Virat Kohli says MS Dhoni is a valuable asset for India as long as he is available

Sudhir Gupta 16:49 14/09/2019
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Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni.

India skipper Virat Kohli has stressed that the team management and MS Dhoni are on the same page with regards to the veteran wicketkeeper’s international future.

Dhoni’s India future has been under constant speculation since the end of the 2019 World Cup campaign in England with the veteran subsequently taking a two-month sabbatical from cricket.

The 38-year-old opted out of India’s recent tour of the West Indies and he will be unavailable for the upcoming home clashes against South Africa as well. In his stead, India’s selectors have opted to groom young Rishabh Pant with the gloves across all three formats of the game.

Even as Dhoni’s future remains up in the air, Kohli has hailed the former India skipper and has backed him to prove his detractors wrong.

“One great thing about him (Dhoni) is that, he thinks for Indian cricket,” Kohli said on the eve of the first T20 between India and South Africa at Dharamsala.

“And whatever we (team management) think, he is on the same page. The alignment is there. The kind of mindset he has had about grooming youngsters and giving them opportunities, and he is still the same person,”

“Look, experience is always going to matter whether you like it or not. I mean there are a numerous number of times people have given up on sportsmen and they have proved people wrong and he has done that many times in his career as well. As long as he is available and continues to play, he is going to be very valuable.

While India’s selectors and team management see Pant as the long-term successor to take the gloves in all three formats, Kohli feels that the timing of Dhoni’s retirement should be left to the veteran entirely.

“When you decide to stop playing is an absolutely individual thing, and no one else should have an opinion on it, that’s what I think,” the India skipper remarked.

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