A video grab of Mahendra Singh Dhoni taking the match ball from the umpires after the 3rd ODI against England at Headingley, Leeds, went viral on social media platforms and TV channels after India's eight-wicket loss. It created a lot of buzz around the keeper-batsman's imminent retirement from international cricket.
Dhoni recently cleared the air about his international future making it clear that he is going nowhere till the 2019 World Cup in England.
There were rumours about his retirement when TV cameras spotted him asking for the match ball after final ODI that India lost to England last month, but Dhoni revealed that he was merely doing his homework for next year's mega event.
"(I took the ball) to see why we are not able to get enough reverse swing. Because we will be playing the World Cup in England, we have to (ensure) that we get reverse swing going. Because it is something that is very important. If the opposition is getting it, we should also get it, at some point or the other," Dhoni told PTI.
"After 50 overs, the ball is useless to the ICC (International Cricket Council), so I requested the umpire 'can I get the ball?' and gave it to the bowling coach?" he said.
"We need to work on it as to how we can get it more scuffed up so that we can get a bit of reverse swing going, that will in-turn help the fast bowlers get those yorkers or wickets in and around the 40th over mark. That would really help us restrict the opposition by not getting too many runs in the last 10 overs," Dhoni added.
Asked how India can win the Test series, having lost the opener in Birmingham by 31 runs, Dhoni's reply was simple: "I will just tell you one thing – to win a Test match, you need 20 wickets and we (India) did that. So, that's the only answer I would give because it doesn't matter how well you bat, how well you are there for five days but (by) taking 20 wickets, you can win a Test match," he said.
Team India coach Ravi Shastri also dismissed all speculation on Dhoni's retirement on Wednesday. "Dhoni wanted to show the ball to Bharat Arun. He wanted to show him the wear and tear the ball had endured, to get a general idea of what the conditions were like," he clarified to The Times of India.
With inputs from PTI