India are all set to lock horns with South Africa from September 15. Before that, India captain Virat Kohli said on Saturday MS Dhoni has always put the interest of Indian cricket in mind and he is on same page with the team management. Kohli further said that Dhoni will remain valuable as long as he is playing and the team management grooms youngsters like Rishabh Pant.
“One great thing about him (Dhoni) is that, he thinks for Indian cricket. 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,” Kohli replied when he was asked about MS Dhoni’s involvement in the World T20 in Australia next year.
However, MS Dhoni has made himself unavailable after the ICC World Cup and he has not been a part of the upcoming T20 series against South Africa. When everyone has talked about his retirement, Kohli backed the former captain.
“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 (Dhoni) 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,” Kohli said. “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.”
Along with Dhoni’s exclusion, he has to face the questions over Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal‘s omission from the T20 squad as well. Kohli pointed out their weakness with the bat that led the team management to try out new options. He even questioned if all the other teams across the world are batting till No. 9, 10, then why can’t India. He even recalled how the team management was criticised when both Chahal and Kuldeep were included in the Tests replacing experienced Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
“So, you need to take those calls at one stage. Bringing those guys (Chahal and Kuldeep) at one stage was also not taken well by people. Look, whatever decisions are made, are to make sure that the team has the best and strongest balance that we can have approaching the T20 World Cup that we have next year,” Virat Kohli said.
As there are a lot of new faces trying to prove their talent as well as seal the place in the team, the captain shared some specific things that he is looking in some of the players. Even this is exciting for a captain to try different players and check out combinations as well.