Despite heavy criticism, India’s chief coach Ravi Shastri backs Dhoni to perform. On Tuesday, Shastri extended unflinching support to the former captain. He said those who have been commenting on the two-time World Cup winning former skipper MS Dhoni should look back at their own careers.
A few former India players, including VVS Laxman and Ajit Agarkar, recently raised questions about Dhoni’s T20I future. That has already created quite a storm in the country’s cricketing circles.
“People should look back at their career before commenting on Dhoni. The former captain has a lot of cricket left in him. Hence it is the duty of the team to back the legend,” Shastri said.
Shastri was having a look at the bat autographed by the 2011 World Cup winning Indian team at the Fanattic Sports Museum. The coach further said the culture of the current team is based on performance and quality. “There is no one better than Dhoni on the field. That too given his ability behind the wicket into the equation. And with the bat and his presence of mind and sharpness on the field, he is simply irreplaceable.”
Ravi Shastri backs Dhoni and cites the players’ athleticism and said: “In terms of fielding this team is the very best in the world at the moment. And that’s something that separates this team from Indian teams of the past.”
India will take on Sri Lanka in three Tests beginning with the Eden five-dayer on November 16. And this will be Shastri’s first home Test series.
“This team always turns up on the park to win. We hope to win the series spread over one and half months before going to South Africa.”
Hardik Pandya has been rested for the series and Shastri said: “This team is not about one particular individual, we lose together, we win together.”
Earlier, accompanied by bowling coach Bharat Arun, Shastri spent about two hours admiring the Fanattic Sports Museum. Sports historian Boria Majumdar curated and set up this museum.
While taking a stance with Sir Donald Bradman’s bat from 1948, the former all-rounder said: “The quality of the wood is such you can still play a few shots with it.”
Picking Bolt and Mohammed Ali as two of his personal favorites, Shastri also aired his emotions. “Every Indian cricketer should make a trip to the museum and enjoy the collection.”