at the World Cup next summer.
"After 50 overs, the ball is useless to the ICC, so I requested the umpire for the ball and gave it to our bowling coach and said we need to work on it so that we can get a bit of reverse swing going.
“That will help the fast bowlers get those yorkers or wickets towards close or after the 40-over mark. That will help us restrict the opposition in the last 10 overs.”
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